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|Claudius and the younger generation
Written by Elysha
(5/31/2003 2:42 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Claudius military decisions, penned by Jezkalyn
I think this is very similar toward his attitude to Hamlet at the beginning of the play. He seems always to be humoring Hamlet and underestimating him. When he becomes interested in Hamlet's odd behavior, he does not confront Hamlet directly, but follows Polonius' lead and spies on him to find out what is wrong.
Until the event of the play, I think Claudius underestimates the threat Hamlet presents to his throne. Claudius' reasonable, diplomatic method is so different from the moral agonies Hamlet goes through before coming to a decision. I think Claudius probably feels some contempt, or at least sense of superiority, over Hamlet because their manners of taking action are so disparate.
Could his behavior toward Fortinbras -- in going over his head to manage the threat and then accepting the father's word on Fortinbras' behalf -- be analogous to his blindness toward Hamlet? He seems to think that the ambitious youth doesn't really play the major role on the political scene, but is more a wild card to be manipulated with care.
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