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Things Are Not As They Appear

1110 words - 5 pages

William Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice “All that glitters is not gold; Often have you heard that told.” This quote also rings true in the play Hamlet where nothing is quite as it seems. Behind every person, event, and object seems to be an ulterior motive than what is displayed for all to see. Characters such as Claudius and Hamlet were described to both be extremely secretive individuals who hid their mysterious plans deep within themselves, never revealing their true intent. Also many objects and events within the play were the opposite of what they really were including: the way King Hamlet lost his life, the play within the play, and the attempted murder of Claudius by Hamlet. 
 Claudius is a manipulative and corrupt character who mislead the entire Sate of Denmark to believe he was dutiful, trustworthy and perceptive King. After the death of King Hamlet, Claudius takes the thrown and says this to the State, “Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory be green, and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe.” (Act 1, Scene 2, lines 1-4) This quote at first makes Claudius seem like a very sensitive King who is addressing the fact that mourning for the death of King Hamlet is encouraged. Yet, later on in the play we discover that Claudius is truly the murderer of the King and fooled the Kingdom to believe he was also grieving. Claudius also manipulated to the Kingdom to believe that he was shipping Hamlet away to England for his own safety and for the safety of others, but in reality he was petrified that Hamlet would reveal his dark sin of assassinating the King to take the crown for himself. Lastly, in the very last scene in the play, Claudius endeavored to kill Hamlet by poisoning a drink. While Hamlet dueled with Laertes, Claudius hoped to give Hamlet the toxic refreshment as he tiered from dueling. This seemed to be very polite of him through the eyes of the audience, however this was just a cover up for one more of his evil schemes. Claudius is indeed never quite to be as he presents himself to be. 
 Hamlet is much different than what meets the eye as well. In the beginning scenes of the play, Hamlet is approached by the ghost of his deceased father and is commanded to avenge his death. Hamlet puts together a plan “To put an antic disposition on.” By acting crazy, people may say things around him that they otherwise would not and give him clues as to if Claudius was the true murdered of his father. In Act 2, Scene 1, Hamlet frightens Ophelia with his inappropriate intrusion of her room, wearing clothing that would be disgraceful to his royal background. Polonius (Ophelia’s father) thinks he is “Mad for thy love?” (Act 1, Scene 2, line 85) from Ophelia and has gone mad out of pain of heartbreak. Truthfully, this is just the beginning of Hamlet’s plan and is using this situation to start to make people think he has been driven insane...

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