Hamlet is a famous drama written by Shakespeare and it contains both major and supporting characters, such as Claudius. However, he is not developed to the full potential and his main role is to spawn the anger and confusion of Hamlet in addition to his ongoing search or the meaning of life and truth. When reading this play, you should understand that he is not static, and his qualities are not explored as much as the one of Hamlet. However, the author manages to craft a personality out of treacherous and usurping King of Denmark.
When Claudius is first introduced, he may strike you as a capable and intelligent ruler. Besides, he gives his speech to make the country and court proud while addressing the death of his brother and a possible conflict with Norway. He understands that government changes may ignite civil unrest and he is also afraid of possible rebellion and unlawful allegiances. His speech reflects the loss of people and a new beginning that they will have from him. This means that Claudius utilizes the death of Hamlet’s father to create the sense of increased national solidarity.
Claudius assumes the role that he will play as a chief mourner so that people will unite because of collective suffering. He can concentrate on his important duties and takes decisive and immediate actions because he decides to send Voltimand and Cornelius to appear the King of Norway. Besides, Claudius deals with the request of Laertes to leave to France.
It’s worth mentioning that he is a different person in private. For example, the Ghost calls him an adulterate and incestuous beast. Take into account that he represents the worst traits of the human nature, corruption, greed, excess, lust, etc. Another important detail is that this character is not a full sociopath full of regrets and guilt. He wants to give up his crimes and asks God’s forgiveness, but then he understands that he is not honest.
Claudius can be gentle and sensitive at the same time and he is sorry for the death of Polonius while being in love with Gertrude. He must kill Hamlet, but he doesn’t want to do that even for Gertrude’s sake. In addition, this man also likes Ophelia and always treats her with enough kindness. Even those people whom he likes can’t come before his personal desires and ambitions. For example, Claudius doesn’t stop Gertrude from drinking a poison during a duel between Laertes and Hamlet. Readers will see him as a multi-faceted villain in this play.
Hamlet is a famous drama written by Shakespeare and it contains both major and supporting characters, such as Claudius. However, he is not developed to the full potential and his main role is to spawn the anger and confusion of Hamlet in addition to his ongoing search or the meaning of life and truth.