And for myself – My virtue or my plague, be it either which – She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul, That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her.

Well that’s a complicated way to say that, isn’t it, Claudius? And I suppose my question is, how much of it is true? Does Claudius really love Gertrude? That’s the first question. Conjunctive to life and soul is…not revealing necessarily. Life and soul sound convincing. But “conjunctive to” ….well, that’s political speech.
The star moving in his sphere is possibly romantic but also quite a bit removed from the subjects at hand.
Whether he does or does not love Gertrude, it still makes a fair bit of sense to frame it this way to Laertes. It’s such a complicated sentence tonally. It veers from one style of language to another. Is he trying to convince Laertes or himself?
Is this really why he hasn’t put Hamlet on trial for his crime? I’d wager the REAL reason – the one at the heart of it is that if Hamlet were put on trial, Hamlet might find it a good time to make his feelings about Claudius public. It might bring to light what Claudius is trying to keep in the dark.
But sure – it’s because he’s in love with his wife! That’s it!

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