Theme Of Honesty In Hamlet

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Hamlet encounters Ophelia, his estranged lover, after mulling over his own melancholy during the first scene of Act III. It is the first time that Ophelia and Hamlet have seen each other since Hamlet frightened Ophelia by her intruding upon her privacy and barging into her closet while she was sewing. Neither party is particularly pleased to see one another and they are both vocal about their discontent. Their interaction revolves around honesty and its importance to Hamlet, drawing comparisons between his own honesty and the honesty of other characters such as Ophelia and Gertrude. It establishes tension between Hamlet’s values and his own actions and the appearance on one’s intentions versus the reality. Upon Hamlet meeting Ophelia, she …show more content…

Hamlet is disgusted by Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius. He feels that Gertrude was disloyal to King Hamlet and whatever love she showed his father was an act. These feelings play into Hamlet’s barrage of Ophelia’s character when he tells her,“If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, though shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery. Go, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell.” (3.1.135-140) He says Ophelia is unfaithful, that she has made a fool of him and will make a cuckold of her husband, but she did not cheat or sleep around as he accuses. Gertrude, on the other hand, has in reality acted in a sinful or at least disgraceful was. There is legitimate reason to ridicule or resent Gertrude, especially from Hamlet’s position, for it is indisputable that the time between the elder Hamlet’s death and her marriage to Claudius was not appropriate and that she should have mourned longer. Hamlet’s distaste for marriage was birthed from Gertrude’s marriage to his uncle, and he now sees the whole ordeal as something unsavory. Couples appear in love but Hamlet is convinced that they are not, and they will not stay true to one another, since Gertrude was not true to his father. In …show more content…

Is is known that Ophelia, to him, has become nothing because she was dishonest, but he lies to her blatantly and thereby he has defined himself as as worthless as she is. It is unclear what exactly he lies about, whether it was having loved her or not having loved her, but no matter the condition he has lied. He made her think one way when his feelings or intentions were quite the opposite. It seems that what he values and the way he acts are contradictory, and not just in this scene. His entire persona is that of a deceitful nature. The plan that Hamlet hatched in order avenge his father was to appear mad, trick people into thinking he had lost in mind since he believes it would assist him with his investigation of Claudius. Hamlet is not in denial of this, he describes, “I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in.” (3.1.122-126) So though it is ironic that Hamlet is so enraged about the dishonesty and disingenuity of those around him, he admittedly takes part in the illusions which repulse him so. From his own calculation, no one is worth believing or trusting, even people shown to be moral or ethical, concluding it is all just a front or mask of sorts. In Ophelia’s case is is a

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