Hamlet - Claudius Vs. Lady Macbeth

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Claudius vs. Lady Macbeth

	 King Claudius of Hamlet and Lady Macbeth of Macbeth exhibit three similar qualities, dishonesty, evilness, and deceitfulness throughout the play; although sometimes they demonstrate these qualities in different ways, these qualities greatly affect the other characters in the plays .

	King Claudius and Lady Macbeth are similar in that they both let their crave of power and desire for the crown drive them to deceitfulness, corruption, and even murder, to obtain it. King Claudius and Lady Macbeth are so greedy for wealth and power that they will let nothing get in their way, even if it means deceiving the ones they love. King Claudius was in love with his brother¹s wife and desired his position as king. In order to obtain these things he went behind Gertrude, his lover¹s, back and murdered her husband. Shortly after, he married her and took the crown. Not only was this extremely deceitful to Gertrude, but it hurt Hamlet, his nephew, extremely. Lady Macbeth was indeed as power hungry as Claudius, and she too plotted a murder in order for her husband to obtain the crown. In doing this she was extremely deceitful of her lover also. She employed many conniving tricks in order to convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan, such as in scene in Act I, scene seven when she says, ³From this time such I account thy love.² Here she is basically saying that Macbeth may prove his undying love for her by killing the king, thus causing him to feel that he is obligated to murder King Duncan. King Claudius and Lady Macbeth are also very good at disguising their deceit. In Hamlet, only Hamlet himself is aware of the true nature of Claudius. All others, including his Wife and subjects, think he is a wonderful and innocent King. Lady Macbeth is the same in that she puts up a wonderful facade for both the public and her husband. Although she is planning a murder Lady Macbeth manages to still act as a smiling, gracious hostess. Lady Macbeth's house guests and King Duncan, whom she intends to kill, even refer to her as their ³honour¹d hostess,² in Act I, scene six. Her husband is also fooled by her charade and is unable to see her evil intent as she cons him into killing the king. Lady Macbeth keeps this facade until the end of the play when her trapped feelings finally drive her mad. Another thing these two characters have in common is that...

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...f his encroaching madness, and partly as a ploy to throw off Claudius and his spies. Ophelia was so shocked and confused over Hamlet¹s complete betrayal that she could hardly go on living, and in the end she became so overwhelmed that she committed suicide. Lady Macbeth also affected many characters with her deceitfulness. The character most greatly affected was her husband, Macbeth. Until he was convinced by his wife, Macbeth had decided that he was going to stay loyal to the King, and put all notions of murder out of his head. In Act I, scene seven Macbeth declares, ³We will proceed no further in this business,² meaning he has decided to end all thoughts of murdering the king. Lady Macbeth will not give up though, and instead begins to try to further lure Macbeth into participating in her corrupt plans. Eventually she is successful in doing this, and Macbeth murders Duncan. Lady Macbeth lit a spark of evil in Macbeth that turned into his destruction. Macbeth became power hungry and murdered many others in order to have it. Lady Macbeth turned her loyal, honorable husband into a corrupt fool. In the end it all lead to the total destruction of a once well respected, virtuous hero.
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