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A Souls Calamity Essay

1922 words - 8 pages

“All cruelty springs from hardheartedness and weakness.” The Roman philosopher, Seneca, enlightens us that weakness is a cause for calamity. A man’s flaws define his individual character. William Shakespeare presents Hamlet, a tragedy, where the character’s downfalls are caused by their own weaknesses. Claudius, Laertes and Hamlet are just three of the characters who can be analyzed for their weaknesses. King Claudius finds himself trapped with guilt between his wife and his nephew. His cowardliness, pride and selfishness steer him to his death. Over passionate and quick to act; Laertes’ recklessness guides him to take part in a backfiring plan. This character foil to Hamlet dies because of his own foolishness and miscalculation. Hamlet the tragic hero of the story is an over thinker, he is a man of consideration and not a man of action. His weaknesses destroy him from within.Claudius’ cowardly actions lead him towards his demise. Upon taking the thrown, King Claudius uses his power to send others to do his dirty work. The play develops and as Hamlet begins to realize the monstrous identity of his uncle; he becomes an issue. When he was suspicious of Hamlets behaviour, he sends Polonius to spy on him and gather information. However, Claudius being the coward he is, stays back behind the protection of his beloved wife; the mother of his enemy. Furthermore, Claudius uses his manipulative speech to convince Hamlets two best friends against him towards his advantage. Claudius plays Guildenstern and Rosencrantz like an instrument and uses them to converse with Hamlet to discover the origin of his strange behaviour. He doesn’t want to deal with Hamlets insanity personally, therefore makes others do it for him. In addition, upon persuading the overzealous Laertes, that it was not he who killed his father; convinces him to avenge his father's death through a duel with Hamlet. He says; “Laertes, was your father dear to you? Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, a face without heart.”(4.7.107-110) He uses Laertes as a device to slay Hamlet, while he stays back and watches. In addition, Rather than allowing Laertes only two methods of killing Hamlet, the sharpened sword and the poisoned blade, Claudius insists on a third, the poisoned goblet. When Gertrude accidentally drinks the poison and dies, Hamlet is at last able to bring himself to kill Claudius. The king is defeated by his own cowardly actions. Claudius is a wicked politician and has a great level of leadership. Although he may have governing potential as a great king, we become aware that he is a dishonest man. He is the rottenness of Denmark and corrupts it to satisfy his own appetites. One of Claudius’ worst weaknesses is his pride. Claudius is a man of self-importance and no matter whom the rival is, he will do whatever he wants to obtain his reputation. Firstly, Claudius obtains the thrown through a malevolent manner. He murders his brother...

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