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In Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film version of Hamlet, Claudius is played by Derek Jacobi.

Jacobi had not only been Branagh's mentor as an actor, but had previously played Hamlet himself with Patrick Stewart playing Claudius in a BBC production.

Hamlet is ready to kill him, only to back down, feeling that to kill the King in such a way would contradict the revenge conditions given to him by his father, who commanded him specifically: "Taint not thy mind." When Laertes seeks revenge for his father Polonius' death at Hamlet's hands, Claudius finally concocts a 'surefire' plan to deal with Hamlet once and for all.

He arranges a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes, but plots with Laertes to poison his foil and give Hamlet a poisoned drink.

He is loosely based on the Jutish chieftain Feng who appears in Chronicon Lethrense and in Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum.

There had never been an actual Danish King of that name.

Eduard von Winterstein portrayed Claudius in the 1921 German silent film adaptation of Hamlet. If it's your first visit, please read to your right about the library and its uses.Use the search box on your right to track a specific person.The character Claudius is both the major antagonist of the piece and complex.He is the villain of the piece, as he admits to himself: "O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven" (Act III, Scene 3, Line 40).He is seen to be an able monarch (notwithstanding the unfavourable comparison to his murdered predecessor in Hamlet's first soliloquy) as well as a quick thinker and smooth talker, who in Act IV, Scene 5 converts Laertes from rebel to accomplice.


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