“No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time” -Laurence Sterne
A majority of the characters in hamlet all face the problem of having conflicting feelings about their actions and desires. One of these characters is the new king of Denmark, Claudius. Claudius must choose between what is right and what is wrong, but his desires get the better of him. Claudius faces two different forces that actually end up illuminating the meaning of this famous piece of literature.
The country of Denmark had a very loved king who was Claudius’ brother and he was a very inspirational leader during their time of war. Claudius had such high ambitions to be the new king that he murdered his own brother in cold blood. This resulted in him being elected as the new king until Hamlet took over. Once he became king, he married his brother’s wife after only a couple of months which then Hamlet concluded that he was an adulteress. When Hamlet started acting out and acting “mad”, Claudius made plans to send him away and to be killed. Yet, as a man who lost all of his morales, he still felt ashamed of him self and felt that he was an evil man.
As the story progressed, Claudius felt overwhelmed by the evil deeds he had performed. With his brothers blood on his hands, marrying his brother’s wife, and planning to kill his brother’s son, Claudius took to praying. In the scene where Hamlet overlooks Claudius praying, he can see that Claudius is horrified by what he has done, yet feels no sympathy for him. Claudius bears a great weight on his shoulders and feels he is a sinful man.
Claudius’ conflict with himself illuminates the meaning the play, Hamlet, by connecting with the audience. Many audience members can somewhat relate to the issues that Claudius must deal with on a much minor scale. Whether religious or...
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