Hamlet illusion vs reality essay

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  1. Hamlet theme of appearance vs. reality Essay - Words | Bartleby
  2. Essay about Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet
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  4. Hamlet theme of appearance vs. reality Essay

Throughout the play, all the characters appear as one thing on the outside, yet on the inside they are completely different. The theme of appearance versus reality surrounds Hamlet due to the fact that the characters portray themselves as one person on the outside, and one different on the inside.

In the play, Claudius, Hamlets uncle, appears to be kind, gentle, and caring on the outside, but in actual fact, he uses his loving behavior as a mask to cover up the fact that he is a selfish, mean, and cold murderer.

Hamlet theme of appearance vs. reality Essay - Words | Bartleby

The women in Hamlet appear to live happy and wonderful lives on the outside, but their happiness is used to cover up the corruptness of their lives on the inside. And finally Hamlet appears to be mad and insane, but really he is using his madness as a veil to hide his secretive quest to seek the truth behind his fathers death.

Appearance versus reality is coexistent theme that develops as the Danish kingdom gets engulfed in a web of a deception, corruption and lies. Hamlet is filled with characters covering up their true intentions with a whole other person, whom appears to be innocent. One character, that used deception to cover up their true intention, was Claudius. Claudius, Hamlets uncle, is a very deceptive and cruel person. Claudius killed his brother, which was Hamlets father and then married his brothers wife in order to become the new king of Denmark.

No one knew that Claudius committed the murder so he did not receive any punishments for his actions. Claudius was forced to put on an angel-like appearance that transformed him from a cold murderer to the perfect king. This illusion that Claudius puts on ensures that his secret is kept hidden. Under the illusion, Claudius is no longer a mean, and selfish guy, instead he appears in all aspects to be the perfect gentlemen.

Claudius exemplifies the appearance versus reality theme, by the fact that appears to be kind and gentle, but in actual fact he is using his kindness and gentleness as a cloak to cover up the malicious murder that he so violently committed. Claudius through out the play feels guilt for action, and thus tries to repent for his sin in, 3.

In his prayer he says, My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder? In this scene Claudius is not clear on what to feel. He struggles to get out his prayer, because he is unsure that he will be forgiven. He wants to repent for his sin, but he knows that he cant because he is not truly sorry. He says Of those effects for which I did the murder- my crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. Claudius realizes that his outside wants to seek forgiveness but his inside can not give up the positions that gained.

Claudius thus realizes that he has to separate his own deceptive illusion from of true feelings.

Essay about Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet

The women in Hamlet exemplify the theme of appearance versus reality as well. Ophelia and Gertrude display deceptive illusions to hide the corruptions of their lives. Ophelia shields her love for Hamlet in the beginning of the play, but eventually is forced to throw herself to Hamlet, at her fathers request. Ophelia exaggerates her love for Hamlet, so her father can prove to the king and queen that Hamlets madness comes from his love for Ophelia.

Hamlet senses that Ophelia love is not genuine, and therefore treats her with disgust.


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He assaults Ophelia with words, and also with his actions, which included killing her father, though unintentional. Hamlet begins displaying acts of cruelty towards Ophelia, by using malicious sarcasm.

He tells her to Go thy ways to a nunnery. Wheres your father? Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play fool nowhere but ins own house. Their plan involves using Ophelia as the bait. Ophelia can do nothing but comply with the king and her father plan. Hamlet is outraged that Ophelia, the girl he loves, is involved in a plot against him.

Out of anger, Hamlet says to Ophelia, I did love you once but you should have not believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not. Hamlets acrimonious words caused Ophelia to break down emotionally because she was caught in trap that forced her to go against her lover. Ophelias emotional breakdown could have been prevented if she would have realized that Hamlets harsh behavior was an illusion used to conceal his feelings about his mothers scandalous marriage. The other woman in the play, Gertrude, also displayed the theme of appearance versus reality.

Gertrude refuses to believe that Hamlet tells the truth, when he tells her that Polonius is a murderer.


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Hamlet tells his Gertrude: Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear. Blasting his wholesome brother…. In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed. Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love. Over the nasty sty A cutpurse of the empire and rule, that from a shelf the precious diadem stole and put it into his pocket.

Gertrude refuses to believe Hamlet, despite his strong will to make her believe. Gertrude forces herself to be happy despite of the circumstances. Her whole life is an illusion, by the fact that she does not want to accept anything that will make her unhappy. Gertrude wants to live a life filled with nothing but happiness. Her illusion is the unwillingness to accept the tribulations of life. The character that best exemplifies the theme of appearance versus reality is Hamlet himself. Throughout the play there are forms of deception, because a no one fully trusts each other. Many spies are sent to check up on characters, because of their untrusting qualities.

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Hamlet theme of appearance vs. reality Essay

Some may claim that Polonius, Osric, and the gravediggers only contribute to the story by providing comic relief, however this is inaccurate. In addition to providing humour, Polonius, Osric, and the gravediggers help reinforce multiple themes in the play. Shakespeare uses these minor characters to reinforce the themes of loyalty, appearances vs. I have used water colors, pencil colors, acrylic paint, and soft pastels as mediums to emphasize the intensity of certain colors and consequently, highlight the most significant symbols in the project.

The symbols and quotes, with their explanations and significance are as…. Essays Essays FlashCards. Browse Essays. Home Page Appearance vs. Reality in Hamlet Essay examples. Show More. When Hamlet is sent to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, it turns out that the king was planning to have Hamlet executed when he landed in England.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern knew this, so they were sent to England with Hamlet to ensure the letter is sent. However, this leads to their demise as Hamlet finds the letter and replaces it with one that says to execute the holders of the letter instead. These two courtiers' lies and deception is what caused them to meet their end in England.