When Claudius visualizes that his hands are visibly stained it is more

When claudius visualizes that his hands are visibly

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spilled blood on his hands represents his taking of a life. When Claudius visualizes that his hands are visibly stained, it is more confirmation that it was he who committed the crime. To further convey Claudius’ feeling of guilt in the scene, tactile imagery is also used. As he thinks about what he has done, he imagines his hands become thicker- which, consequently make his hands feel heavier when covered in his brothers blood. Using tactile imagery, he expresses how he feels the weight, or the severity, of his crimes. When Claudius asks if heaven has enough rain to wash his hands clean of blood, visual imagery is used comparing his clean hands with snow, to represent forgiveness from heaven. Rain is usually symbolic of cleansing, in this case, spiritually in the form of God’s forgiveness. Since blood is used to represent his guilt, washing the blood from his hands to make them as white as snow represents washing away the sins he has committed. The colour white is often associated with purity and innocence, and Claudius desires to be considered pure again in order to ascend to heaven. Analysis of Themes: Appearance vs Reality- The theme of appearance vs reality was demonstrated during this part through Claudius’ attempt to pray for forgiveness. While Claudius feels that he cannot redeem himself, he kneels to pray anyway in hopes that he will be forgiven and granted a place in heaven upon his death. At the time, when Hamlet quietly slips into the scene and sees Claudius praying, he prepares to finally kill him, but then thinks that if he kills Claudius now, he will go to heaven since he has repented for his sins. Hamlet exits, not wanting to give Claudius this opportunity, while Claudius is still praying. Here, Hamlet only sees Claudius’ appearance, but not his true feelings, expressed in his monologue previously.
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Claudius only appears to be praying, while in reality, he himself knows that his prayers were useless because he was not genuine with his intentions, shown by his last line. He wants to be forgiven, but does not want to give up his spoils. Even so, Hamlet does not see the reality of the situation, deceived by appearance, and loses this perfect opportunity. Religion- The inconsistencies of Christianity’s rules are shown during this part as well, during both Claudius’ and Hamlet’s monologues. As Claudius debates about praying and forgiveness, he says: “Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence? And what’s in prayer but this twofold force, To be forestallèd ere we come to fall Or pardoned being down? Then I’ll look up.” (Lines 47-51) Here, Claudius interprets this logic to his own advantage, realizing that the purpose of prayer is for forgiveness, so he prays anyway in order to go to heaven. As Claudius says this, it is evident that the only reason he desires to be forgiven is so that he may go to heaven,
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