Claudius Manipulation In Hamlet

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Claudius’ manipulation takes advantage of surrounding characters’ affection for Hamlet. Paired with Hamlet’s apparent madness, he easily sways them into doing his bidding by feeding them incorrect information, thus influencing their decisions and actions. While innocent characters like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern believe their duty is to simply diagnose the reason for Hamlet’s madness, Claudius uses their care for Hamlet and blind loyalty to plot Hamlet’s death. This along with several other attempts of spying on and murdering Hamlet eventually lead to the deaths of multiple characters including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Not only that, but all the while he is attempting to take Hamlet’s life, he is fearing for his own and desperately…show more content…
Rather than manipulating emotions like Claudius, Hamlet used intellect as a means of confusion and deceit. Throughout the play, it’s shown that no one really understands Hamlet like himself. His intellect is of a grandeur scale when comparing it to the likes of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. This meant that it was meant for nobody to figure Hamlet out as he was “acting madness”, as there was no one who could possibly do such a thing. While Polonius had caught on, saying; "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." (2.2.203), he had assumed the wrong reasons. However, like Claudius, he viewed others as tools, namely, the tools of the other player: Claudius. His passionate quest for revenge had caused him to shut everyone out but Horatio, who was really the only person Hamlet trusted throughout the play. He viewed them as pawns of Claudius who were all out to stop Hamlet from avenging his father. Perhaps the most iconic and notable example of this is when he confronts Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. “’Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.” (3.2.354-356) Here Hamlet confirms for the pair that he does not trust them. He believes that his childhood friends are working with Claudius or are trying to exploit him for their own gain.…show more content…
Shakespeare’s use of illusion shows that illusion is in fact the most dangerous thing. Its benefits are outweighed by the never-ending list of dangers that the illusionist, victim, and innocent bystanders suffer from. Although both Claudius and Hamlet can fool others convincingly, it became apparent that their illusions can just as easily backfire onto themselves. Claudius lost control of his ambitions and exposed himself through his passion for what he’s gained, while Hamlet’s personal drive for revenge led himself to similarly deceive the masses, eventually succumbing to his own deceptions. Ultimately, both characters lose everything because of the dangerous game they played, all the while causing the deaths of innocent individuals whose involvement had good intent. From a theatrical point of view, Shakespeare’s utilization of illusion is what makes Hamlet such a brilliant play. The constant allusion to possible resolutions and the dramatic irony that it creates gives the audience the unfortunate opportunity to feel sympathetic for an entire cast of characters. Yet, Hamlet’s most important quality is in its ability to demonstrate for all the disastrous effects of illusion and why it is truly the “most dangerous

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