Appearance vs. Reality 2

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Ghost Pages: 3 (1044 words) Published: June 15, 2011
In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, there are a wide array of themes. The most important being that of appearance vs. reality. This theme is consistent throughout the play, and spawns the other themes .It also incorporates all the major motifs in the play. The theme is strengthened by the use of symbolism and enables the reader to predict future events in the play. Without the theme of appearance versus reality, the play would lack plot, action, and intrigue, causing readers to lose interest. The major motif of madness in “Hamlet” is created by the theme of appearance vs. reality. Hamlet’s fabricated madness is the cause of a major part of the action in the play. Of course, none would be possible if it had not been for Hamlet’s decision to act as he did. In other words, he essentially pretends he is insane so that he can accomplish what he feels needs to be done. The first example of appearance vs. reality is seen in King Claudius, who is not a righteous king at all. He is the one who killed king Hamlet, but that is not the appearance that he attempts to portray. This is made known to Hamlet as the ghost tells him, “A serpent stung me…the serpent that did sting thy father’s life, now wears the crown.” The ghost reveals to Hamlet that he is the ghost of his father, and this is when Hamlet decides to plan out his revenge by acting as if he is insane. “How strange or odd some’er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on,” (Act 1 scene 5). Clearly the theme of appearance vs. reality can be seen here which proves that the major action is carried out through this theme. Without it, the play would be as any other story in the sense that the protagonist takes quick, immediate action. Rather, Hamlet, who is considered by many to be a great character, is a character that is intellectual while able to maintain a feigned madness. In fact, other criticisms question whether Hamlet was actually mad or not. Such contentions were built...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Hamlet Appearance vs. Reality Essay
  • Reality vs. Appearance
  • Essay about Hamlet
  • Appearance vs. Reality, Hamlet Essay
  • Hamlet
  • Hamlet Appearance vs Reality Essay
  • Hamlet: Appearance vs. Reality Essay
  • Essay about Appearance vs Reality in Hamlet

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free