Hamlet: Claudius Speech

At the beginning of Act 1 Scene 2, Shakespeare introduces us to Claudius, the uncle of Hamlet who becomes king after King Hamlet’s death and quickly marries Hamlet’s mother. In his first speech in the play, Claudius makes deliberate choices as the speaker by using careful wording and key phrases to manipulate his audience. Through literary techniques and some clues in the speech, we also learn many things about Claudius’ character and his state of mind. These clues that help uncover his true intentions can be found in his tone, through some key phrases and his quick transition from mourning the dead king to celebrating his new marriage.
      Throughout the entire speech, Claudius tone does not change, even though he is talking about his brother’s recent death and the joy of his new marriage to his brother’s wife, Gertrude. His tone is very relaxed, fluent and confident, which suggests that he is not all that emotional about King Hamlet’s death. His tone and careful wording could also suggest that this speech was well rehearsed before giving it in front of his court, however, his audience might not realize these things and just interpret his calm tone as a way to make those around him more comfortable with his marriage to Gertrude. This interpretation is most likely what Claudius was aiming at when giving his speech.
      The reason why Claudius gives this speech is clearly shown through his deliberate choices as the speaker and the structure of the speech. In the beginning, tries to appeal to his audience by remembering his brother and acknowledging his recent death, however, his also focuses on the celebration of his new marriage to Gertrude. This proves his motive to try and get his subjects to move on from the king’s death and embrace the new king and queen. He does this by a very quick transition in his speech so his audience would buy into his false persona as a loving person and over look his speedy marriage to his dead brother’s wife.
      While giving...