A good example of how the theme of appearance versus reality relates to the image of pretence in the play is in 1.4, Hamlet has just discovered the truth of his father’s death after encountering his ghost. Shakespeare uses the image of pretence to hide Claudius’s true feelings and agendas in the play. Hamlet is an unsuspecting victim of this and he now bears the weight of his father’s thirst for revenge. After the ghost leaves, Hamlet’s talks to himself and says “O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!/My tables!—Meet it is I set it down /That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” (1.5.107-09). Here Hamlet talks about how his dear uncle has deceived everybody acting like the mourning and loving brother in the presence of the court but now Hamlet knows better and can see his true colour, he wants to exact revenge by killing Claudius, the entire plot of the play revolves around Hamlet trying to enact revenge on Claudius while Claudius pretends to have Hamlet’s best interests at heart and that of Denmark but he is the antagonist and villain in the play. In 1.5 after the ghost of the Old King Hamlet is gone, Hamlet decides to pretend to have lost his mind so that Claudius will no longer perceive him as a threat to the...
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...ggers: “Faith, if he be not rotten before he die—as we have many /pocky corses nowadays that will scarce hold /the laying in— he will last you some eight year or/ nine year. A tanner will last you nine year” (5.1.143-146). Hamlet asks one of the gravediggers about who died but the grave digger doesn 't give Hamlet a straight answer. Instead the two of them get involved in a long conversation about death and dying. In Shakespeare’s era both were common factors of life, since disease spread faster and people got sick easier.
Finally, the elements of disease, decay, corruption and pretence in Hamlet is used to further the theme of appearance versus reality. Margaret Atwood also uses the same technique in the poem Boat song. It helps to further the plot of the story and help the readers to understand the poem and play better by enforcing ideas with the uses of imagery.
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