Dishonesty In Hamlet

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I wholeheartedly agree that Shakespeare brilliantly portrays a world in which deception and false appearances dominate. The masterfully crafted setting of Elsinore is a rotten cesspool of lies and deceit, filled with characters masquerading as honest and regarding over obsequiousness and espionage as perfectly moral practices. Nothing is ever as it seems and the dishonesty sweeps up even those opposed to it. Polonius is certainly the embodiment of sycophantic falsity in this play. He is constantly trying to ingratiate himself with others and is repeatedly seen to be prying into the business of others, which ironically leads to his demise. He deems it acceptable to spy on and spread lies about his son, reasoning "Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth: and thus do we of wisdom and of reach, with windlasses and with assays of bias, by indirections find directions out". He also doesn 't see anything wrong with using his daughter to gain information about Hamlet, with his plan "At such a time I 'll loose my daughter to him. Be you and I behind an arras then, mark the encounter". Finally, he suggests "Let his Queen-mother all alone entreat him to show his grief. Let her be round with him and I 'll be placed, so please you, in the ear of all their conference". It is fitting that he died as he…show more content…
Claudius tries and fails to pray for forgiveness, but Hamlet mistakes this for repentance. Because of this, he decides to "trip him that his heels ay kick at heaven" and delays in killing him. Unfortunately for him, his uncle is not truly remorseful for his sins, saying "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go". The king is deceptive without even trying, it is second nature to him. This disingenuity is so rooted in him and in the rest of the Danish nobility that it turns what should be a heartfelt plea for absolution into a merely superficial show of

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