Appearance vs. Reality in Hamlet

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  • Topic: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude
  • Pages : 4 (1109 words )
  • Download(s) : 472
  • Published : December 13, 2012
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Marley Denomme
ENG4UI
Mr. Reihe
November 12/12

Appearance Versus Reality in Hamlet

A common theme in literature is the confusion between appearance and reality. The contrast between appearance and reality often causes one to disregard the fact that everything is not always as it seems. Characters in literature often disguise themselves as something their not, In order to deceive others and receive what they wish. Appearance and reality has become a constant issue and discussion of philosophy, and it has developed into a much more complex idea over the last century. In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, this contrasted theme is explored in three different ways. The complex theme of appearance versus reality is represented through Hamlet, Polonius, and Claudius. The first is Hamlet and the relationship between his inner self and outer appearance. The second is Polonius and the image he produces for himself versus his true sneaky and manipulative personality. Finally, the last is Claudius and his mysterious strive to hide the fact that he has murdered his brother. By witnessing each character’s journey, it becomes apparent that appearances do distinctly differ from reality in Hamlet.

The first representation of the distinguished theme of appearance versus reality is symbolized through Hamlet himself, and the relationship between his true inner self and his misunderstood outer appearance. Hamlet is an extremely melancholy and bitter character throughout the play. He faces a constant inner struggle as the play progresses, in which he feels that he cannot express his true feelings to the world around him. Hamlet is misjudged because of his choice of dark colored clothing. This angers him because he is aware that nothing on the surface of him could ever illustrate exactly what he is feeling within himself, which is horrible grief. The first moment Hamlet exposes his sign of alienation is in Act 1, Scene 2 when he speaks to Gertrude… “Seems Madam? Nay it is. I know not...
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