Character Deception In Hamlet

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Character deception is a common characteristic that has and will be a reflecting characteristic in literature for centuries. In many of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, deception, whether positive or negative, is being used to mislead, to protect characters, or to hide a crime or future crime. Analyzing why the characters are using deception against each other is very important to the reader’s understanding of the work as a whole. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, He uses Hamlet’s deception of character and also the character’s use of deception towards Hamlet to carry out the overall theme of the tragedy.The theme that is represented, is that in able to get malicious revenge, you must be able to act as if you are someone different than your true self while in turn, being able…show more content…
Nix 2 Throughout this tragedy, our first view of deception comes from Claudius and Polonius, as they do whatever it takes to keep the power in their hands. In the fifth scene, the audience is introduced to the first use of deception against Hamlet, with Claudius. The ghost of King Hamlet tells Hamlet that “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life/Now wears his crown.”( Hamlet 1.5.38-9) These lines demonstrate the deceit Claudius has towards Hamlet. Claudius killed Hamlet’s father in order to wear the crown and gain the power of the title, “King”. Not only did Claudius kill King Hamlet, but he also married Hamlet’s mother only a month after he did so. Claudius states “With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole, Taken to wife.”(1.2.12-4) Claudius uses this deceit of Hamlet to receive sympathy off the sudden death of his brother, and conversely into the steadfast “happy” marriage of the new king and queen. Claudius continues to deceive more and more as the play goes
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