King Claudius Analysis Essay

Decent Essays

Claudius’ Analysis



When we first see Claudius he seems like he is a great leader. Taking the throne after his brother's death, Claudius reassures his public that they will be fine under his leadership. He mourns with his country, solidifying their trust. As Claudius states, "To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe. Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature That we with wisest sorrow thinke on him Together with remembrance of ourselves." The words, "our hearts" along with "our whole kingdom" and "we with wisest sorrow think" culminate in "together with remembrance of ourselves." This manipulative rhetoric draws the public in. But little …show more content…

He has the country fooled. In private Claudius is quite different from the consoling, take charge King of Denmark. Often he is driven by his desires, he marries his brother's wife. This is much to …show more content…

To me, Claudius is a man who wants power and control above all else. Having murdered his brother, taking his wife, plotting the death of hamlet, blaming Hamlet for the death of Polonius and only half heartedly trying to stop Gertrude from drinking poison, makes him a weak and pathetic villain. Power and selfishness, ambition and desire is his downfall.

Although Claudius is ruthless, he does show a human side. He does show guilt, even remorse as he prays, "O! my offense is rank it smells to heaven." In modern day language, meaning his offense "stinks to high heaven!" He is aware of his crimes and tries to ask God for forgiveness. The great pity in this is that he realizes his nature won't allow him to give up all he reaped in benefiting from his crimes. His soul is trapped. He dies a tragic murderer. Due to his vengeance and ambition, he exploits those around him. And all met with untimely death. Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, perish. In the

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