Hamlet Play Analysis

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The play within a play in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” Act III, Scene II is a literary device used to give a twist to the plot, and create suspense. However, in a closer examination it is also an early example of a metaplay employed by Shakespeare in order to engage the audience with more complex notions, such as the idea of reality and deception. Hamlet is determined to avenge for the death of his father and fulfill the request of his father’s Ghost. But uncertainty and indecision prevent Hamlet from acting spontaneously. In order to proceed to his mission, to take revenge, he has to find solid proof of Claudius’s guilt. Therefore, Hamlet attempts to “catch the conscience of the king” (II.ii.597) by using a play. The play-within-a-play,…show more content…
As Carol Replogle claims, “the device of a play within a play succeeds in converting actors of the main action into spectators, bound for the moment with the real audience. These actors thus acquire a kind of new actuality, as together with the audience, they inspect a performance which is equally remote from both” (153). Undoubtedly, the double perspectives imply that truth is hidden and must be found. Thus, the audience is provided with the perception of what reality is and what acting is. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Representation illuminates the presentation of reality’s hidden frames by art: "If the whole world as representation is only the visibility of the will, then art is the elucidation of this visibility, the camera obscura which shows the objects more purely, and enables us to survey and comprehend them better. It is the play within the play, the stage on the stage in Hamlet."…show more content…
In the mousetrap it is used to reveal Claudius’ guilt and allow Hamlet to proceed to his mission of vengeance. The Elsinore Castle on the other hand could be considered as “the kingdom of deception”. Everyone is deceiving everyone else and everyone is being deceived. As I have mentioned earlier, Elsinore represents the modern world, where everyone is corrupted, everyone is lying. This world has nothing to do with the previous era, the epic world of Hamlet’s father, when Kings would resolve their differences in a straightforward, manly way. The modern world is illustrated as a corrupted one, as everyone pretends, acts and tries to deceive everyone else. This world is akin to our

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