Appearance Vs Reality Hamlet Essay

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Following this, Claudius proceeds to declare Hamlet as the most immediate to the throne before the court, furthermore strengthening his appearance as a loving father.

In reality, Claudius does not care much for Hamlet, which…

In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the main theme of the play is appearance versus reality.

The characters within the play appear to be sincere and honourable when in reality they are corrupt and immoral.

Polonius’ actions are incongruous with the idea of a loving father.

Appearance Vs Reality Hamlet Essay

The reason is clear: Polonius holds his reputation and status in higher regard than his paternal duty to his own children.In Act II, a terrified Ophelia cries out to her father and tells of Hamlet’s recent melancholy and strange behaviour.Upon hearing this, Polonius’ initial concern is not for Ophelia and her safety, but for Hamlet. He decides to inform the King of this recent news, not for the protection of his daughter, but so that the King might find favour with him in light of Hamlet’s recent madness.To the general public, Claudius is an honourable man who, in the wake of King Hamlet’s death, marries Gertrude for the betterment of Denmark.In Act I, in the presence of the court, Claudius speaks highly of the spent king and shows a general love for all of his subjects.Polonius appears to be a good father, and honourable man. He gives advice in order to appear to be a caring father, when in fact he speaks in order to look good rather than to actually be good.Upon learning that his son is going to France, he gives several pieces of advice to Laertes, in particular “This above all, to thine own self be true” (II. Polonius then sends Reynaldo to bring Laertes money but instructs that “Before you visit him, to make inquire / Of his behaviour” (II. 4-5), and then advises him how to be sneaky about it.Surprisingly, Polonius makes no attempt to comfort her.He simply addresses the King concerning the encounter between Hamlet and Ophelia and discusses the next steps in determining the cause of Hamlet’s madness.They are asked by the King and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet in order to find the reason behind Gertrude’s “too much changed son” (II. Surprised by his friends’ unexplained arrival, Hamlet questions what has brought them there. Hamlet instantly sees through their lies and insists “you were sent for, and there / is a kind of confession in your looks…I know the good king and / queen have sent for you” (II. Having gotten no answers for the King, the two were asked to go to Hamlet once more and continue to seek the real reason for Hamlet’s behaviour.Rosencrantz lies when responding “To visit you my lord, no other occasion” (II. Hamlet has little patience since being lied to and reveals to the pair that he is aware that they are spies and saying to them: [Y]ou would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, …….. 343-350) Although appearing to be Hamlet’s friends, he quickly sees that in actuality, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are only trying to pry him for information.


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