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No Title Essay

1119 words - 5 pages

Sun Tzu once said, “All war is based on deception.” These “wars” can be between nations, individuals, or even oneself; but they are all based on deception. William Shakespeare shows the use of deception many different times in his plays. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows that deception is very important and dangerous in the case of making plans for revenge. The employment of the art of deception could cause a plan to be successful, cause a plan to fall apart, and cause the mastermind of the plan to deceive himself and go mad.
Deception is a vital part of revenge. Deception makes people focus on the wrong things. The article titled “Madness” tells that Hamlet takes advantage of this notion. The article says, “It dawns on [Polonius] that Hamlet is not as mad as he is pretending to be” (Madness). This explains that Hamlet is only pretending to insane and that Hamlet acts insane for a reason. This reason is his plan to draw attention away from his plans to gather evidence against his Uncle, the king, to get revenge for the death of his father. Deception can also be used to bend situations to ones will. In the play Hamlet, Hamlet bends a potentially fatal situation to his own will. Hamlet I the play says, “That on the view and knowing of these contents, Without debatement further, more or less, He should the bearers put to sudden death, Not shriving-time allow’d” (5.2.49-53). Hamlet rewrote a letter that he found saying that he should be put to death to say to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two antagonists in the play. Hamlet uses deception to prevent his own death in the play. Hamlet’s use of deception actually starts in act II of the play, as Charles Boyce explains. Shakespeare A to Z by Charles Boyce reads, ”Ophelia reports that Hamlet has come to her and behaved as if he were insane” (234). This is Hamlet’s first attempt to draw attention away from his real plans, and divert attention to his “insanity.” Deception can be an extremely useful technique in plans for revenge if used carefully.
When being deceptive, there is chance that someone will see through the deceit and employ the use of counter-deception, which can cause a plan to fall apart at the hinges. The Shakespearean literature reference, Shakespeare A to Z, explains how deception can be fatal and put a plan to a standstill. The book says, “The king tells Hamlet that he is being sent to England immediately for his own safety. The king’s entourage escorts Hamlet to the boa, leaving the king to muse on his plot: he is sending letters to the English that threaten war unless they kill Hamlet immediately” (Boyce 235). If this plan by the king had succeeded, it would have halted Hamlet’s plans for revenge on the king. Another example of how deception can be used to potentially bring a plan to its end is explored in Literary Contexts in Plays: William Shakespeare's “Hamlet.” The literary reference says, “Claudius suggests that Laertes challenge the Prince to a fencing match in which he could kill...

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