How Claudius Meets The Requirements Of A Villain Essay

How Claudius Meets The Requirements Of A Villain Essay

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How Claudius Meets the Requirements of a Villain
“The serpent that did sting my father’s life / Now wears his crown.” (Hamlet 1.4.38-39). In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the protagonist Claudius is an evil and cunning villain. Shortly after the king of Denmark dies rather suddenly his brother Claudius took over his position as king. Claudius married his wife and instantly gained access to all his wealth and power. There was no evidence to suggest that the king had died of anything other than natural causes except for what a ghost told his son Hamlet. The ghost of the king told Hamlet that he had been murdered and betrayed by his own brother Claudius, the one person that he trusted the most. Hamlet vowed to take his revenge on Claudius for what he did to his father out of pure greed and lust. Claudius is a villain because of his enormous greed, his overwhelming selfishness and his use of intelligence for evil purposes.
Claudius was motivated to take the throne for many reasons but one of the mains ones was his enormous greed. Claudius was not happy being the king’s brother, or being super wealthy, but rather he wanted to be the king himself, he wanted to be the wealthiest and most powerful man in entire kingdom. Claudius reflects back on what he has done when he says, “Forgive me my foul murder? /That cannot be; since I am still possessed/ Of those effects for which I did the murder-/ My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.” (Hamlet 3.3.52-55). Claudius knows that he has done wrong but his greed has consumed him and he cannot simply give up everything he has taken. The wealth and power he has acquired is what he has wanted his whole life and now he cannot imagine himself without it. He has committed a murder and ...


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...is wit for truly wicked reasons. Claudius becomes consumed by his greed as he not only takes the kings wealth and power, but also takes his wife. He shows no concern for others needs as he idly watched his wife drink the poison that he had prepared for her son. His wit is unmatched by almost anyone in the kingdom, yet he only uses it for his wicked plans such as the one to turn Laertes against Hamlet. Claudius shares many of his qualities with the political leaders of today’s world. They may start out as genuine people they often turn to corruption and scandals rather than hard work and sacrifice to get what they want. They become selfish and use their superior intelligence to hurt and oppress common people in order to stay in power. Claudius may have been the serpent that took the throne, but just like the king before him the throne unlimitedly cost him his life.

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