When Hamlet’s mother chastises him for his overly intense grief, she asks him why, if death is universal, “Why seems it then so particular with thee”? (1. 2. 78) He responds, “ ‘Seems,” madam? Nay, it is.
I know not ‘seems’ ”(1. 2. 79).
With those words, Hamlet delineates between appearance and reality, a theme that continues throughout the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare. The idea of appearance versus reality defines three characters in particular: Hamlet, Polonius, and Kind Claudius.The paradox of discrepancy between appearance versus reality is that sometimes, to find reality or truth, one has to act fake himself in order to find out the true nature of others. The two characters who use this theme for unjust purposes ultimately fail, but Hamlet is appearing as something he is not only to discover the truth. Even though Hamlet’s tragic death ends the play, he ultimately finds the truth and accomplishes his ultimate purpose, while Polonius and King Claudius could have easily avoided their deaths by remaining loyal and truthful to their loved ones and to themselves. CHANGE AROUND THIS LAST SENTENCE, I THINK ITS CONFUSING) King Claudius is perhaps the one who puts on the biggest act out of all these characters. Claudius’s personality is completely false, especially when it comes to his pretended love for Hamlet and the supposed grief he has for his dead brother.
When the audience first sees Claudius,it seems that he is sincere in his grief for his brother. He describes to the court his mixed emotions concerning his brother’s death and his hasty marriage: Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory be green, and that it us befittedTo bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe, Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature That we with wisest sorrow think on him Together with remembrance of ourselves (1. 2. 1-7). Claudius is careful to appear to be grieving and anxious to show that his recent marriage does not mean disrespect to his brother. In the same scene he also presents himself as a good king, sending ambassadors to deal with the problem of Fortinbras and granting permission to Laertes to return to France, and he demonstrates the ability to handle issues at court.However, when the Ghost reveals to Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius, the audience realizes that the reality of Claudius’ inner character is very different from the appearance he presents.
Claudius’s motive for creating a false appearance is to cover up the reality of his crime. Claudius hides his crime even from his wife, Gertrude. She clearly hasn’t been an accomplice because the Ghost specifically instructs Hamlet, “Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive/Against thy Mother aught” (1. 5. 92-93). Even his wife, Gertrude, doesn’t know who Claudius really is.If the audience has any question about old Hamlet being murdered by his brother, that doubt is removed when Claudius’s false appearance is stripped away as he unsuccessfully attempts to pray: But, O, what form of prayer Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’? That cannot be, since I am still possessed Of those effects for which I did the murder: My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
(3. 3. 55-59) Once alone, Claudius reveals the truth. When Claudius realizes that Hamlet is onto him, he goes to great lengths to try to get rid of Hamlet so that he can maintain his false appearance of innocence.When the plot to send Hamlet to his death in England fails, Claudius, like Polonius and Hamlet, sets up a false scene in an attempt to have Hamlet killed. The sword fight at the end of the play is meant to appear as a friendly sport, but in reality, it is all just Claudius’s plan for murder by poisoned wine or poisoned sword tips. Claudius’s actions are arguably the most corrupt of all, although at times, Polonius’s deeds throughout the play are almost as unjust as Claudius’s (CHANGE SENTENCE AROUND? ) Even though Polonius’s reasons for his false appearance aren’t to cover up a murder, his motives are still less than admirable.
Polonius sets up his multiple fake appearances by creating scenes to be enacted, just as the director in a play would. For example, Polonius first portrays himself as a wise father saying goodbye to his son, but once Laertes has arrived in France, Polonius sends a spy, Reynaldo, after him, proving he is not the trusting, all-knowing father he claims to be. In Polonius’s elaborate instructions for Reynaldo, he orders Reynaldo to come close to slandering Laertes so he can find out the truth of Laertes’s behavior: “Your bait of falsehood take this carp of truth”(2. 1. 70).In a slightly different way, Polonius sets up another spy scene, this time, to get information about Hamlet. He betrays his daughter by using her as bait to gain information about Hamlet, just as he betrayed Laertes by having him spied upon.
