Hamlet - Good vs Evil

Essay by renrenCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2004

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Hamlet one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, where the young prince of Denmark must uncover the truth about his father's death. Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, marries his mother, the queen, and takes the throne. As the play unravels, Hamlet finds out his father was murdered by the recently crowned king. A question that is constantly looked upon throughout the play is a character's actions and whether they are good or evil. Actions and speech within the play appear to be true and honest, but in reality, most are infested with evil. Many of the characters within the play hide behind a mask of falseness. Four of the main characters that hide behind this mask are Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Claudius. From behind this mask they give the impression of people who are sincere and genuine, and at times are, but in reality they are mostly plagued with lies and evil.

Polonius, the king's royal assistant has a preoccupation with appearance.

Polonius appears like a man who loves and cares about others, including his son, Laertes. Polonius speaks to his son with advice that sounds sincere, but in reality it is rehearsed and without feeling. The reality is he only speaks to appear sincere like a politician - to look good rather than actually be good. Polonius gives his son Laertes his blessings to go away, which is a good deed, but he sends a spy to follow him and keep an eye on him.

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell; my blessing season this in thee! (Act 1. Scene 3. Lines 77-81. Speaker : Polonius)

This shows his lack of trust for anyone,