Reflection On The Role Of Claudius

Published: 2021-07-12 02:05:05
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Category: Hamlet

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Just like Hamlet had a journey of discovery, I have also had a journey which has helped me discover my character and personality. The role that I played in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is Claudius. King Claudius is the antagonist in the play. Claudius is a villain who values material possessions and power more than he values the other human beings that he interacts with. Claudius is different from the other characters in the play because he is manipulative, cunning and he lacks morals.
While taking on the role of Claudius, I discovered that there are instances when I have been manipulative while interacting with others. I have used coercive power to influence the people into action so that they perform as I expect them to do. For example, I remember manipulating my brother to help me with some money while I was struggling financially. I have discovered that it is the nature of humanity to manipulate one another. The more powerful people are able to manipulate the less powerful. They do this through access to information.
While playing the role of Claudius, I also discovered that he values material possessions more than he values personal interaction with others. I cannot expressly say that I also value material possessions more than I value the people around me. The reason for this is that I can go out of my way to ensure that the people around me are happy. Unlike Claudius, I have taken steps to improve my communication and interpersonal skills in order to boost interaction with people around me. However, I have discovered that just like other humans, my interaction with others has mostly focused on what I can gain from them. This shows the selfish nature of human relationships and experience and the manner in which humans interact with others only for their own good.
Claudius is seen as a selfish and corrupt person who takes over the leadership in Denmark after killing his brother. This shows that humans always want to advance themselves in whatever way they can without considering the interests and plight of others. While playing this character I can state that I am not selfish and power hungry and I know that I cannot engage in an act of killing someone, let alone my brother for the sake of power.
The character of Hamlet can be compared to that of Claudius in which it is seen that Hamlet deserves more empathy when compared to Claudius. Hamlet is an innocent character in the play. However, despite his innocence, he has the burdens of revenge placed on his father’s ghost. The sympathy comes from the fact that he has to avenge and contemplate the killing of Claudius. I sympathize with him because of his young age yet he has to deal with very strong emotions and make important decisions concerning his life. At a young age, he has to deal with the reality that Claudius kills his father. The difference between Hamlet and Claudius sympathy is that Claudius actions are controlled by factors internal of him yet Hamlet’s actions are influenced by external factors (Bristol 72). I sympathize with Claudius because of the manner in which he is controlled by internal selfishness and desire for everything in this life. This makes it difficult for him to engage in rational reasoning and decision making. On the other hand it can be argued that Claudius’s actions are influenced mainly by his human nature; the meaning of this is that it is the nature of most humans to want to have everything while relating with other people.
There are some elements that are still missing from the study of Hamlet. Personally I feel that I still need to read more about the concept of revenge. I will need to understand the objectives of revenge and what I can do to fight off the feeling of revenge in case I am hurt by one person. This will help me improve on my relations with the people around me.
One of the things that I experienced during the performance is stage fright. This is characterized by nervousness while appearing before an audience. Initially I was nervous while performing the role of Claudius. However, the level of nervousness reduced as I gained more experience during the performance. Currently I feel that I am confident and can perform exceptionally well in presence of a large audience.
According to Picard, in Shakespeare’s time, the clothes worn by a person reflected the social status of the person. The plays such as Hamlet had kings, queens and merchants in them meaning that the costumes were designed to reflect the social status of the different members of the society.
In conclusion, just like Hamlet had a journey of discovery, I have also had a journey which has helped me discover my character and personality. This reflection has helped me understand my personality. During the course I took the role of Claudius the king who was angry for power and had to kill his brother in order to assume power. I have discovered that I may be manipulative at times. However unlike Claudius I know that I cannot kill someone for the sake of power. I have a lot of empathy for Hamlet because of what he has to go through at his tender age. He has to think about revenge and craft a revenge mission against his uncle.

Bristol, Michael D. The Customary and the Ethical: Understanding Hamlet’s Bad Habits. Shakespeare Studies, vol.40, 2012, 70-76.
Picard, Liza. Clothing in Elizabethan England. 15 March 2016 Accessed 16 May 2018.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Two Cities, 1599.

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