Deception In Hamlet Essay Prompt

Essay on The Role of Deception in Hamlet

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The Role of Deception in Hamlet

In the play Hamlet, deception is a major factor in the cause of the deaths of all those who die in the play, including Hamlet himself. The following paragraphs will outline the deception involved in the deaths of various characters including: Polonius, Gertrude, Laertes, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Old Hamlet; as well as the downfall of the antagonist and protagonist: Claudius and Hamlet themselves.

Dishonesty is a major factor in the deaths of many characters. "I'll silence me even here. Pray you be round with him." (III, iv, 4-5), is what Polonius says before hiding behind the arras in Gertrude's bedroom, and eavesdropping on Hamlet's conversation with his mother. Much to…show more content…

Old Hamlet, as well, was murdered by being stabbed in the back, by his very own brother Claudius. These are just the deaths of minor characters in the play, those who do not play a large role.

The death of Claudius was also a result of deceit, mainly orchestrated by Hamlet.

Here as before, never, so help you mercy,

How strange or odd some'er I bear myself

(As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

To put an antic disposition on), (I, v, 169-172)

is what Hamlet says to Horatio and Marcellus after he talks to the ghost of Old Hamlet. Hamlet is telling them not to mention that he is just pretending to be mad to anybody, which hints that Hamlet does have a plan to put on an antic disposition to fool Claudius and the courtiers. Later on in the play, Hamlet asks the traveling player to put on a show of the play The Murder of Gonzago, which is quite similar to the current situation with Claudius and Old Hamlet. Hamlet says, "We'll ha't to-morrow night. You could for a need study a / speech of some dozen or sixteen lines which I would set down and / insert in't, could you not?" (II, ii, 506-508), when he asks the players if he could add a speech into their performance. This speech makes the plot virtually parallel to the occurrences between Claudius and Hamlet, and Hamlet will see Claudius' reaction to the play in order to determine his guilt. Claudius'

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Free Hamlet Essays: Use of Deception in Hamlet

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Use of Deception in Hamlet  

Hamlet is a play by William Shakespeare about a prince named Hamlet who was spoken to by the ghost of his dead father telling Hamlet to kill his uncle Claudius (the new king) because Claudius killed him. The story revolves around Hamlet's dillema of how to kill his uncle while being deceptive enough so that no one finds out about the ghost. This essay will prove how deception is often used in Hamlet for many reasons. Claudius uses deception to protect himself from being prosecuted for his crime of killing the King. No one knows what the deal is with Gertrude because she deceives everybody by keeping to herself all the time keeping everyone from knowing anything. By using quotes from the book I will prove how these two (Claudius and Gertrude) and among a few others , use deception for different reasons and in different ways. A lot of the times it is to protect someone, or themselvs because they believe that the truth will hurt more than their lies.

Claudius decieves everyone in different ways and at different times , always and only to protect himself from everyone else finding out that he killed the king. We can't truly say that he deceived Gertrude or not because we still don't know if she knows about Claudius killing the king or not because that is part of her own deception , but we know that he deceived the people and Hamlet himself (before he talks to the ghost). This next quote comes from the ghost of the king convicting Claudius of the murder ,"If thou didst ever thy dear father love- revenge his foul and most unnatural murder(p.57, act1,scene5 ,lines29-31). This quote proves that Claudius actually did commit the murder. This next quote is from Claudius himself after the funeral and the wedding giving a speach about the death of the king and the whole deal with Fortinbras,"To our most valiant brother-so much for him(p.21, act1 ,scene2 ,line25)." This quote shows that Claudius obviously doesn't have much remorse for his dead brother and might be covering up the fact that he killed him. And we all know what that means...What does it mean?! It means that he actually is the rat and is the evil one in the play.

Hamlet's deception , possibly the cruelest of all. Maybe even though Hamlet's deception was derived from Claudius's deception , it is the one that killed everybody.

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He tried to keep it a secret that he knew that Claudius killed his father. For that he killed Polonius. For that he killed Laertes when Claudius made them fight, and for that he told Ophelia that he hated her because he knew that Claudius and Polonius were watching which resulted in her drowning herself. This quote comes from the part of the book when Hamlet is confiding in Horatio with his last words in his final moments. He openly admits that he knows everything to someone , another human being and for him to tell the world the tragic story of Denmark. He tells Horatio this because everyone who would be hurt by the secrets is already dead. "On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice. So tell him , with th' occurents , more or less , which have solicited-the rest is silence (p.283, act5, scene2, lines393-395)." This quote proves that Hamlet kept secrets and deceived everyone by doing so, which resulted in everyone dying because they didn't know the truth. And after all that has conspired here, it is still hard to say who's fault it really is.

Now for Queen Gertrude's deception. I now choose her because her deception was quite a mysterious one. No one can say for sure whether or not she was in on the death of king Hamlet because Shakespeare never actually writes it out , but there is the fact that she did end up marrying Claudius. She might have married Claudius because she was in on the deal to kill her late husband with him , but then again she might have married him because (even thoug it's hard to believe because he's such a rat) she loves him. Now Hamlet does try to accuse her of it and get her to confess , but she still denies it , and we still don't know. This next quote is from Hamlet when he tries to question her."You are the Queen , your husband's brother's wife (p.171, act3, scene4, line20)..." This quote shows that there is suspicion that she was in on the deal , but there is not enough evidence to convict her of anything.

I tend to believe from the evidence exhibited in this essay that many people in this play deceive many other people and the reason for the most part ,when you get right down to it , is to protect themselves and on occasion to protect someone else. Yet for the most part it is a selfish and greedy act. Deception is what keeps people from knowing the truth , it's what killed Ophelia, it's what drove Hamlet mad ,and it's what gives the ghost grief because everyone whom he loved just died. And then there is the fact of slight guilt because the ghost knows deep down inside that it is all his fault for wanting revenge so badly that he would do whatever to get it.


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