From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

  

by Tom Stoppard

Claudius

Character Analysis

Claudius is the new King of Denmark, and Hamlet's uncle. He is not a nice guy – he poisoned Hamlet's father, usurped the throne, and then married Hamlet's mother. Now that he knows Hamlet is onto him, he is searching for a way to kill him (this is why he sends Hamlet to England). He is a minor character in this play. He uses the guileless Ros and Guil to keep tabs on Hamlet, and gets the two of them to do his bidding. It does seem that he is disturbed by Hamlet's play, which depicts the way that he usurped the throne, but it's not clear if this is remorse or fear that Hamlet will ruin his plan.

Claudius Timeline
Advertisement