Understandably, the intense relationship between Hamlet and his uncle is not a sturdy bond, even before Hamlet learnt of his father’s murder, and before Claudius began to fear for his safety. It is believed that Hamlet’s distrust and dislike towards Claudius sprung from his mothers “o’erhasty marriage” 2.2.57 and would certainly be the origins of Hamlet’s suspicions. The best scene in which to view the relationship of Hamlet and Claudius would be Scene 3 of Act 4, where Claudius confronts Hamlet about the murder of Polonius.
In this scene, Hamlet does appear to be acting insane, one reason for this being to throw Claudius off. Another examination of this scene shows that Hamlet could be just being cheeky towards Claudius. By this point in the play, Hamlet has discovered Claudius’ secret and has proclaimed him guilty. One perspective states that he now has no reason to show any loyalties to his uncle, and so Hamlet talks in riddles and aims to scare and confuse Claudius. For example, Hamlet farewells Claudius, calling him mother. When corrected, Hamlet states “My mother. Mother and father is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, and so, my mother” 4.3.48-49. While some believe Hamlet says this out of madness, it is widely accepted that Hamlet would be acting, in order to unsettle Claudius.
Hamlet succeeds in troubling Claudius, and because of this, Claudius decides to act. Claudius plans to send Hamlet to England where Hamlet would be executed upon arrival. The fact that Claudius could so easily organise Hamlet’s death shows the fear and panic that exists within Hamlet and Claudius’ relationship. While it is believed that Claudius would have always feared Hamlet, and what he would do if he learnt of the King’s murder, this scene, where Claudius discovers Hamlets murderous intentions and utter madness drives him to action.
One of the most controversial relationships within Hamlet is that between mother and child, and