His actions after his initial villainous crime are representations of his ability to manipulate, showing his intelligence rather than his villainy. He is dangerous. LA 4 - Hamlet is inhuman because of his cynicism; as a result, he becomes isolated with, and even pitted against all … In Hamlet, from William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet plays the main character and as well the hero of the story. King Claudius begins to feel the weight of is wrong-doing when Polonius refers to Hamlet as the devil. Claudius will pay any price to inherit the throne. Although Hamlet was not evil or manipulative in the way that Claudius was, he lacked the characteristics of a good king. If sin is evil, then Hamlet is guilty of being evil when he kills Polonius. But it’s a play with a full cast of characters all interacting intricately with each other. Claudius: What Makes Him Evil Villain: “a bad person who harms other people or breaks the law, or a cruel or evil character in a book, play, or film” (Villian). He tries to send Hamlet to England to be killed, but Hamlet returns. We tend to think that Hamlet, is all about the prince. As the play concludes, Claudius continues to defend his evil spoils. Claudius is without doubt the second character in Hamlet. Claudius says to himself, "O, `tis too … The whole reason for the role of Nemesis to begin in this tragedy is due to King Claudius evil deed of killing King Hamlet. Spies on Hamlet because he wants to win a favor from Claudius. Claudius murdered out of lust for the wife and for the throne. “Claudius makes a good king. Claudius' reign is compared to "an unweeded garden/That grows to seed. Not only does he kill his brother, but he creates a plan to have young Hamlet killed. Claudius’s marriage to Gertrude, former wife of Old King Hamlet and sister-in-law, is a final touch of mockery to his late brother’s memory because he has stolen all which has held meaning to him; his son, wife and his kingdom. Main Purpose: To keep his seat at the throne. Claudius Purely Flawed and Wholly Evil In Hamlet, Prince of Denmark written by William Shakespeare many different types of conflict appear between a multitude of characters and nations. However, Shakespeare has made his character a lot more nuanced. 0 0. Shakespeare uses Claudius in his revenge theme in this play. Hamlet cannot do evil … He is one of Shakespeare’s most manipulative characters. Claudius as Evil in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay 990 Words | 4 Pages. The evil traits of Claudius by far outweigh the good things he does. Hamlet is modivated to kill Claudius; by the same logic, Hamlet is evil. It is too late (V.2.286-288) Polonius. Claudius is undoubtedly considered the main villain in Hamlet, due to the murder of the King. This argument is supported by a possible interpretation… There are many layers of contention in which people battle each other, their … Hamlet: Good And Evil In Shakespeare's Hamlet 1849 Words 8 Pages Shakespeare’s Hamlet is known to be as one of his most famous plays, due to the complexity of the main protagonist Hamlet himself, by showcasing him to the audience in two different lights. Claudius is an evil character who has little remorse for killing his brother and marrying his brother's wife. Claudius later has the intention to kill Hamlet, so he has less to worry about. This shows how truly evil Claudius was. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet foils are used primarily to reveal Hamlet and Claudius as good vs. evil. In modern times, evil has become an entirely ambiguous term. But then he continues and compounds his evil. Claudius is this character. "One can smile, and grin and be a villain" states about him Hamlet. Whereas most of the other important men in Hamlet are preoccupied with ideas of justice, revenge, and moral balance, Claudius is bent upon maintaining his own power. When Hamlet brutally forces Claudius to “drink off this potion” (5.2.357), Hamlet, in essence, does the very same evil act that Claudius did to the former king. Leads to his death. Clearly, Claudius does not even care about the fact that young Hamlet is the son of his wife Gertrude. Hamlet recognizes Claudius’ evil nature beyond simply the murder of his father; Hamlet sees that Claudius is corrupting all of Denmark. But for the sake of your paper, I suppose you could argue that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are evil. Because Hamlet Sr. was the king, Claudius has also committed treason and has destabilized the kingdom. Claudius’ reign is compared to “an unweeded garden/That grows to seed. I pray you, pardon me. Wilson Knight; ‘Hamlet is an…’ Hamlet is an element of evil in the state of Denmark: Wilson Knight; ‘Claudius can hardly…’ Claudius can hardly be blamed for his later actions. Laertes wanted to kill Hamlet, but before death empathized with him. Claudius as Evil in Hamlet by William Shakespeare The abstract concept of evil has vastly transformed throughout human history, ranging for the supernatural and mystical to the very humans amongst whom we live. CLAUDIUS: Gertrude, do not drink. Claudius’s questions echo Hamlet’s earlier doubts about the grief of his own mother, Gertrude, and in this sense Claudius’s questions speak to the play’s larger anxiety about the mismatch between