Theme Of Evil In Hamlet

1257 Words 6 Pages
Evil: To Be or Not to Be?
“I think all villains have something in common: they have something that they need or want very, very badly. The stakes are very high and they are not bound by moral codes or being ethical, so they can do anything and will do anything to get what they want.’’ (Murphy, Donna). Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a melting pot of violent characters surrounded by tragic, turmoil-filled pasts. Among all the grief and tears, a character of selfish means - propelled by his psychopathic tendencies - tries to pave his path to glory and wealth through marriage and murder. Claudius’ gluttonous nature results in his portrayal as the villain of Hamlet because of his double murder of regicide and fratricide, his marriage to his former sister-in-law,
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Claudius is the epitome of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, he not only murdered his elder brother, but he killed him while he was sleeping peacefully in the courtyard of Elsinore, “Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole / With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, and in the porches of mine ears did pour/ The lecherous distilment whose effect […] Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust / All my smooth body.”(Shakespeare, 1.5. 63-74 ). It was such a cruel and vindictive act that propelled him towards the position that he sought to have held as the king of Denmark. Claudius, is shown to be the true villain because of the nature of the murder of his King, but also in his lack of guilt until the end of the novel, “My stronger guilt, defies my stronger intent/ And like a man in business bound/ I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect.” (Shakespeare, 3.3.41-43). He was completely self-serving and his come to Jesus came too little too late in the play, he had already been enjoying his role as King for far too long and had not taken any measures to emphasize his sincerity in his remorse. Claudius’s arrogance was very becoming and lent him a cold-calculating demeanor. Claudius’s overwhelming excitement over his successful murder and cautious deliberations in bringing the royal family together in a way that would not …show more content…
The chasm between both nephew and uncle cum father-in-law becomes larger as the details of Old Hamlet’s death become available and the circumstances of his subsequent marriage come into light as the play develops. Claudius’s marriage to Gertrude, former wife of Old King Hamlet and sister-in-law, is a final touch of mockery to his late brother’s memory because he has stolen all which has held meaning to him; his son, wife and his kingdom. The primary reason for their union is so that they can both maintain the life to which they are accustomed, Gertrude, and to further their political ambitions in the hopes of proving to be the best king, Claudius, that Denmark has ever had to the knowledge of its populace. Claudius remains ever the sociopath, in that, he did not at any point in his marriage of convenience to Gertrude, appear to have underlying feelings for his new wife, and it can be proven that the husband that she had would not likely have mattered because she was spoken down to and mocked at all turns by her lover, “Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr’d/ Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone this affair long.” (Shakespeare, 1.2. 14-16). There was no such circumstance in which a male in the castle demonstrated

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