Claudius and Hamlet: Start of play The relationship between Claudius and Hamlet is significant because it adds a sense of tension and conflict to the play, and is the first portrayal of a possible antagonist in the story, that person being Claudius.
Questions from the start of the play. King Claudius and Queen Gertrude be so unaffected by King Hamlet’s death? Is Claudius happy that his brother is dead, because now he can take the throne? Gertrude probably had to marry Claudius after King Hamlet died, but did she really want to? Why doesn’t the Queen want Hamlet to go to Wittenberg? What was Hamlet doing in Wittenberg? Why would Hamlet agree to stay in Denmark if he dislikes it so much?
Gertrude “Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity.” (72) I thought that this line was interesting because of how Queen Gertrude is essentially telling Hamlet to “shake it off” and to not be so sad and moppy about his father’s death. It almost sounds as if she is trying to justify, or make sense of his death, saying that everything dies eventually, as if that is somehow supposed to make Hamlet feel better. I thought that maybe she is saying those things to also make herself feel better, to make her feel less guilty that she now married her Husbands brother, and so soon after his funeral. I thought it was a little strange at how she has such a lack of empathy for Hamlet, or understanding, and thought that maybe it is because she is in slight denial.
Relationship with Hamlet and Horatio Unlike Claudius and Hamlet, Horatio and Hamlet seem to have a friendly relationship. When seeing Horatio Hamlet says “I am glad to see you well” and “Sir, my good friend.” Such introductions feel friendly and light, making me think that Horatio and Hamlet genuinely like one another. Hamlet also confides in Horatio in expressing his disgust and anger at his uncle Claudius, saying “The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish the marriage tables…” I think this shows he feels comfortable with Horatio, or at least comfortable enough to say his true thoughts. Hamlet goes on to talk about his father, and says he is constantly thinking of him. Horatio then precedes to tell Hamlet about that ghost he saw of his father. If Hamlet was a mean prince who was unkind to guards, and people of lower status, I’m not so sure Horatio would have told Hamlet about the ghost. Horatio seems quite willing to tell Hamlet about the ghost, and even wants to tell him, which I think shows again their friendly relationship, and one of respect.
Polonius “I must tell you you do not understand yourself so clearly as it behooves my daughter and your honor.” Ophelia’s father, Polonius, clearly takes the fatherly and authoritative role over his daughter. He is basically telling her that she doesn’t know herself, or what she wants. I thought that this line was interesting because it’s a very bold statement to make, and shines a light on the relationship that Ophelia and her father have. Ophelia’s father is obviously a male, which certainly contributes to his authoritative nature. As he talked to Ophelia, I thought about Queen Gertrude, and how she too is more or less under the control of a male figure, King Claudius. Women seem to have a lower social status than the males in the play, which could be an important factor in the rest of the play as far as what Ophelia or even the Queen can decide about their future, or what happens to their kingdom.
First scene The first soliloquy also plays an important role in presenting the state of the important relationships which existed in the drama. One of the prominent relationships highlighted in the first soliloquy is that of Hamlet and Gertrude. Gertrude is not shown to be neither a stereotypical queen nor a stereotypical mother, who would mourn in grief of her husband’s death as well as taking care of, supporting and consoling her son after his father’s death. Her character is shown to be a moderately corrupt character as she gets married to her husband’s brother within two months of her husband’s death, irrespective of this being unapproved by her son. This very well shows her unsupportive and uncaring behaviour. Her marriage to Claudius changes Hamlet’s perspective about Gertrude and Elder Hamlet’s Relationship as well. Hamlet knew that his father is deeply in love with Gertrude and would go to any extremes for her protection “so loving to my mother, That he might not be teem the winds of heaven; Visit her face too roughly”. After his father’s death, he observed his mother’s mourning where she wept like Niobe, a mythological tragedy wherein a woman turned into a stone fountain due to her excessive weeping “With which she followed my poor father’s body; Like Niobe, all tears.”. However, Hamlet then hints that his mother’s sorrow and tears were all fake since she soon forgot all the sorrow and mourning for Elder Hamlet and married Claudius
1 Hamlet, is wrought with tragedy and themesof revenge, but it is equally notable for the deception and lies that the players have towards eachother. Throughout the play, characters hatch plans and spy on each other, creating a high tensionmood. Shakespeare does this in order to add dramatic tension, but also to convey the human truththat everyone lies. Character development, play structure and the nature of the play are used toshow how the only way to achieve truth is to accept the lies of others.
