Essay on Hamlet's Metaphor For His Friends' Betrayal

Essay on Hamlet's Metaphor For His Friends' Betrayal

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Hamlet's Metaphor For His Friends' Betrayal   


In Shakespeare's Hamlet, act three, scene two, line 327, Hamlet is in the middle of a conversation with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which, as usual for Hamlet, is laden with riddles and double meanings.   Upon discovery that his old schoolmates visit to Denmark is not out of chance, but actually part of a plot by Claudius to understand why Hamlet has gone mad.  Thus upon discovering their motives for returning to Denmark, Hamlet no longer has trust or camaraderie for his former friends. In order to cause confusion for both Claudius and the two hired spies, he is participates in dialogue with the two, though his relationship is not the same as it once was.  Instead of an honest friendship, which he has with Horatio, he is very impersonal with Guildenstern and Rosencrantz ever since her learned of their association with the king.  He converses with the two in a cryptic manner, full of mind games of riddles and confusion drawing a brilliant analogy to their trying to pull the truth out of him to playing a recorder.

            After the play Hamlet orchestrated as an experiment to test Claudius' reaction, Hamlet ensues in a conversation with the spies.  Hamlet had Horatio closely watch Claudius to study the king's reaction to the play which so resemble his own situation.  Horatio determined that Hamlet's suspicions about Claudius were well-founded due to Claudius' over-reaction  and storming out of the play.  Upon Horatio's judgment, Hamlet determined that the message from the ghost must have been true, thus he must go forward with vengeance for his father's ghost.  Just as they discuss their conclusions, courtiers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz enter to have the described con...


... middle of paper ...


... Guildenstern and Rosencrantz' ambitions.  He shows them that it is ridiculous that they try so hard to pick him for information, which he would never divulge.       

            Throughout Shakespeare's Hamlet, the prince of Denmark constantly speaks with puzzling wit.  With his command of argument and speech, he runs circles around his former friends who have been hired to pry information from him.  Naturally, Claudius ends up looking like most foolish character for employing the two who are certainly no match for Hamlet, for Hamlet was suspicious of the two immediately upon their return to Denmark.  Hamlet describes the humor and outrageousness of their attempted espionage.  Although he resents their betrayal of their friendship, he finds their incompetence humorous. 

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Global Shakespeare Theatre Series. 1996.

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