Hamlet Appearance vs. Reality

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Sumeet Salvi
Mrs. Murray
English 3
October 13, 2012
Not Everything is What it Seems in Denmark
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there is a horrendous catastrophe that revolves around Hamlet, the prince of Denmark. Hamlet involves romance, disastrous events, and death. Throughout the play, Hamlet is a prince who fails to take action whenever he needs to, leads to everyone around him getting hurt and in the end, he himself gets hurt. When his father died, he knew that his death was not natural, but he had to make sure he was correct before he avenges his father’s death. When the ghost of Old King Hamlet told Hamlet that King Claudius murdered him just to take the throne, Hamlet vowed he would stop at nothing until his father’s death was avenged, which lead to many deaths. The play revolves around the theme of “Appearance vs. Reality” because of the ways characters try to hide their true intent and how the characters use deception by spying and plotting on each other.

A way Hamlet revolves around the theme of “Appearance vs. Reality” because of the way characters hide their true intent. In Act III scene I, Polonius was talking about Hamlet’s love for Ophelia when he says, “We are oft to blame in this/‘Tis too much proved- that with devotion’s visage/And pious action/we do sugar o’er/The devil himself” (3.1.52-55). After Polonius gives Ophelia the prayer book to pretend to read it, Polonius reflects to Claudius about how often people who appear innocent are trying to hide their new intentions. This leads Claudius to talk to himself, “O, tis too true./ How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience./ The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art,/ Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it/ Than is my deed to my most painted word./ O heavy burden!” (3.1.56-61). Claudius was talking about the duplicity to the readers and how evil he really is. Polonius appears to care about Hamlet’s mental state, but in reality, he is an agent for Claudius and will...
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