2 Shakespeare uses themes of madness betweenHamlet and Ophelia, accusation of guilt between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the masksof Polonius and Claudius to demonstrate that not only is there “something rotten in the state ofDenmark”, but there is also something rotten in human nature (I.5.100).
3 The Ghost reveals that he is, in fact, the ghost of Hamlet’s father. The revenge plot is established with the Ghost’s utterance, “So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear” (1.5.7). He tells Hamlet that he was poisoned by his brother Claudius as he slept in his orchard and, if Hamlet is not already feeling the desire, the Ghost makes plain the demand: “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (25).
hamlettt To be certain of Claudius’s guilt, Hamlet decides to re-enact the murder of his father with the production of The Murder of Gonzago (known also as the play within the play or The Mousetrap). If Claudius is disturbed by the play it will reveal his guilt. Hamlet stages The Murder of Gonzago and Hamlet and Horatio agree that the agitated Claudius has behaved like a guilty man during the production
important Hamlet kills Polonius, mistaking him for Claudius as he hides behind a curtain.
hamlet and ophellia . Laertes warns his sister, Ophelia, that Hamlet’s love is fleeting. Her father, Polonius, also fears that Hamlet will make false vows, and so he demands she end their relationship. Ophelia agrees and Laertes leaves for Paris. 2. Hamlet appears in Ophelia’s chamber, pale and disheveled. His condition frightens her and she runs to tell Polonius about the encounter. Polonius assumes Ophelia’s rejection of Hamlet has driven him insane. (2.1) 3. Polonius reports Hamlet’s strange behavior to Claudius, presenting a love letter from Hamlet to Ophelia. (2.2)4. At the urging of Claudius, Polonius sends Ophelia to learn more about Hamlet’s condition. She greets him and he verbally assaults her. (3.1)5. Hamlet, in his mother’s chamber, hears someone hiding behind a drape. Thinking it is Claudius, Hamlet stabs through the fabric and mortally wounds Polonius. Hamlet drags Polonius’s body out of the room. (3.4) 6. Hamlet’s malicious behavior and Polonius’s murder have rendered Ophelia completely insane. Laertes blames Hamlet for his sister’s condition and vows revenge. (4.5)7. Hamlet’s mother brings news that Ophelia has drowned. (4.7)8. Hamlet and Horatio encounter Ophelia’s funeral procession. Hamlet is overcome with grief and cries, “I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers/Could not, with all their quantity of love/Make up my sum.” (5.1.270-72) 9. Hamlet and Laertes duel and they both receive fatal wounds from Laertes’s poisoned-tipped sword. Before they die they exchange words of forgiveness and the subplot of Hamlet and Ophelia comes to a close. (5.2)
king hamlet Though we see nothing of the elder Hamlet on the stage, except his ghost, it is really he who is the main-spring of all the action of the play. It was the desire to gain his crown that had impelled Claudius to the murder, and it is the filial duty of Hamlet to his father that urges him to his revenge upon the king. This conflict, then, of the murderer and the avenger of the elder Hamlet constitutes the main plot of the play, and from this grows the entire narrative. There are many evidences in the play that the elder Hamlet was a very different man from his brother Claudius. Not only was one the innocent victim and the other the cold-blooded fratricide, but the rule of the two kings was as different as possible. Under the elder Hamlet the kingdom of Denmark had been honorable at home and respected abroad. It seems to have been a kingdom which both citizen and alien recognized as strong and good. But under Claudius the good name of Denmark had been lost, and the wholesome fear of her just power had passed away. Corruption and debauchery now stalk through the land, and foreign powers think it weak and debased. On the confession of Claudius himself it appears that young Fortinbras thinks its weakness affords him a good opportunity to make war upon Denmark, and a fitting time to seize the lands that his father had lost to the elder Hamlet. It is for this reason that he is now threatening Denmark, and if we can judge from the condition of the land, he might reasonably look for a complete triumph. Horatio’s explanation of the war preparations to Marcellus and the others. It is evident from this speech that he was a most noble king, who ruled solely in the interests of his kingdom, and not in his personal interests. He had no ambitions, and in no way molested any of his neighbors, but kept his land in prosperity and peace. He was not, however, a weak but a very valiant king, “For so this side of our known world esteem’d him” (I. i. 85), as Horatio goes on to say. He made no wars, but did not hesitate to go to war to defend his own. He would not attempt to plunder any other kingdom, nor would he permit any other to plunder him. He was a peaceable king, but not a peace-at-any-price king.
