Hamlet is a story about deception. The main character, Hamlet, is caught in a web of lies and deceit. He must decide who to trust and who to believe. The other characters in the play are also involved in deception. Ophelia deceives her father, Polonius. Gertrude deceives her son, Hamlet. Claudius deceives everyone by murdering his brother and marrying his sister-in-law. Even the ghost of Hamlet’s father is involved in deception. He tells Hamlet to kill Claudius, but does not tell him the whole truth about what happened.
Deception is a major theme in Hamlet. It is used by the characters to get what they want. It is also used to mislead the audience. The play is full of lies, half-truths, and false appearances. Nothing is what it seems. This makes the play very confusing and difficult to understand.
There are many examples of deception in Hamlet. Hamlet pretends to be mad in order to fool Claudius and Polonius. He also pretends to be in love with Ophelia so that she will tell her father what he is planning. Ophelia pretends to be mad so that she will not have to marry Hamlet. Gertrude pretends to be innocent even though she knows about Claudius’s murder of her husband. Even the ghost is deceptive. He does not tell Hamlet the whole story about his death.
Deception in Hamlet In today’s environment, it is near- impossible to go a day without encountering some form of deception, whether through hearing about it, witnessing it, or experiencing it firsthand. William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet deals extensively with deception. The play shows that deceit is a useful instrument for Hamlet and Claudius to achieve their goals.
The play is set in the kingdom of Denmark, and follows the story of Hamlet, who is grieving the death of his father. Hamlet’s uncle Claudius has taken the throne and married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his father, who tells him that Claudius murdered him. Hamlet vows to take revenge on Claudius and sets out to deceive those around him in order to accomplish his goal.
One example of deception in the play is when Hamlet pretends to be insane in order to fool those around him. He does this because he knows that if people think he is crazy, they will not suspect him of plotting against Claudius. Throughout the play, Hamlet says and does things that make it seem like he is losing his mind. For example, he talks to himself, acts erratically, and makes crude jokes. This deception allows Hamlet to get close to Claudius and eventually kill him.
Another example of deception in the play is when Hamlet arranges for a play that will re-enact his father’s murder. He does this in order to see Claudius’s reaction and confirm his guilt. When Claudius sees the play, he becomes agitated and leaves the room. This confirms Hamlet’s suspicion that Claudius is guilty and helps him move forward with his plan to take revenge.
Deception is a difficult but necessary tool. It can be used to accomplish goals, get information, or protect oneself. In ‘Hamlet’, Shakespeare uses deception to move the plot forward and keep the characters safe. While it is not always a moral act, it can be a necessary one.
Claudius and Hamlet use deception to gather information for personal gain. Claudius is a master of deception, deceiving everyone in his life. He lied about his brother’s death to everyone around him: “How true it is too true! My conscience receives a resounding lash from that speech!” The plastering art has beautified the harlets’ cheek. Is not the thing that helps its ugliness greater than my deed? O terrible weight!) (III.iii.55-60)
Claudius is also deceiving Gertrude, his wife and Hamlet’s mother: “Mad as the sea and wind when both contend which is the mightier. In his lawless fit behind the arras hearing something stir he whips his rapier out and cries ‘ A rat! a rat!’ And so dies”(III.iv.23-28).
Hamlet’s deception is a little different than Claudius’. Hamlet uses people to get information that will help him with his revenge plot against Claudius. An example of this would be Polonius. Polonius was always trying to figure out what was wrong with Hamlet and would go to great lengths to try and find out. Hamlet used this to his advantage and would give Polonius false information so he could find out what Claudius was up to.
“For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god kissing carrion- Have you a daughter? . . . let her not walk i’ th’ sun: conception is a blessing, but as your daughter may conceive- Friend, look to ‘t”(III.ii.1-16). Hamlet also uses Ophelia as part of his deception. He tells her that he never loved her and says some pretty hurtful things to her.
“Get thee to a nunnery: go, farewell! Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell”(III.i.136-141). Although Hamlet’s deception might not be as bad as Claudius’, he is still using people to get what he wants. In the end, both Claudius and Hamlet use deception for their own personal gain.
Claudius is remorseful for murdering King Hamlet, his brother. He employed deceit to his own advantage because as a result of King Hamlet’s death, Claudius has become king. Second, Claudius tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to determine Hamlet by spending time with him, but he sent them on behalf of himself to observe Hamlet.
This is another example of Claudius using deception for his own personal gain. Lastly, Gertrude gets upset with Hamlet because he killed Polonius. Hamlet tells her that it was actually the king who was behind all of this and she should be more concerned about him. This is the biggest act of deception in the play because Hamlet is trying to protect his mother from knowing that he killed her husband.
Claudius is a very deceptive character and he uses this to his advantage throughout the play. He first deceives King Hamlet by killing him and then taking his place as king. He also deceives Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by sending them to spy on Hamlet. Lastly, he deceives Gertrude by telling her that Hamlet is the one who killed Polonius.
Hamlet is also a very deceptive character. He deceive his mother by telling her that it was actually Claudius who killed Polonius. He also deceives Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by pretending to be mad. Lastly, he deceived Claudius by feigning madness.
In conclusion, deception is a key theme in Hamlet and it is used by both Claudius and Hamlet to further their own agendas.