In act 3, scene 3, Polonius leaves Claudius by himself to pray at his altar, where Claudius admits his motivation for killing his King Hamlet. Interestingly, Claudius mentions that he will not ask God for forgiveness because he is unwilling to surrender his ill-gotten rewards. Claudius says that he is still reaping the benefits of his crime by saying,
"That cannot be, since I am still possessed Of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen" (Shakespeare, 3.3.54-56).
Claudius has not only gained the authority and power of becoming the King of Denmark but has also satisfied his ambition and married Gertrude. In addition to gaining the throne, marrying the queen, and satisfying his ambition, Claudius also inherits guilt and a tortured spirit, which inevitably come along with committing such a heinous act. Claudius is clearly tortured and filled with guilt, and knows that he will be judged in the afterlife for murdering his brother. However, Claudius is unwilling to ask for forgiveness and instead asks for angels to bow his "stubborn knees" and soften his heart.