pol and haml The death of Polonius has given great difficulty, and even offense; its object should be fully comprehended, for it not only illustrates the character of Hamlet, but also is one of the leading motives of the play. No other incident shows so deep a design, or is so appropriate for its purpose. Hamlet, acting blindly through impulse, slays the wrong one; the result is — guilt. This warning, therefore, speaks from the rash act: Let no rational being give up control to impulse which cannot see, cannot distinguish, the nature of a deed. Man must, therefore, reflect before proceeding to action. But, through reflection, Hamlet is unable to slay the right one; thus he cannot perform the great injunction laid upon his soul. Such is his dilemma; if he acts, it is through impulse, and he falls into guilt; if he reflects, he cannot act — that is, he cannot do the Great Deed of his life, and so commits, at least, a sin of omission.
delay on killing Claudius Hamlet’s father’s ghost sent him on a difficult errand, and he always tried to go, resolving, re-resolving, and ending the same. It was not that he was unfaithful, and did not want to go, but that he had never finished thinking the matter out. The moment he was about to do the work, up came a new speculation, a new refinement. He split the straw, but then there were two straws. He indulged in any pretext for the glorious power of doing nothing, thinking the matter over again, and gaining a conscientious-looking excuse for delay. He would rather the deed were put on him by accident than that he should essay to do it; and so he stands waiting until the fates float the King towards him to be killed instead of going to seek him; and all the while wondering and wishing, and now blaming himself that the work is still to do, and even wondering at the craven scruples of conscience or forecast which prevented its being done. So strongly has Shakespeare carried out this idea, that two of the most terrible passages in the play are the result. One of these is the passage in which Hamlet, finding the King at prayers in his closet, refuses to kill him, because his soul would then go to heaven, but says that he will wait until lust and sin come back, and when his soul would be at the door of hell. He is perpetually putting it off, because he is not ready, because he has not done thinking about it. Would it be executing judgment, to kill a man who did not know he was about to be killed? Should the executioner strike his victim from behind? And with what looks like the perfection of malice, like the outcome of demoniacal passion, Hamlet says he will not kill him now, lest he should send him to heaven, but will kill him at some time favourable for his going to hell. Hamlet was not working out a private revenge; that after the visitation of the Ghost he was merely the sword of some great invisible power, that in that capacity he had to exercise due vengeance on a murderer, and that his duty was not therefore to send the King’s soul to heaven, but to wait till he was at the door of hell, when by a short stroke, he should cause him so to fall that he should push the door open, and find ready entrance. That is, supposing Hamlet to be impersonal in the matter, the agent of fate, of destiny, of holy law. But this, in all probability, was not Hamlet’s reason. There was no earnestness in his speech, except as an excuse for doing nothing. When Hamlet had not got time to think, he was prompt enough. When he ran Polonius through, he did it quickly; there was then no room for his indecision, his scrupulous conscience, his over-refinement. When Hamlet did a thing well, it was simply because there was no time to think about it. His promptitude arose from his inability to exercise his