The Protagonist In Claudius

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Claudius Driving Story-line “Rightly to be great/ Is not to stir without great argument, But greatly to find quarrel in a straw/ When honour 's at the stake”- Hamlet, Hamlet Hamlet, a play filled with action, words, revenge, recognition, focus and hate. Even though we may see the play Hamlet as a story about Hamlet himself, some may also argue it is a play about Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Taking into consideration the aspects that make a character a protagonist, it is shown that Hamlet may not be who we thought he was. Viewing definitions of antagonist and protagonist we can see just how Hamlet falls under an antagonist and Claudius falls under more of a protagonist role throughout the play. The play Hamlet should be called “Claudius” as…show more content…
If Hamlet can recognize that his own uncle shows more signs of a true man, and is jealous of him, what stops us from believing Claudius is truly the protagonist of Hamlet. While Hamlet is talking to Horatio about how he switched letter, he feels no guilt about the deaths of his two former friends. Hamlet believes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern deserved what came to them as they interfered between to great powers, Claudius and himself. ”’Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes/ Between the pass and fell incensed points/ Of mighty opposites” (V.ii.60-63). Even Hamlet, the real protagonist understands that he is Claudius’ foil. If Hamlet can even recognize that his opposite does more than him, how can the play not belong to Claudius? Another example of Hamlet 's realization is just after he talks to the Captain. Hamlet is reminiscing on the fact that you should not have to fight for just a good…show more content…
As Hamlet and Claudius go back and forth between who opposes who, the line is blurred between who demonstrates the protagonist role. Though there are countless examples of dispute in this play, one major circumstance makes for us as a reader to believe Claudius is indeed the protagonist of the play, Hamlet. When Claudius makes Hamlet leave for England in attempts to have him murdered, we do not follow Hamlet’s journey, but we do have a major focus shift to Claudius and what he is doing. We get an inside take on how Claudius begins to manipulate people around him, and we further Claudius’ character structure when Hamlet is absent. While Hamlet is gone for three full scenes, the only way we hear about his journey is in a brief letter he sends to trusting friend, Horatio. As Horatio reads Hamlet’s letter to him, he finds out that a pirate ship attacked the boat going to England and kept Hamlet prisoner. The letter reads, “They have dealt with/ me like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they/ did; I am to do good turn for them” (IV.vi.19-21). All the focus between act 4 scene 5 and act 4 scene 7 when Hamlet is on a boat, is on Claudius. Hamlet merely gets a tiny little bit of recognition on where he is and what he is doing for three full scenes. If Hamlet was meant to be the protagonist, Shakespeare would not have used deus ex machina on a protagonist, and not follow what he is
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