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Hamlet essay appearance vs reality

Claudius is seen in general as a good king. This displays his ability to acts quickly on problems to the court which would make him more favorable.

Hamlet Appearance Vs Reality English Literature Essay

He also comes off as being kind towards Hamlet in his grievance, saying "'Tis sweet and commendable in your. Claudius is however is a manipulative and selfish individual who is in fact responsible for the death of his brother. He manipulates the court around him to spy on Hamlet as Claudius thinks he may know something and to discover the truth behind Hamlet's apparent madness. First he gets Rosencrantz and Guildernstern to check up on Hamlet, he uses them because they are his friends and want to make sure that Hamlet is okay.

They do not even realize that they are in fact spying for the king.


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Again, here Claudius appears to be showing concern over Hamlet's well being, however he is only doing so for his own personal gain. When they return with nothing, Claudius then tries to manipulate Ophelia. He uses Ophelia in this by arranging for her to meet with Hamlet whilst he and Polonius hide and watch to find out more about Hamlet because he is likely to open up to her rather than Claudius.

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Our writing service will save you time and grade. One of the most famous and popular authors and script writers is William Shakespeare.

Hamlet Theme of Appearance vs. Reality

Shakespeare has always been able to create interesting characters and one of the reasons they are so interesting might be that they are complex people with their inner selves differing from their outer selves. Are the characters in Hamlet the same on the inside as they appear to be on the outside?

The characters in William Shakespeare's Hamlet can be studied in a manner relating to appearance versus reality. Some of these characters are Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Hamlet. One character who enables us to examine the theme of appearance versus reality is Claudius, the new King of Denmark. In Act One, Scene Two Claudius acts as though he really cares for his brother and grieves over the elder Hamlet's death.

However, this is not how Claudius truly feels about his brothers death, for Claudius is the one who murders elder Hamlet.

Appearance Vs Reality In Hamlet Essay

We see the proof of this in Claudius' soliloquy when he appears to be praying; "O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven. Another love which Claudius fakes is the love he has towards his nephew and stepson, Hamlet.

Even the love Claudius showed for Gertrude can be questioned in its validity. Claudius, near the beginning of the play, appears to be happy about his marriage to Gertrude and in the later scene of Claudius' soliloquy, he lists Gertrude as one of the reasons he murdered his own brother. We can assume by this that Claudius did appear to love Gertrude, but we cannot say for certain.

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Appearance Vs Reality Essay Examples

Another character source of information relating to the appearance versus reality theme would be Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Both appear to be Hamlet's friends; "My honour'd lord! One other character which allows us to take a good look at appearances versus reality is Hamlet.

Claudius believes he is just going to see a play that Hamlet would like him to see; he does not expect for Hamlet to use the play to accuse him of murdering elder Hamlet. Hamlet also appears to welcome and trust his returning friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, "My excellent good friends! Hamlet's love for Ophelia also has two different sides.


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Claudius and Hamlet, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to an extent, have a hidden side to them that only the reader is allowed to see. This helps keep the plot suspenseful and sometimes humourous when the reader knows what each character thinks of each other and then sees the opposite happen when the characters interact.