Claudius is a great manipulator of events and people. How does he accomplish his objectives and what is the cost to others in the play?I'm not sure how to describe Claudius in 3 different character...

Claudius is a great manipulator of events and people. How does he accomplish his objectives and what is the cost to others in the play?

I'm not sure how to describe Claudius in 3 different character traits. Could some one help me please.

Expert Answers
kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In some ways, you can just look at two scenes in the play (well, one of them prior to the play's action) to see Claudius' manipulative abilities and what they get him or cost him and others.

The first is of course his murder of Hamlet (Sr.) which lands him the queen, the throne and all of Denmark, basically everything he's ever wanted.  It also costs him a bit in terms of his own guilt and some unsettling of the empire, but he doesn't sweat the fact that Hamlet is out of sorts too much.

As time goes on, he feels more and more threatened by Hamlet and decides he needs to make sure to take care of it.  His attempt to have him killed in England was unsuccessful so he enlists Laertes in his plot.  He poisons Laertes' sword and also a drink of wine to make sure Hamlet gets killed this time.  Of course, this time it costs him everything, the queen is killed by the poisoned drink, Laertes is killed by his own sword (like a woodcock by mine own springe or something to that effect) and Hamlet succeeds in killing Claudius before he too dies and the kingdom is taken over by Fortinbras.