Hamlet is often referred to as one of Shakespeare best plays ever written. In this play there are several themes that are present, one of them being is appearance vs. reality. The theme of appearance vs. reality is very common among Shakespeare’s plays. Many characters in Hamlet mask their true identity and portray themselves as innocent and trustworthy to other characters in order to achieve their ulterior motive.
In Hamlet several characters appear to be innocent, but their ulterior motive makes them anything but innocent. Claudius portrays himself as caring, honest and a kind person in front of everyone. He shows that he wants the best for everyone, especially Hamlet. In the beginning of the play where Claudius is talking about king Hamlet’s death he quotes “ To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom”(I ii 5). This quote reveals that Claudius is in great grief over his brothers’ death. In reality he was the one who killed his own brother and married Gertrude. He masks his true identity in order to remain in control of the kingdom. He shows his kindness to Hamlet by promising him the throne , he does all this while planning to kill Hamlet. Later on in the play when Claudius and Hamlet are talking, Claudius states “Of impious stubbornness. 'Tis unmanly grief.
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschooled.”(I ii 94).
This clearly shows that Claudius doesn’t really think much of Hamlet, also he degrades Hamlet by questioning his manliness and calling him stupid. A father who is caring and kind would never talk to his son in such a manner that Claudius talks to Hamlet. Further more this is shown when Claudius pretends to care about Hamlet’s insanity though he thinks that Hamlet is far from being insane. Claudius hides his true intentions from Hamlet and from other characters in order to make him look innocent.
Secondly, Hamlet also...