Teutonic introspection. Those fine sophistries as to the consequences of killing the King at the moment, are the excuses which conscience has always ready when it would either draw us into sin, or excuse us in the non-doing of a duty. When at last the catastrophe comes, it is floated to him. Hamlet does not kill the King, but the King gets killed; he does not fulfil the catastrophe, but the catastrophe is fulfilled through him; it comes rather by destiny and fate, than the strong will of man. The catastrophe clashes severely with the notions of those who are admirers of poetic justice, and who cannot bear that the rights and unrights should go down into one grave: but it was the poet’s duty, not to set forth poetic justice, but the laws of this world as they are; and we know that the great universal laws of God work in universals; that God never moves out of his way, because there are righteous men in danger of being crushed, or holy men in danger of being punished; and nothing is so solemn as to mark how evil courses drag into their vortexes the just and innocent, the pious and holy.
madness In the play the only persons who regard Hamlet as really mad are the king and his henchmen, and even these are troubled with many doubts. Polonius is the first to declare him mad, and he thinks it is because Ophelia has repelled his love. He therefore reports to the king that “Your noble son is mad” (II. ii. 92), and records the various stages leading to his so-called madness (II. ii. 145-150). No sooner, however, has he reached this conviction than Hamlet’s clever toying with the old gentleman leads him to admit that “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” (II. ii.203-4.) At the start of the play, when Hamlet has met the ghost of his father, he plots to prove Claudius is the old king’s murderer. (In fact, Old Hamlet has charged Hamlet with the task of avenging his death.) With this is mind, Hamlet says he will pretend madness, expecting that people will let their guard down if they believe Hamlet is insane. He insists that he acts crazy only to discover the truth of his father’s murder, but really knows what is going on.Hamlet acts crazy with everyone, even poor Ophelia. He is extremely unsure who he can trust, so he puts on “an antic disposition” in order to throw everyone off. He cannot trust Ophelia as she is a dutiful daughter, and Polonius is beyond loyal to the new king, Claudius. Ophelia has no part in the scheming. She is an innocent caught up in the deceit and evil that permeates the castle. Hamlet’s pretended insanity, and then her father’s death, ultimately drive Ophelia insane.
33 At the beginning of the play, Hamlet acts out of pure intellect and processed logic. He suppresses his natural instincts, his emotions, and trusts only in the power of his intelligence. For instance, when Hamlet encounters his father’s ghost, he does not believe it is his father—even though he has an emotional reaction upon seeing it. Hamlet says “Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell / Why thy canoniz’d bones, hearsed in death, / Have burst their cerements . . . Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?” (I.iv.46-48,57). Hamlet is so confused by the sight of his father’s ghost that he is unsure of how to act. His intellect tells him that the sight is not possible, however his emotions tell him otherwise. However, he stifles his emotion and retains his doubts about the ghost. Later, Hamlet plans a play where actors re-enact the king’s murder in an effort to prove the validity of what the ghost has told him.
5 When Hamlet asks the captain about the cause and purpose of the conflict, he is shocked to learn that the countries’ armies will go to war over “a little patch of land / That hath in it no profit but the name” (IV.iv.98-99). After Hamlet recovers from the shock of the captain’s honesty, he is dumbstruck by the thought that Fortinbras would sacrifice the lives of thousands of men for an admittedly inferior “patch of land.” At this point in the play, Hamlet is still struggling with his own inaction, unable to kill Claudius even though he knows of his guilt. Hamlet has a good reason to kill Claudius, yet he fails to do it. How can Fortinbras sacrifice so much for such a futile purpose? In this scene, Hamlet realizes the brutality of humanity and first ponders the idea that no one is safe—another central pillar of existentialism.
