It is not until the appearance of King Hamlet's Ghost in the courtyard that the reader questions his motives.
During the play's progression he takes a turn for the worse by first resorting to spying, and, when that fails, murder.
Patrick Stewart once again portrayed Claudius with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2008, in a production directed by Gregory Doran. Ron Perlman portrays Clay Morrow in the television series Sons of Anarchy, which relies heavily on the general plot structure of Hamlet; his character is based on Claudius.
Ron Perlman has said, "I'm sure they're going to stick to the structure of Hamlet all the way to the end" of the series.
Claudius's fratricide is the corruption permeating the play's world – that which is, in the words of Marcellus (a guard), "something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Shakespeare reminds the audience of the crime several times by having characters mention the story of Cain and Abel, including Claudius himself, who admits being inflicted with "the primal eldest curse." The king is not without redeeming virtues, though.