Hamlet's uncle and nemesis in Shakespeare's play who secretly murdered his own brother (Hamlet's father) and slimily marries his brother's widow Gertrude to assume Denmark's throne. Claudius hires Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on the troublingly deranged Hamlet and to carry out his plot to have Hamlet executed in England. In Stoppard's play, Claudius is an intermittent but sinister and domineering figure whose orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern accept without knowing how to fulfill them.
The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead quotes below are all either spoken by Claudius or refer to Claudius. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead published in 1967.).
Act 3 Quotes
The timeline below shows where the character Claudius appears in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...by a piteously disheveled Hamlet. They're mute. He scrutinizes her face, then sighs. They exit. Claudius and Gertrude enter and Claudius address Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" and he,... (full context)
...The three approach one side of the stage and Hamlet bows, presumably towards an approaching Claudius. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern follow and while they're deep in their bows, Hamlet turns and exits... (full context)
...that they have nothing, and Guildenstern reminds him that they're en route to England on Claudius' order, all the particulars of which Rosencrantz has forgotten. Rosencrantz asks Guildenstern about the letter... (full context)
...repeats. They move off and converse among themselves in fragments recounting the Player's situation: offending Claudius, dodging arrest, meeting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern taking Hamlet to England, etc. Rosencrantz, indignant, complains that... (full context)