The Theme of Deception in 'Hamlet'

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Throughout history there have been multiple works of literature that involve characters who function by deceitful motives. These pieces of literature involve numerous characters who deceive one another in order to achieve some type of personal gain, expose truths, or fulfill commands. In the tragedy titled The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, by William Shakespeare, deception formulates in result of multiple diverse events, and it plays an enormous role in how the story plays out. There are many instances where Hamlet deceives another character, which ultimately leads to the tragic end result of this play, which demonstrates to readers that seeking revenge only brings about hardship, death, and destruction. As the play develops, the protagonist Hamlet deceives Claudius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and at times himself. Hamlet operates by deception which is constructed by a battle within himself that bears the question, “Kill Claudius or spare his life?’. This battle comes about after an interaction with the ghost of his father that triggers him to be deceptive, ultimately leading to the total demolition of an empire. Each of these instances of deceit contributes to the message underlying the work as a whole, which reveals; revenge is not the answer. Deception is the driving force behind this play, which in its entirety, reveals that seeking vengeance and holding grudges is not the answer to life’s many mysteries. The character Hamlet converses with the ghost of his
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