appearance and reality. Claudius. Because the love of Gertrude for Claudius is in Hamlet the beginning of evil, people jump, it is true, to the conclusion that Gertrude, in addition to abandoning her first husband, was accessory to his murder. Yet this quote also works on another level, establishing a contrast between Laertes and Hamlet. Brother of the one whom he murdered Old King Hamlet, current King to the throne and married to Queen Gertrude. Regardless of one's personal idea of evil, Claudius can be seen as a villain from many standpoints. GERTRUDE: I will, my lord. Hamlet, however, cannot merely trust the voice of the ghost, especially if it is a not an "honest" ghost but a demon from hell. Nevertheless, the offender Claudius perhaps not a absolutely "villain" of all melodrama. LA 4 - G. Wilson Knight's interpretation continues - Hamlet is more evil than Claudius. In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Claudius is the protagonist. GERTRUDE: What wilt thou do? Wife killed by his poison. Analysis: - Claudius is evil and selfish. Hamlet, Claudius is an evil king. As King, he could scarcely be expected to do otherwise. Claudius was an evil man with a soul the color of tar. They both are guilty of murdering someone with poison, and if Claudius is considered evil for murdering the former king, then Hamlet must in turn be evil for murdering the current king. Hamlet’s major antagonist is a shrewd, lustful, conniving king who contrasts sharply with the other male characters in the play. These characters are sometimes referred to as "Foils”. King Claudius, as seen in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is both intelligent and well-spoken, two traits that, put together, complement his manipulative and dangerous nature.In fact though, it is his conscience that makes Claudius such a complex villain. Things rank and gross in nature/Possess it merely" (I.ii.135-7), his influence causing the destruction of a previously beautiful environment. No one in Hamlet can be considered truly evil. His victims are silly Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern -- also inspired by his scheming to betray their friend, before the tables turned. (drinks) CLAUDIUS: (aside) It is the poisoned cup. The Lady. He is a careful ruler and a loving husband, providing stability for his country and his wife” “Murderer of the rightful king, Claudius is the play‘s hateful, lying villain.” Hamlet cannot wantonly kill Claudius at the slightest opportunity even though such a moment presents itself when the king appears contrite and in prayer. We see the proof of this in Claudius' soliloquy when he appears to be praying; "O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven./It hath the primal eldest curse upon't/A brother's murder" (Shakespeare III336-38). Claudius is a character in Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. They are forced on him. Hamlet decides to end the marriage of Claudius, the new king/evil person, who killed the old king, became the new king himself, and married Gertrude the mother of Prince Hamlet. Highest social hierarchical and authoritarian status. ... middle of paper ... Claudius appears to be a powerful man, yet harbors a decided weakness for wine and revelry. In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', is Claudius a careful ruler, a good king and loving husband, or is he a hateful, lying villain? At times Claudius discovers even the "penitential" disposition. Consequently, in the Shakespearean play Hamlet, Claudius wrongs young Hamlet in numerous ways. Claudius would stop at nothing to find a way to ensure he always had what he wanted. However, this is not how Claudius truly feels about his brothers death, for Claudius is the one who murders elder Hamlet. His indecisive nature and spontaneous violent outbursts would have made him unsuitable to govern the kingdom. King Claudius is a fictional character and the primary antagonist of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.He is the brother to King Hamlet, second husband to Gertrude and uncle and later stepfather to Prince Hamlet.He obtained the throne of Denmark by murdering his brother with poison and then marrying the late king's widow. He is very ambitious, perhaps too ambitious. The ambiguity of evil in William Shakespeare's Hamlet forces spectators to interpret each character's thoughts, actions, and personality in order to place them properly on the gradient of evil. Often, the reader learns about the characteristics of the good and the evil through less important characters. The embodiment of all Evil from the play is currently Claudius. He murders his brother and marries his brother’s wife. 1 decade ago. While Claudius possess many human qualities, Hamlet lacks these. Evil. The opening of the play has Hamlet in mourning for the death of his father who was the king of Denmark. Without the acts of Claudius, this theme just would not be. Good versus evil is a common theme in literature. Throughout the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, a corrupting disease plagues Denmark and the people within it.The incestuous marriage between Gertrude and Claudius, in addition to murdering King Hamlet, is the main example of deceit, corruption and evil. 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