Hamlet Essay

873 words - 3 pages

In Hamlet, Elsinore is a society which people are seen acting in a deceitful manner in order to gain personal measures and prestige. These people mask their true in intentions to acquire selfish desires. In doing so they develop a theme of the discrepancy between the way things appear and their true realities. Hamlet, on the other hand, is an honest, moral individual trapped in this deceitful society. Hamlet is faced with the dilemma to either lower himself to their level by utilizing deception, or leave wrongs unrighted by remaining true to himself. In Hamlet, the theme of appearance versus reality is prevalent in Hamlet's decision between his morals and his father as he decides to utilize the deceit of his society, starts recognizing it in others and finally in using it to avenge his father.When Hamlet is introduced he is seen acting as he feels and this is what prevents him from repaying in kind for his father's murder. Hamlet grieves over the loss of his father so long and intensely that no one understands, for Gertrude and Claudius tell him he needs to move on like they have done, yet Hamlet can't understand this. His actions are reflections of his true feelings while the rest of his peers seem to be ignoring their grief. When Hamlet finds out that he is supposed to kill Claudius for his father he becomes distraught. This is because Hamlet's morals won't allow him to kill even if it releases Old Hamlet from his purgatory. He later realizes that he must start appearing differently than usual in order to carry out his father's word. Hamlet decides to put on an 'antic disposition' and in doing so has started becoming deceitful. He is trying to mask his true feelings in order to prepare himself for his dilemma.When Hamlet starts being deceitful he starts to recognize the deceit in others and how they make themselves appear differently from their realities. Hamlets decision to put on an 'antic disposition' was not honest to himself but he felt that he must appear differently than he feels to fulfill his needs. Hamlet first recognizes the deceit in Claudius after his father visits. Claudius committed the sin of fratricide (especially horrendous in this Christian society); but was now enjoying the fruits of his sin at the cost of his community. He tricked Elsinore into thinking he was a good king who stepped in to save the kingdom, yet in reality he was the cause of all the trouble. Claudius knew he had done wrong, for he later laments his action, but was now just, 'smile[ing], and smile[ing], and be[ing]...

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