This was the second time for me reading Hamlet. The second time seemed to be much easier to understand. It was this second time that after our class discussions I had put more of a focus on Claudius than on Hamlet himself. The first time reading Hamlet I was so focused on Hamlet and trying to figure out all of his characteristics that I completely put Claudius to the side. But in actuality I really like Claudius better. I love how Shakespeare made him such a manipulative and cunning character. His character brings so much action and interest to the play.
Shakespeare not only made Claudius an evil character towards one character in this play but displayed a truly evil character that was evil towards everyone he came in contact with. I don’t know why I had never seen these attributes before the second reading of Hamlet. Claudius is probably one of the most ruthless characters I have ever read about, and I can say I liked his character. Maybe Shakespeare was demonstrating a little of himself in Claudius. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Shakespeare to achieve recognition in his days and he probably had to be sort of cut-throated to gain some of his popularity and success.
Claudius’s total control over Laertes made me think was there another underlying cause as to why he had so much control over Laertes? Or was he just playing on the fact that Laertes was mourning the death of his father and was vulnerable? This made me wonder if Claudius had ever used Laertes before in an evil plan to kill someone else for him to succeed or accomplish power.
But the ultimate betrayal I thought was how he had manipulated Gertrude into thinking he really cared about Hamlet and his well being. He acted like a caring and devoted husband. And a loving step-father to Hamlet when he really was plotting to get rid of Hamlet to gain power.
Even though the play was titled Hamlet I truly feel that it could of been titled Claudius and still would of had the same recognition as a wonderful play. I have learned this semester that sometimes you need to read these plays twice before you will get a good understanding of everything that is going on not just the obvious. And that class discussions brought great awareness to topics that I still didn’t pick up on the second time around.