Deception In Hamlet Essay

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Hamlet struggles to establish his identity and find purpose in a deceitful world where sadly, deception often times comes as second nature and therefore becomes part of the human experience. The end of innocence brought on in Hamlet by tragedy is likewise inevitable. Throughout Act 2, Hamlet and all his fellow players increasingly use deception as a tool to compete for position and control in a chaotic maze of self discovery, fear, and ambition. Hamlet’s own growing deceptive nature contributes to his search for identity.
Deception is the norm in Hamlet. For example Polonius, the King’s counselor, hires Reynaldo to spy on Laertes in an attempt to teach his son the importance of reputation and encourages him to use any means possible, including lying to achieve his goal, “Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth and thus do we of wisdom and of reach” (2.1.63-64). Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet in an attempt to discover what is ailing him, “So much as from occasion you may glean, whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus. That, opened, lies within our remedy” (2.2.16-18). Shakespeare describes a world where lies masquerade as truth just as
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Similarly in Hoagland’s JET, “We gaze into the night as if remembering the bright unbroken planet we once came from.” The deception in Hamlet is perpetrated by nearly every character surrounding Hamlet. Pelonius intends to prove to Claudius and Gertrude that Hamlet’s madness is simply love for Ophelia. On the surface each character attempts to gain an edge on others. For example Pelonius describes instructing Ophilia to deceive Hamlet into believing his daughter does not love him, “This must not be,” And then I prescripts gave her, That she should lock herself from his resort, Admit no messengers, receive no tokens”
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