Is saying “this presence” a way to avoid naming Claudius specifically? Like, would he have to name the king in a collection of people otherwise? Is “this presence” a way to not say, “The King, the Queen and all these other people here”?
I like “this presence” as a collective of people. It’s more potent than “group” or “crowd” or “people” even.
I would almost like to call an audience “this presence” – because their presence is what makes the especially significant – how they are present tells us so much about them. It somehow sounds more alive than audience or the public or spectators.