What kind of a King is Claudius in Hamlet? What evidence shows the kind of monarch he is and the kind of man he is?
Shakespeare's Hamlet is set in Denmark in the Middle Ages, at some time between 1100–1500 CE. Until about 1660, Danish kings were elected. In actual practice the eldest son of the reigning king usually was elected King, but it wasn't until after 1660 that the throne of Denmark was formally made hereditary.
When Hamlet's father dies, or, more correctly, when Hamlet's father is murdered by Hamlet's uncle, Claudius—although the Danish people didn't know that—Hamlet is a university student in Wittenberg, Germany.
Denmark is under threat of invasion from Fortinbras , the son of the former King of...
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King Claudius is old Hamlet's brother and nephew to the existing Hamlet...And what an evil man he is!
Claudius married Old Hamlet's wife Gertrude almost immediately after the death of his brother. In fact, Hamlet jokes bitterly that the food served hot at the wake for his father was stored and served cold for the wedding ceremony.
Act 1, Scene 2 is our first introduction to the charecter of Claudius and in first light he appears to be a kindly, able man who cares for the welfare of both his country and family. His long winded speech and acknowledgements, however, are merely a smoke screen to cover up the fact that he has taken the wife, position of power, and the castle of his dead brother whom he murdered by dropping poison in his ear.
The friction between Claudius and Hamlet is clear in this scene. Hamlet is resetful of both Claudius and Gertrude (his mother) and refuses to be taken in by his stepfather's small talk. He belives that his mother and uncle's relationship is based solely on incest and believes that nothing good is to come of it...He may well be correct...