How does a comparison and contrast of Hamlet and Claudius in Shakespeare's Hamlet help highlight the character of Hamlet?

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In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince Hamlet believes that his Uncle Claudius murdered his father to marry his mother and take the throne; based on the advice of his father's ghost, he decides to kill his uncle for the betrayal. In order to understand how a comparison of the two men highlights Hamlet's character, one must consider how the similarities and differences make Hamlet himself appear. Ultimately, comparing and contrasting Claudius with Hamlet serves to better illustrate what kind of man Hamlet is and why the play ends as it does.

Both Hamlet and Claudius are driven, dedicated men. Claudius is driven to become the king and amass power, while Hamlet is driven to avenge his father. The two men's conflicting goals don't take away from the similar single-minded focus they have on achieving them. From the moment Hamlet meets his father's ghost, his entire personality changes; he decides to act crazy so that he can investigate what Claudius did to his father. Similarly, Claudius decided...

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