Pragmatic Criticism-Claudius

William Shakespeare uses the sharp shift in topic to illustrate that Claudius is very insincere and self-centered. The scene starts off with Claudius saying how the citizens of Denmark should be grateful of King Hamlet, and they should never think poorly of him. After Claudius ends this thought, he immediately starts talking about his marriage to Gertrude, Hamletís widow. This shift in topic shows that Claudius is glad to be king and doesnít have a lot of reverence for Hamlet. If Claudius really did like Hamlet, he wouldnít bring up his happy new marriage he is in with Hamletís widow. He would just reflect on how much Hamlet meant to the country of Denmark and have a specific day devoted to Hamlet. The fact that he brings up his wife, demonstrates he wants people to focus on his new marriage and forget about Hamlet. In essence, Claudius is telling the citizens that he is more important than the dead Hamlet.