Although Polonius does find out that Hamlet’s appearance of insanity is not out of love for Ophelia, he causes his daughter great anguish in the process. Polonius’s final subterfuge occurs when he insists on his secret presence at the confrontation between Hamlet and Gertrude. Ultimately, Polonius’s deceitfulness brings him to his death.Although Hamlet is like Polonius in the sense that he uses false appearances in order to ascertain the truth, his motifs in doing so are much more morally sound. Hamlet adopts what he calls an “antic disposition,” so that he only appears to be insane. He creates this false appearance so that he has the freedom to gather information from people without being suspected of anything unusual, therefore using false appearance to find the reality of the truth. Hamlet’s first act of craziness occurs when he is talking to Ophelia “ungartered and down-gyved to his ankle” (2.
1. 90). nd she reports his strange condition to her father. Hamlet persists in this false behavior throughout most of the play. Besides trying to find the truth, Hamlet uses his supposed condition to make fun of Polonius and belittle him slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have gray beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging think amber and plum-tree gum, and thst they have a plentiful laxk of wit, together with most weak hams; all which,sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down”(2. 2. 215-220).
SOME SORT OF EXPLANATION OF IMPORTANCE OR SOME SENTENCE EXPLAINING THIS? ) Hamlet sets up a clever scene to rid himself of other enemies: he turns the tables on Rosencrantz and Guilderstern, who are supposed to be Hamlet’s childhood friends, by reversing the Claudius’s orders for Hamlet’s death so that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are killed. But Hamlet’s greatest achievement through the creation of a false appearance is his production of “The Mousetrap,” the play within a play. By using drama, Hamlet creates a fictional device–an illusion–to find the reality of the truth, by observing Claudius’s reaction to the play.Hamlet is certain he has exposed Claudius’s guilt when he stops the play and cries out, “Give me some light. Away! ”(3. 2. 295).
This scene is very important in the development of Hamlet’s revenge because it ultimately gives him the confidence he needs to execute the murder. All three characters create false appearances, but all for different reasons. Claudius creates a false appearance to mask his crime while both Polonius and Hamlet use appearances to deviously find information. However, Polonius exhibits no concern for morality in his actions, which is where he differs from Hamlet.Hamlet is driven to create a false appearance because of his loyalty towards his father. Even though the idea of revenge itself may be questionable, his love for his father and his desire to right the wrong that has been done to him are more honorable than the motives of the other characters. Quotes for Claudius Acts like he is sad about his brother dying “whose whisper o’er the world’s diameter, as levels as the cannon to his blank transports his poisoned shot, may miss our name and hit the woundless air.
oh come away! My soul is full of discord and dismay! ”- Claudius, act 4 scene 1, lines 42-46.Acts like he cares about hamlet “and that it us befitted/To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom/To be contracted in one brow of woe” (Shakespeare I 2 2-4)”our late dear brother’s death” (Shakespeare I 2 “O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven. /It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t/A brother’s murder” “It is most retrograde to our desire/And we do beseech you, bend you to remain/Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye” (Shakespeare I 2 114-117). “And he [Hamlet] to England shall along with you [R ; G]” (Shakespeare III 3 4). Claudius also refers to himself as “Thy loving father,Hamlet” (Shakespeare IV 3 50) “Our sovereign process, which imports at full/By letters congruing to that effect/The present death of Hamlet” Quotes for Polonius Sends person to spy on laertes |POLONIUS | |This above all: to thine ownself be true, | |And it must follow, as the night the day, | |Thou canst not then be false to any man. |(1. 3.
1) | Such meaningful words are almost not meaningful at all because polonius is the one that is saying them. He always wants to give advice but he shouldn’t been the one doing it, especially when it comes to the truth 3. Polonius (Act II, Scene 2, lines 210-211) Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. Will you walk out of the air, my lord? Quotes for Guildenstern and Rosencrantz