Hamlet - Claudius Vs. Lady Macbeth Essay

This essay has a total of 1387 words and 5 pages.

Hamlet - Claudius Vs. Lady Macbeth

Claudius vs. Lady Macbeth

King Claudius of Hamlet and Lady Macbeth of Macbeth exhibit three similar qualities,
dishonesty, evilness, and deceitfulness throughout the play; although sometimes they
demonstrate these qualities in different ways, these qualities greatly affect the other
characters in the plays .

King Claudius and Lady Macbeth are similar in that they both let their crave of power and
desire for the crown drive them to deceitfulness, corruption, and even murder, to obtain
it. King Claudius and Lady Macbeth are so greedy for wealth and power that they will let
nothing get in their way, even if it means deceiving the ones they love. King Claudius was
in love with his brother¹s wife and desired his position as king. In order to obtain
these things he went behind Gertrude, his lover¹s, back and murdered her husband. Shortly
after, he married her and took the crown. Not only was this extremely deceitful to
Gertrude, but it hurt Hamlet, his nephew, extremely. Lady Macbeth was indeed as power
hungry as Claudius, and she too plotted a murder in order for her husband to obtain the
crown. In doing this she was extremely deceitful of her lover also. She employed many
conniving tricks in order to convince Macbeth to kill King Duncan, such as in scene in Act
I, scene seven when she says, ³From this time such I account thy love.² Here she is
basically saying that Macbeth may prove his undying love for her by killing the king, thus
causing him to feel that he is obligated to murder King Duncan. King Claudius and Lady
Macbeth are also very good at disguising their deceit. In Hamlet, only Hamlet himself is
aware of the true nature of Claudius. All others, including his Wife and subjects, think
he is a wonderful and innocent King. Lady Macbeth is the same in that she puts up a
wonderful facade for both the public and her husband. Although she is planning a murder
Lady Macbeth manages to still act as a smiling, gracious hostess. Lady Macbeth's house
guests and King Duncan, whom she intends to kill, even refer to her as their ³honour¹d
hostess,² in Act I, scene six. Her husband is also fooled by her charade and is unable to
see her evil intent as she cons him into killing the king. Lady Macbeth keeps this facade
until the end of the play when her trapped feelings finally drive her mad. Another thing
these two characters have in common is that in the end their deceit leads to their
destruction. Claudius¹s past of murder, lies, and betrayal are all revealed in the end of
the play by Hamlet. Ironically, Hamlet then kills the King with the very sword and poison
cup that were meant to kill himself. Lady Macbeth¹s life is also brought to a horrible
end as a direct result of the immense guilt that she battles inside herself. She begins to
have fits of madness such as in Act V, scene one when she babbles to herself, ³What¹s
done cannot be undone.² This realization drives her crazy and eventually kills her.

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