Appearance Vs Reality Hamlet Essay

Appearance Vs Reality Hamlet Essay-84
Surprisingly, Polonius makes no attempt to comfort her.

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Polonius appears to be a good father, and honourable man. He gives advice in order to appear to be a caring father, when in fact he speaks in order to look good rather than to actually be good.

Upon learning that his son is going to France, he gives several pieces of advice to Laertes, in particular “This above all, to thine own self be true” (II. Polonius then sends Reynaldo to bring Laertes money but instructs that “Before you visit him, to make inquire / Of his behaviour” (II. 4-5), and then advises him how to be sneaky about it.

Many of the characters within the play illustrate this concept.

When looking at them from behind a mask they give the impression of a person who is genuine and honest, but in reality they are plagued with lies and despicable behaviour.

While Polonius appears to be a loving and caring father to Laertes and Ophelia, his approach to Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet and his interaction with the King proves his overwhelming desire for recognition and status.

In Act I, having received the consent of both the King and his father, Laertes prepares for Paris.They are asked by the King and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet in order to find the reason behind Gertrude’s “too much changed son” (II. Surprised by his friends’ unexplained arrival, Hamlet questions what has brought them there. Hamlet instantly sees through their lies and insists “you were sent for, and there / is a kind of confession in your looks…I know the good king and / queen have sent for you” (II. Having gotten no answers for the King, the two were asked to go to Hamlet once more and continue to seek the real reason for Hamlet’s behaviour.Rosencrantz lies when responding “To visit you my lord, no other occasion” (II. Hamlet has little patience since being lied to and reveals to the pair that he is aware that they are spies and saying to them: [Y]ou would play upon me, you would seem to know my stops, you would pluck out the heart of my mystery, …….. 343-350) Although appearing to be Hamlet’s friends, he quickly sees that in actuality, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are only trying to pry him for information. Reality in Hamlet Contrast between appearance and reality is a prevalent theme in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.Hamlet’s feigned madness – a perfect example of appearance versus reality - introduces disorder to the royal house of Denmark, forcing others to act accordingly.Similarly, Claudius puts on a manufactured appearance to conceal his overwhelming desire for power.He is an ambitious, intelligent and capable ruler, willing to go to great extents to satisfy his own desires, even at the cost of innocent lives.As Claudius sends Voltimand and Cornelius off to Norway, he thanks and gives them complete trust.This shows his trust and caring for his subjects in front of the court, winning even more consent from the council: “We doubt it nothing. He also increases his appearance of an honest and noble man in front of the council by showing his respect for Polonius when he gives his son, Laertes, permission to leave for France.Call me what Instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me. The King’s royal associate, Polonius, plays an important role in developing the theme.He’s constantly keeping up the facade of a concerned and caring individual.


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