Hamlet Compare And Contrast Hamlet And Claudius

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Every man can lie and deceive, but only the morally devoid can do it well. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the characters of prince Hamlet and king Claudius are both forced to keep their true selves hidden. However, as time goes by it becomes evident that King Claudius is more effective at deceiving the people around him. Both men create their own respective personas to assume. Hamlet assumes the role of a madman to cover up his emotions and inner conflicts. Claudius on the other hand, assumes the role of a great king and kind father. The great deceit both men display is due to their willingness to go to certain extremes to look a certain way to the public. Hamlet is willing to push away and consequently hurt his loved ones to hide his true …show more content…
Hamlet is willing to hurt Ophelia and give up his relationship with her in order to keep up his façade. When Hamlet initially leaves Ophelia, she comes crying to her father saying Hamlet came into her room in a crazed mess, “thrice his head thus waving up and down… [and] Let’s [her] go”(2.1.93-97). Hamlet leaves Ophelia in such a way because he knows that Polonius will relay the message to the King and Queen. Hamlet loves Ophelia, by letting her go, Hamlet knows he is sacrificing a relationship with the woman he loves in order to appear mad. Hamlet also knows that Ophelia loves him very much, and that by leaving her without so much as an explanation that he will destroy her, yet he is still willing to hurt Ophelia and lets her go only so his madman act is more believable and so that Polonius and his parents become aware of his display of methodical madness. While Hamlet is willing to hurt and push away his loved ones in order to perfect his insane act, Claudius is willing to go to much more dangerous and morbid lengths to preserve his great image and create a flawless façade. To make sure Hamlet will not expose the real him, Claudius is prepared to plan Hamlets own murder. After Claudius confirms that Hamlet knows of the murder and is a threat to his “good guy act”, he tells Hamlet he is set for England, and later reveals his letter to the King of England which says that he must help him with ‘”the present death of Hamlet, for like the hectic in [Claudius’] blood, he rages” (4.3.65-66). Claudius is willing to do whatever it may take to tie up his loose ends and perfect his image, all to hide his true self. There is no limit to what Claudius’ will do to remain hidden and prefect his façade, not even the murder of his step son/nephew. Both men are willing to go to extreme lengths in order to hide their true

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