Examples Of Deception In Hamlet

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One of the major themes in the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is deception. In Act I Scene IV, one of the characters, Marcellus, claims: “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark” (1.4.100). This is referring to the act of deception, where everything may look fine to the naked eye, but there are underlying problems occurring in the state of Denmark. In utilizing diction and metaphors, Shakespeare adds more depth to one of the major themes of the play. Metaphors are used by Shakespeare to compare Claudius to a deathly creature, while nobody realizes his mal intentions. This is shown when the Ghost informs Hamlet: “But know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown” (1.5.45-47). The word “serpent” is used for two reasons: Claudius told Hamlet that a serpent…show more content…
This is shown when Hamlet states that: “One may smile and smile and be a villain” (1.5.115). The word “villain” carries a negative connotation with it, often associated with someone of mal intentions and/or actions. Shakespeare chose to use this word to describe Claudius, because Hamlet believes his uncle to be a villain. Claudius masters the art of deception when he comes up with the lie that it was a serpent that killed King Hamlet. Shakespeare uses the word “smile” to show that Claudius is putting on a show for the state of Denmark, deceiving them into believing that the King’s death was an accident, while Hamlet is the only one that knows the truth. Shakespeare’s use of language helps to portray the major theme of deception in the play Hamlet. The utilization of diction helps to equate Claudius to an evil person, while metaphors help to make the comparison between Claudius and a deathly animal. By making comparisons and using specific word choice that help support the theme, Shakespeare is able to portray the deceitful antics of King
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