Hamlet V. Claudius

1165 words 5 pages
Hamlet vs. Claudius:
A Fight to Remember

In the literary classic, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, controversy meets corruption. The monarch of Denmark, King Hamlet, is murdered by his jealous brother, Claudius. While the son of the king, Prince Hamlet, is away at school, Claudius seizes the throne and marries the adulterous Queen Gertrude. Hamlet returns to Denmark finding his father dead, his mother remarried, and his uncle the king. Grief succumbs Hamlet and his only relief is from the truth told by the ghost of his late father. The ghost reveals the true nature of his death and relies on Hamlet to avenge his wrongful end. The plot thickens, as Hamlet must find a way to expose Claudius' evil ways and regain the throne as the
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These qualities are the differences that give them the potential to be good or evil. Such differences include the ambition of each character. Specifically, Claudius is a very ambitious man who acts impulsively to attain what he desires. He murders his own brother in jealousy and seizes the throne and queen for himself, as told by the ghost, "The serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown" (24). Claudius also plots for the death of Hamlet without preparing for the following consequences. Opposite to Claudius are Hamlet's ways of planning, but not acting. Hamlet knows he must avenge King Hamlet's death, but cannot bring himself to do it for fear of the consequences. This apathetic action is seen in the "to be, or not to be" speech when Hamlet says, "whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer…or take arms against a sea of troubles…" (53). It is also seen earlier in Hamlet's lines of, "but I am pigeoned-liver'd and lack gall" (50). In addition to ambition, Hamlet and Claudius illustrate dissimilarities of reason. While Hamlet is plotting against the king in vengeance for his father's death, Claudius plots only for the sake of himself. It seems that Hamlet has a justifiable reason for his scheme; however, Claudius acts with self-preservation above his conscience. On a more personal level, Hamlet and Claudius display exceptionally different reactions at the death of their significant other. At the


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