What qualities come to mind when you think of a king, or any ruler for that matter? A ruler needs to be very trustworthy, honest, hard working, fair, forgiving and intelligent. Especially where there is a king, as in the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, because a king is in charge of the whole community. He has to keep in mind all of his subjects as he makes tons of decisions every day. A king is a symbol of his land. .
There cannot be a strong country without a strong king. In this play, which character would make a better king, Claudius or Hamlet, when all of their qualities and characteristics are examined? Hamlet would have been a better ruler because throughout the play he demonstrated how smart he was, how he thought things out before acting, how he questions things to find the truth and how he is a better person than Claudius. .
Claudius is considered by some to be a good king, despite the means by which he obtained the throne. He did prevent Fortinbras from coming in and taking over the country. But you have to remember that Claudius is also a villain, a murderer, a traitor, and a liar. Claudius killed his own brother and married his wife just a few weeks later. There is no way that people could or should respect a person that does something of this nature. .
The reader is also shown later in the story that Claudius is not even sorry for killing his brother. Luckily for him, Hamlet misses the last lines of his prayer. He said "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go"(Act III, Scene 3). This shows the reader that although Claudius is saying a praying and saying his is sorry for what he has done, he does not really mean it, and therefore he is not really sorry. A person going to church and just sitting there for an hour, not praying, listening or singing demonstrates what Claudius is doing. Just the fact that you are there or that you are saying a prayer is not enough, you have to mean it, otherwise it is just a waste of your time.