women portrayed Both Gertrude and Ophelia are complaint to the men in their lives.Although Ophelia is obedient out of purity and naivety, she followers her father and brothers words believing they know best for her even if they don’t care for her true feelings.Gertrude is complaint out of the need for everything to be of status quo, perfection, even greed. She has no purity. She is shallow, and lacks faith.Both of these women twist Hamlets view of women in general. He believes that they are weak and only follow the word of a strong man and not their own minds or heart, they will betray him. His loss of faith in women is mainly of his mothers fault of her unfaithfulness to her dead husband, Ophelia just confirmed it when she betrayed him for her father.
horatio He keeps the audience sympathetic to Hamlet and he is a well liked characterHe does not take part in any deception and lacks self-interest.At the end of the play he is the only one left alive which suggest that honesty and faithfulness will always win.
hamlet act 1 scence 2 Prince Hamlet is still seen in mourning clothes. Claudius and Gertrude question him on the same and Hamlet talks of the mourning duties of a son to his beloved father. Claudius tries to make Hamlet understand that a son has to lose his father and it is the nature of life. He even goes further to console the Prince and asks Hamlet to consider him as his father. Gertrude urges Hamlet to stay in Denmark and not to leave for Wittenberg. Hamlet obeys the wishes of his mother; although, he seems not convinced with the decision of staying back himself.
, asks his son to leave alone Gertrude who got involved in an incestuous affair because of lust and the influence of Claudius. As the ghost exits, Hamlet falls into a dismal state unable to digest the truth which was revealed by the apparition
bad Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, courtiers and friends of Hamlet are summoned by the King and the Queen to know about the changed behaviour of Hamlet.
Polonius at length explains the reason for Hamlet’s madness to be his daughter – Ophelia. In order to test his theory, he asks the three of them to conceal themselves behind an arras and arrange a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia at the same place. According to Polonius, this act would allow them to understand whether Hamlet is really mad due to love for Ophelia or is there any other reason and Claudius accepts for the plan explained by the Lord Chamberlain. Gertrude observes the approaching Hamlet and Polonius declares his interest to speak with him. Therefore, the King and the Queen exit.
act 3 a and starts to talk with her. Ophelia tries to return to Hamlet the tokens of love, but Hamlet denies that he has given any. Hamlet angrily detests that he never loved her and curses women for having the ability to make men monsters. Hamlet’s conversation gradually evolves into a rage and he curses all of mankind and expresses his wish to restrict marriages in the world and send everyone to nunneries and leaves hastily. Ophelia is left to mourn of the dismal state of Hamlet.Claudius, who was hiding and listening, understands that Hamlet is not mad in love, but there is a secret melancholy torturing him. He states that if this broods, it can prove very dangerous; hence, he decides to send Hamlet to England again where the change in scenery could help heal him from the pangs of sadness. He states that madness is great men, should never be taken with indifference and it should be watched constantly.
Hamlet intends to find any guilt or remorse in the face of Claudius when the play will be performed and asks Horatio to observe the same. He speaks very well to Horatio, but as he sees the King and the Queen enter he shifts his predicament and acts as insane. Claudius shows signs of discomfort and asks to light the torches. Claudius leaves the play and the rest of the audience follow him resulting in the play to halt.
Claudius immediately understands the danger of having Hamlet with him in the castle; therefore, he asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to escort the Prince back to London so that his mad behaviour can be sorted out. The two courtiers make haste to prepare for their journey; meanwhile, Polonius enters to remind of his plan to slip into the room of Gertrude so that he can hear the conversation between Hamlet and the Queen. Polonius declares that he will explain everything that happens in the room and leaves. The King, now alone, is over come by guilt and ruminates on the words of the players who speak of sinuous nature of killing a brother. Although, Claudius feels miserable for his actions; he is not prepared to lose the Kingdom and Queen he acquired through the murder. However, in a slight hope of getting pardoned he kneels down and starts to pray.
