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Betrayal in Hamlet

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It is said that “To be betrayed by ones own blood is unforgivable and one must get revenge.” Betrayal plays a very important role in the Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. Throughout the play, Hamlet is betrayed by his own mother, Gertrude. She betrays her son and her late-husband, the king by immediately marrying Claudius, the king's own brother. Hamlets girlfriend, the lady Ophelia, even breaks the heart of the prince and deludes him. Even Hamlet betrays several people: he misleads Horatio, his friend. He betrays Ophelia by convincing her that he does not love her. Finally, King Claudius betrays his brother, the late king, by murdering him, marrying his wife, and taking his crown. Also betraying Hamlet and Gertrude. Hamlets mother Gertrude betrays her first husband, the first king of Denmark. This betrayal comes in the form of a hasty marriage to the king’s brother Claudius, who we find out later murdered his brother in an attempt to acquire the crown. This is an act of betrayal on Gertrude’s part, because she should be in mourning of the her first husband’s death, but she immediately enters another marriage, with the kings brother. This is a betrayal to Hamlet because his father was killed, and his mother soon marries the man who we find out is responsible for it. We find out that Claudius killed his brother and Hamlets father with poison, we find this out when Hamlet is visited by a ghost in which Horatio cannot identify but shows itself to Hamlet as his father, it is at this time that the ghost tells Hamlet how he really died and who was responsible . When Hamlet learns of this news, he is enraged with the news and he begins looking to get revenge on the murderer Claudius. Hamlet throughout the play begins to doubt his sanity and if he should kill his uncle Claudius or himself “To be or not to be…….” (Hamlet), this is an act of betrayal on Hamlets part. As much as Ophelia really loves and cares about Hamlet, she betrays his trust. This was not all her own doing, she was influenced by others around her. She betrays his trust by co-operating in her father's scheme to spy on Hamlet for the king. Ophelia betrays Hamlet because Laerates and Polonius were worldly wise and poisoned her mind. Whenever Hamlet comes nearer to her, she remains silent and then discloses all to her father whatever happened. Simultaneously Hamlet’s behavior is very strange. He is depressed and abhorred his life. The world to him was weary, stale, flat and unprofitable. I believe that Ophelia really loves Hamlet and did not want to do this to him but she didn’t want to betray her brother and father, Laertes and Polonius. Claudius is an extremely shady character. Claudius killed his brother by pouring posion into his ear. He would’ve gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for his brothers ghost. Claudius then quickly married Gertrude and became king. Hamlet knows none of this however, yet already despises his mother and step-father/uncle. In scene 2, Claudius gives a very sly speech, avoiding the fact that he is in the middle of a very incestuous relationship. Claudius tries to beat around the bush and not really explain anything about his marriage to Gertrude. No one questions him because he is King, but the people are not happy about this situation anyway. Claudius’s slick nature somewhat surfaces when he is speaking to Hamlet also. He is obviously uncomfortable with the fact that Hamlet is still mourning the death of his father and almost seems to bully him to stop. Claudius, of course, seems to say this with a face full of smiles as if politely correcting Hamlet, but it seems obvious that he is downright afraid of what Hamlet could do if he discovered the truth. Keeping his enemies close seems to be his plan. Not only will Claudius be able to keep his eye on Hamlet, but he can be sure that Hamlet won’t be able to rise up against him if he stays. Claudius has much to lose if anyone finds out his terrible secret—that he killed the King, his brother. The main characters that betrayed others were Gertrude, Claudius, and Ophelia. Gertrude betrays her late husband, and her son Hamlet by marrying Claudius. Claudius betrays his brother by murdering him, taking his crown, and marrying his wife. Finally, Ophelia betrays Hamlet by listening to her brother and reporting Hamlets actions back to her father. Betrayal plays a huge role in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. Pretty much every character betrays someone and is betrayed by somebody. Some may say that the characters actions were justifiable but I feel like they were all wrong.

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