Hamlet's Reality

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Appearance vs. Reality

Appearance and reality have never been portrayed with such immense differences as they are seen in Hamlet. Deceit runs about freely the entire play and affects every character, creating torment and confusion for all. Three complex characters use treachery to their advantage as they create façade in order to carry out plans, yet their shrouded minds impede them from carrying them through. All Shakespearian tragedies are filled with delusive, spurious characters, but none are as deceitful as those in Hamlet. Claudius, Polonius, and Hamlet have distorted realities and unfortunately, each has a clouded conscious that leads them to make life-changing decisions.

Claudius is a very deceptive king who tries to bend his appearance throughout the play in order to accommodate for his unfortunate reality. He is an appalling, hypocritical king incapable of running his own kingdom. Unfortunately, Claudius is able to deceive others around him, and creates an illusion of being a great king. In the novel, he is able to stop young Fortinbras from attacking Denmark; only after much pleading and supplication to Fortingbra’s uncle though. Nevertheless, Claudius knows that he is a dreadful king “and from his lips we get the true explanation, he discloses the fact that young Fortinbras has no wholesome fear and respect for him as he had for the late king” (Crawford). Furthermore, Claudius has a dishonest lifestyle that differentiates him from a true king. As the great Shakespearean scholar Alexander W. Crawford explains, “The king led the way in dissipation and debauchery” a life in which Claudius only lives to play, never to rule. Above all, deception pours from Claudius when he kills his own brother, the late King Hamlet. Up u...

... middle of paper ... Hamlet is a very impacting novel; ergo, the novel imposes a very intriguing, confusing question: why does appearance modify reality or more importantly, what is reality?

Works Cited

Babra, Neil, and William Shakespeare. Hamlet. New York: Sparknotes, 2008. Print.

Crawford, Alexander W. "Hamlet's Antic Dispesition." Shakespeare Online. Shakespeare Online, 20 Aug. 2009. Web. 2 Feb. 2012. .

Crwaford, Alexander W. "Claudius and the Condition of Denmark." Shakespeare Online. Shakespeare Online, 20 Aug. 2009. Web. 2 Feb. 2012. .

Mabillard, Amanda. "Deception in Shakespeare's Hamlet." Shakespeare Online. Shakespeare Online, 20 Aug. 2009. Web. 2 Feb. 2012. .

Wilson, Elkin. "Polonius in the Round." JSTOR. JSTOR. Web. 2 Feb. 2012. .
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