Claudius Speech Analysis

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At the beginning of Act 1 Scene 2, Shakespeare introduces us to Claudius, and through literary techniques and some clues in the narrative we learn a lot about Claudius’ character and his state of mind. Before this speech we know that Claudius is the brother of Hamlet’s father, the king, and two weeks after his death Claudius has married the queen, Gertrude and has taken the throne instead of Hamlet, which would be the usual order. Throughout this speech he conveys a great sence of dishonesty in his words and the way his speech is layed out. The tone of the speech is very relaxed, fluent and confident, but its careful structure indicates that the speech is well rehearsed. Which in turn indicates he knew what was going to happen. The opening paragraph is very…show more content…
This antithesis continues throughout the speech, with oxymoronic phrases ‘mirth in funeral’ ,and ‘dirge in marriage’, Claudius demonstrates his ability to express whatever emotions make him look wise and just, showing that he is in command of Denmark. He deliberately emphasises the contrast between his marriage to Gertrude and his brother’s death, using phrases such as ‘defeated joy’, and ‘with one auspicious and one dropping eye’. After a while he gets back to the true reason behind his speech. To inform the onlookers of the affair with Fortinbras’, however he never really goes into that much detail but instead concentrates on his own personal matters, which shows he cares more for his own life than the well being of the country he now has to run. Throughout this speech he continuously reminds us, consciously and maybe subconsciously, that he has married his brother’s wife. This could be to convince us, the onlookers, and maybe himself that it was a just decision to marry the
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