Charlie Webster – 4A3
Power is a common theme throughout the play Hamlet. King Claudius is one of the plays most powerful characters and with power comes corruption. Claudius is a corrupting force that effect most character in the play such as Hamlet, Gertrude, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Polonius and Ophelia. At the beginning of the play we become aware that the King is dead and Claudius has been crowned the new king making him the most powerful man in Elsinore, or so he would like to think.
Most of the characters in the play seem to be corrupt in one way or another. Claudius in his kingship of Denmark is a very influential and devious character. His desire for power was so strong that he killed the king, his own brother and his impatience to be King is so obvious by marrying his sister in law Gertrude within days of his brother dying.
Gaining power by corrupt means leads Claudius to be more corrupt and a bit paranoid. After Hamlets encounter with the ghost of his father, he is distraught to find out that it was Claudius who killed his father, ‘’the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears the crown’’. Hamlet was asked by the ghost to kill Claudius, which he agrees to, which means that hamlet has plans to commit regicide.
Hamlet knows that Claudius is very powerful, and he needs to outsmart him. Hamlet knows that he is not yet powerful enough or that he doesn’t have enough powerful people on his side to kill Claudius, so he creates a plan to pretend to be mad this allows him to investigate Claudius with suspicion.
Claudius become suspicious and paranoid of Hamlet and the threat of losing his power. He passes on his corruption to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern when he asks them to speak to Hamlet and ...