Deception in Hamlet Essay

Deception in Hamlet Essay

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In any war, deception is an absolute necessity. Sun Tzu once said, “All war is based on deception.” These “wars” can be between nations, individuals, or even oneself; but they are all based on deception. William Shakespeare shows the use of deception many different times in his plays, in many different ways. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows that, not only can deception make or break a plan for revenge, but also cause self deception. From Hamlet using deception to appear mad, to using deception to try and stop Hamlet’s plans, Hamlet displays the many uses of deception magnificently. The employment of the art of deception could bring a plan to success, cause a plan to fall apart, and cause the mastermind of the plan to deceive himself and go mad.
Deception is an extremely vital part of revenge. Deception makes people focus on something irrelevant to what is really happening that is not seen. The article titled “Madness” tells that Hamlet takes advantage of this notion. The article says, “It dawns on [Polonius] that Hamlet is not as mad as he is pretending to be” (Madness). This explains that Hamlet only pretends to act insane and that Hamlet acts insane for a reason. Hamlet only acts insane for the purpose of drawing attention away from his plans to gather evidence against his uncle Claudius, the king, and get revenge for the death of his father. One could also use deception to bend situations to his or her will. In the play Hamlet, Hamlet bends a potentially fatal situation to his own will. In the play, Hamlet says, “That on the view and knowing of these contents, Without debatement further, more or less, He should the bearers put to sudden death, Not shriving-time allow’d” (5.2.49-53). Hamlet rewrote a letter that he found, that said h...


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Works Cited

Boyce, Charles. Shakespeare A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Plays, His Poems, His Life and Times, and More. New York: Dell Publishing, 1990. Print.
Friedman, Alan Warren. “Hamlet The Unready.” Modern Language Quarterly 37.1 (1976): 15. Humanities International Complete. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Javed, Tabassum. “Perfect Idealism In Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet.” Dialogue (Pakistan) 8.3 (2013): 327-333. Humanities International Complete. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
“Madness.” Columbia Dictionary Of Quotations From Shakespeare (1998): 213-214. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 1992. Print.
Vernay, Jean-François. “Literary Contexts In Plays: William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Literary Contexts In Plays: William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ (2007): 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.

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