Here, while you’re waiting, have a look at this completely unrelated clip of the “best death scene ever”…
Ok, let’s talk about this. Claudius, holding a cup of poison and with Hamlet’s sword to his throat, *shrugs* before voluntarily drinking the poisoned wine. I called it the biggest WTF moment in a movie full of them. I fast forwarded to that part just so I could show it to my wife, just so I could complain about it to a live person.
Can anybody come up with a logical interpretation for why he’d do that? For that matter, the final scene is a real character switch for the man. When Laertes is about to spill his guts (possibly literally), Claudius leaps up and begins frantically waving to have him taken away before he talks. When Hamlet draws on him. Claudius *grabs the point of the sword*, which is rather unusual, but then at the ensuing booboo on his hand he shows the crowd and says “Help me, I am hurt!”
I can even live with those, at least a little bit. I can live with the idea that, once cornered, Claudius is basically a coward. He has others do his dirty work for him, or he gets you in the ear while you’re sleeping. But when he personally is called to the carpet? He panics. I can accept that.
It’s the shrug where I lose it. Two seconds ago he was panicking that he’d been caught. He makes a play to save himself (Help me, friends!), but no one comes to his aid. So now he goes all stoic and with a “What the hell,” suicides? No fight at all? No *flight* at all? If you just declared him a coward, at least have him run for it and get it in the back or something.
Anybody got a justification for this one?