Essay on An Exploration of the Ways Shakespeare Presents the Character Claudius

Essay on An Exploration of the Ways Shakespeare Presents the Character Claudius

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An Exploration of the Ways Shakespeare Presents the Character Claudius

From Claudius’s first speech the audience gains the impression the
character is political and educated. Shakespeare uses metaphorical
language to emphasis this.

Claudius’s first speech in the script is full of metaphorical
language, and it shows a manipulating, persuasive character who can
convince a kingdom that it was perfectly acceptable for him to marry
his brother’s wife just a few weeks after his death.

It is the language Shakespeare has chosen to give Claudius that can
convince others that he is morally correct. He uses imagery of facial
features to represent the kingdom as one body. An example of this is
‘in one brow of woe,’ which refers to the kingdom as all having one
joint eyebrow. Again he is giving his opinion and views but insinuates
it is what everyone else should be thinking too.

The situation Shakespeare has created of the king being married to
the wife of his brother who has died, automatically shows the audience
that Claudius is an unpleasant, immoral character. This is not allowed
according to the Bible and goes against many people’s views; this
would be more shocking for an Elizabethan audience considering that
many more people were religious at that time. He makes the character
appear more sinister by showing a sly, manipulating side of Claudius
justifying himself in his first speech; ‘our sometime sister and now
queen.’ This is the way the character refers to the grief of his dead
brother; he convinces the court that he is very grief stricken and
assumes others think in the same way showing them that he has the
higher status and...

... middle of paper ...

...that his character knows
what he has done and realises how wrong it truly is. ‘My stronger
guilt defeats my strong intent.’ Again Shakespeare wants to show the
audience the character although it is weakened, does still have a

This scene also creates dramatic irony, as he tries to pray but cannot
because of the guilt he feels, Hamlet thinks he is praying so doesn’t
kill him Shakespeare chose to have this build up and this soliloquy to
show the dramatic irony and another more guilty more humane side to

Shakespeare shows the character of Claudius as been a villain, yet he
shows other sides to him which have feeling of guilt showing that the
character is not entirely bad. Claudius is shown as an ambitious and
ruthless king but also as the main source and theme of evil throughout
the play.

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