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Word Count: 696
In Shakespeares play Hamlet Act I Scene II Claudius presents himself to be arrogant authoritative as well as compassionate as the new King of Denmark The role of Claudius is known to be the most intriguing and crucial character in this tragedy Claudius is the most controversial the most mysterious and the most talked about character in this play According to the quotation presented in The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli Every one sees what you appear to be few really know what you are and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many who have the majesty of the state to defend them Machiavelli speculated that the strongest leaders are ones who are able to carefully balance appearances to hisher benefit strategically using them to strengthen hisher regime If Machiavelli was indeed correct then Claudius from Shakespeares Hamlet starts off as an ideal Machiavellian prince In Act I Scene II Claudius appears to have complete control over Denmark as evidenced by his imposing speech to the court Therefore our sometime sister now our queen Thimperial jointress to this warlike state Have we as twere with a defeated joy With an auspicious and a dropping eye With mirth in funeral and dirge in marriage In equal scale weighing delight and dole Taken to wife 12 8-14 In this scene Claudius who has only recently taken the throne after the death of his brother addresses some pressing issues Seeking to create a strong early impression Claudius uses his words very carefully taking great pains to both mourn his late brother and celebrate his marriage Claudius words of Therefore our sister now our queen show the incestuous relationship existing between Gertrude and himself Furthermore with the words imperial jointress to this warlike state he justifies the potentially controversial union by making it appear like a benefit to the entire kingdom Claudius is clearly a wise politician for he deliberately emphasizes the contrast between his
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