The Claudius effect of manipulation causing change in characters in “Hamlet”
Claudius was the most manipulative character in “Hamlet” and influenced change in many characters. Claudius murders his own brother King Hamlet, to make things worse in such short time he marries his brother’s wife. A ghost that looks like King Hamlet appears to Prince Hamlet, telling him that Claudius poisoned him in his sleep and it also tells him to get revenge on Claudius. Claudius is good at using things in his favor. He makes use of his power, other’s loyalty to manipulate people’s life, events and emotions.
Claudius wants to forget about the past in order to feel at peace with what he did but Hamlet is the only one holding him back. Claudius attempts to influence Hamlet to forget his father, through a speech about people eventually having to die. He tells Hamlet that life must go on and suggests Hamlet to bring an end to grieving and accept Claudius as a substitute parent. Claudius words were, "From the first corse till he that died today, This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth. This unprevailing woe and think of us. As of a father.” (1.2.109-111). Claudius uses a remorseful and genuine tone while speaking to Hamlet, in order to make his words believable. Claudius uses words to get into character’s heads to influence them a change that will benefit him.
Queen Gertrude would potentially become powerless if she hadn’t remarried because Hamlet would have become king if she had stayed as a widow. Claudius married the Queen as a well calculated move to make it easier to seize the throne away from Hamlet after killing the King. Without knowing the real truth, Queen Gertrude trusts Claudius’s fake motive about saving the nation because she’s a very needy woman, so she was an easy victim. “In the Middle Ages an aristocratic lady whose Husband dies, even a queen, suffered a substantial loss of status. Marrying Claudius allowed Gertrude to retain her status as Queen of Denmark,” According to Josephson Institute. To appeal more to her, he disguises himself in order to seem like a caring stepfather to Hamlet and acts concern about Hamlet’s mental illness. Claudius is good at taking advantage of circumstances and messing around with people’s emotions to get what he wants.
Claudius no longer wants to have Hamlet around because he feels that he knows to much. Claudius is guilty of the King’s murder, so he turns Hamlet’s friends against him to get rid of Hamlet. He uses his power to manipulate the loyalty of Hamlet’s friends because they are more concerned about improving their standing in society. They carry on with his instructions to England to dispatch Hamlet. “In IV, Scene 2, Hamlet reveals that he has forged the letters which will result in their deaths. He will justify his actions, saying essentially that his friends got caught in the middle, between him and Claudius; that their “own insinuation” (meddling) has brought about their defeat, “wrote the Research and Education Association. This betrayal was ironic, since their betrayal caused their own death.