Interpretations of Claudius and Hamlet - Hamlet

Write a mini essay on your interpretation of Hamlet and Claudius in the play. Test your ideas against other interpretations.

I believe that the characters of Hamlet and Claudius are certainly two of the most penetrating and inescapable figures in English literature. Shakespeare pits these two characters in opposition to each other, exploring intricately the depths and feelings of the protagonist and the antagonist. Claudius’s continuously resurfacing guilty conscience mixed with Hamlet’s sudden and unexpected acts of violence followed with his self-righteous justifications, allows a myriad of interpretations to be made about these two enigmatic characters. However, through my study of critical theories and evaluating Hamlet’s distinctive qualities of form, content and language, I have been able to conceive that Hamlet is indeed the heroic and tragic prince, whilst Claudius is rightly as Hamlet puts it “the canker of our nature”. By referring to Naomi Edward’s Sydney theatre company production of Hamlet and an Elizabethan reading, I will be justifying my interpretation of these two uncertain characters.
I believe that Hamlet can be labelled as a paragon. Hamlet is a man of talents and righteousness, who is the most noble and yet also, artistic in the play. When Claudius tells Hamlet that he is sending him to England, Hamlet does not so much as to utter a word of complaint against his removal from Denmark, but he dutifully and enthusiastically obeys in honour for a king he that knows to be dirty. “I see a cherub that sees them. But, come; for England!” (4.3.50-51). Hamlet’s use of Christian imagery implies that he is able to know the reality of Claudius’s thoughts because of communication that he has with angels. I hold this as evidence of Hamlet’s purity and holiness because it also explains why he could see his father’s ghost, whilst his corrupt mother couldn’t. I think Hamlet’s commendable character stands in stark contrast to the rebellious youth of this...