There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark because deception rules the day! Deception, one of the main themes in Shakespeare’s play; Hamlet, is a major factor or characteristic that many, if not all of the characters portray. Throughout the play, almost none of the characters are true to one another, this causes chaos and drama. Within the play, there are many examples of deception, one being in scene II of act I. In this scene Claudius gives a speech, acting as if he feels sorrow and remorse over the death of his brother, and former king, Hamlet.
To deceive the people, and fool them into thinking that he actually feels remorse over his brother’s death, is King Claudius’s goal. The truth however is king Claudius is the source of King Hamlet’s bereavement. In hopes that no one will suspect him of murdering his own brother, Claudius uses the “fake sympathy charade”. Even if King Claudius truly felt remorse or regret for the death of his brother, he would not have married his dead brothers wife, Queen Gertrude. Scene II of act II includes another example of deception.
This scene consists of four characters, all of whom deceive the traumatized and depressed Prince and main character, Hamlet. He is deceived by; his “love”, Ophelia, his Uncle/Father, King Claudius, Ophelia’s father, Polonius, and most importantly his own Mother, Gertrude. Polonius concocts a plan to prove to King Claudius that Hamlet’s destructive behavior is due to his unreciprocated love for Ophelia. This was to be carried out by Ophelia misleading Hamlet into thinking that they are alone, in the hallway in which Hamlet spends most of his time.
Meanwhile Ophelia is well aware that her father, Polonius and King Claudius are hiding nearby eavesdropping on their conversation. Also, In Act I, sc. II, Claudius and Gertrude ask Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlets long time friends to speak with Hamlet and find out why has been so sepulchral . After Hamlet greets them joyfully, he asks them for the reasoning behind their visit. Rosencrantz lies in his response by saying, “To visit you, my lord, no other occasion”. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are not the only ones involved in this situation, making
Gertrude and Claudius unfaithful to Hamlet as well because it is they who brought Hamlets friends, knowing that his friends were most likely the only ones that would be able to get information out of Hamlet. Almost all of the characters in Hamlet are unfaithful/ deceptive. They play tricks, and lie to one another. Most of the characters are “duplicitous” in the sense that they have two totally different personalities and switch back and forth, or perhaps they are one faced, and wear masks. So one side of their face is who they truly are, and the other (or the mask) is who they deceive people into believing they are.
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