– Although King Claudius appears to be a kind, innocent ruler, he turns out to be the opposite. Instead, he is evil as demonstrated when he murders his own brother, King Hamlet.
“O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain,
My tables,-meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain” (I.v.106-108)
King Hamlet’s Death
-While King Hamlet’s death appears to be caused by a snake bite, it is really caused by King Claudius who pours poison in his ear and kills him.
“’Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me; So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abus’d: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown.” (I.iv.35-39)
– Even though God gives women one face, they put makeup on and give themselves another face. So, their true face is covered up by makeup, causing them to appear a lot different than they are in reality.
“I have heard of your paintings well enough; God
hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another” (III.i.144-145)
– Despite the fact that Hamlet appears to be mad, in reality, he is acting mad to distract others from his plan to murder Claudius and avenge his father’s death.
“I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind
is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw” (II.ii.377-378)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
– Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s childhood friends, appear to be loyal to him. In addition, it appears as if they are trying to help Hamlet through his madness. However, their loyalty truly lies with King Claudius.
“‘Sblood, do you think
I am easier to be play’d on than a pipe? Call me
what instrument you will, though you can fret me,
yet you cannot play upon me” (III.ii.363-366)