Friday, May 23, 2008
King Claudius' Soliloquy
“My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, and like a man to double business bound…were thicker than itself with brothers blood…Forgive me my foul murder? That cannot be, since I am still possess’d…” pg 100 line 40
In King Claudius’ soliloquy, Claudius is praying and confessing to his sins of the murder of his brother. He gives a reason for killing Hamlet but believes that his guilt is stronger than his intentions. In the next couple of lines Claudius mentions his brother’s blood. It is almost as if he is washing his hands of his brother’s blood as he is confessing in his prayers. Further down the scene Claudius wants forgiveness for his murder, He knows that cannot happen because in order to receive all his possessions. The word possess’d is a pun. The word could have two meanings. For example it could mean “possessed” like the act of being or it could mean possessions as in items. The possessions that he acquired from the murder of his brother were the crown, the queen, and ambition. If he receives forgiveness, Claudius is most likely to lose all that he has acquired and he doesn’t want to do that. He is presented with two choices, Claudius can repent or he can keep his commodities from his sins. Claudius is in moral dilemma at this moment in the play. These are the reasons why he killed the King of Denmark. As he is kneeling Claudius is praising god to repent him. He asks for forgiveness.