Claudius is praying, Hamlet enters the room without the notice of anyone and decides to kill Claudius. But, Hamlet restrains himself by thinking that if Claudius is killed during his prayers, he will go to Heaven and it will not be a fitting revenge to his father. Therefore, he decides to leave Claudius for the moment and kill him when he is either involved in lustful actions, showing anger or when he is drunk, which would lead his soul to damnation. Hamlet leaves Claudius to his prayer and Claudius rises up confessing that his prayers were not sincere.
Gertrude seeks answers for being rude with Claudius, Hamlet speaks of the offense she has done to ‘his’ father (King Hamlet). Hamlet tries to make her fully aware of the sins she has committed by marrying the brother of her husband only after a few days after his death. Gertrude feels that the intention of Hamlet is to kill her and shouts for help and Polonius hiding behind the arras does the same. The Prince realizes that someone is hiding behind the arras and shouts out “rat” and with the sword stabs the man concealed behind the tapestry. Hamlet thinks that it is Claudius, but finds out that it is the Lord Chamberlain Polonius. Gertrude is aghast with the bloody deed of Hamlet and Hamlet replies that this deed is as bloody as marrying a man who murdered her own husband.
Hamlet compares his dull and procrastinated advances with that of Fortinbras, who for a patch of land marches to Poland. So, he gathers the will to act and determines his mind to execute the bloody deeds he intends to do to avenge the death of his father, King Hamlet.
Laertes is happy to hear of the news, as he seeks revenge for his father’s death. Claudius thinks of a way to kill Hamlet that doesn’t spoil his reputation as a King and he starts to praise the fencing skills of Laertes. Claudius declares that once Hamlet was jealous about the sword handling skills of Laertes and plans to conduct a duel between the two.
They plan to use a sharp sword for Laertes instead of a dull fencing blade in the duel and poison the edge of the sword so that a small scratch also can kill the Prince. Claudius goes beyond the result of the duel and decides to offer a poisoned cup of wine to Hamlet, if by chance he emerges victorious. He uses mental instability of Laertes to make him think that Hamlet is the one who killed Polonius on purpose. Although, Hamlet did kill Polonius, it was not deliberate and there is fault of Polonius
Hamlet declares that he would even crocodiles for Ophelia and would accept to get buried along with her. As the quarrel between Hamlet and Laertes intensifies, they are pulled apart. The King and the Queen declare that the Prince is behaving out of his madness. Hamlet, followed by Horatio, rush off from the churchyard. Claudius tries to calm down Laertes and remind him of the plan to kill Hamlet in the duel.
The Prince wins the first hit but resists drinking from the cup, he wins the second hit and resists again. Unfortunately, Gertrude takes the cup and drinks part of the wine. Claudius tries to prevent her, but she takes the win and the King murmurs aside that the cup is poisoned.Laertes feels that using a poisonous sword to kill hamlet is not completely acceptable within his moral sense; however, he fights Hamlet and is able to draw blood from the Prince. During the scuffle after the hit, the swords of Hamlet and Laertes are exchanged and Hamlet wounds Laertes with the poisonous sword unaware that the tip is poisoned.
orwell Orwell has a very distinct philosophical way of writing out situations. He can turn something that we would view as a minor incident into something political and profound. -Orwell delights, the unglamorous subject matter, the unnoticed detail (”a toad has about the most beautiful eye of any living creature”) the baleful glare, the profound belief in humanity. Because what the piece is really about, of course, is not the toad itself, but the thrill of that most promising time of year, the spring, even as seen from Orwell’s dingy Islington flat. -very straightforward, logical style.was personally reflective and unafraid to write about himself in a self-deprecating manner, as in “Shooting an Elephant”