Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

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Everyone has lied at one point or another in their life. Whether it is a small white lie about an outfit’s mishaps or something that ruined a relationship, lying or hiding the truth is a universal theme that everyone could relate to. In Hamlet, William Shakespeare uses the theme of deception to develop characters and cause their ultimate downfall in the play. Deception is not only woven in the plot but also portrays through the characters’ action and personality, such as Claudius, Polonius, and Hamlet. The play’s main conflict starts with King Claudius’ lie. At the beginning of the play, Claudius had become the new king of Denmark, and married his late brother’s widow only one month after the death of his brother. Not only is his action immoral, it is later revealed by the Ghost that he is the person that took his brother’s life by poison poured through the ear: “A serpent stung me. / So the whole ear of Denmark / Is by a forged process of my death / Rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth, / The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown” (I.v.43-47). Claudius places a lie in Denmark so the people believed that a snake kill King Hamlet while he’s sleeping in the garden. However, the Ghost revealed the truth to Hamlet. Shakespeare uses this lie as the spark to ignite the conflicts between Hamlet and Claudius that eventually lead to Claudius’ death at the end of the novel; however, it also speaks volume of Claudius’ personality. He is selfish and cruel enough to kill his own brother for power without any remorse: “Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death / The memory be green, and that it us befitted / To bear our hearts in grief… / Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature / That we with wisest sor... ... middle of paper ... ... shows how truth could come from deceitful actions, however once again demonstrated the tragic end of characters whose death was cause by deception. Deception is major driving force behind the plot of the play, Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Although the play sparks from Claudius’ lie about King Hamlet’s murder, throughout the play, he continues uses deception to develop the characters as well as create drama in the play. Shakespeare uses the theme of deception to also portray the consequences of deceits, as seen through the death of Ophelia, Gertrude, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Polonius, Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet. Granted that Hamlet was able to find out the truth about his father’s death through his own lies, he eventually die due to the web of the deceit weaved by others. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.

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