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Word Count: 388
Claudius A Man Masked in Betrayal and Murder What could be worse than killing your brother Marrying his wife right after Claudius is the shadiest character in Act I of Hamlet Claudius had poured the juice of a hebenon henbane a very poisonous plant into his brothers Hamlet Srs ear Hamlet Sr died quickly but was doomed for a certain term to walk the night Claudius then hurriedly married Gertrude and became king Hamlet knows none of this however yet already holds certain contempt for his step-fatheruncle In scene 2 Claudius gives a very sly speech side-stepping the fact that he is in the middle of a very incestuous relationship He says With an auspicious and a dropping eye With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage In equal scale weighing delight and dole -Taken to wife Claudius tries to beat around the bush and not really explain anything about his marriage to Gertrude No one questions him because he is King but the people are not happy about this situation anyway Claudiuss slick nature somewhat surfaces when he is speaking to Hamlet also He is obviously uncomfortable with the fact that Hamlet is still mourning the death of his father and almost seems to bully him to stop to preserver In obstinate condolement is a course Of impious stubbornness tis unmanly grief It shows a will most incorrect to heaven A heart unfortified a mind impatient An understanding simple and unschooled Claudius of course seems to say this with a face full of smiles as if politely correcting Hamlet but it seems obvious that he is downright afraid of what Hamlet could do if he discovered the truth This is expressed even more when Claudius says we beseech you bend you to remain Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye Our chiefest courtier cousin and our son Keeping his enemies close seems to be his
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