Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Appearance vs. Reality

Essay by dselchauHigh School, 12th gradeA+, April 2004

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Appearance vs. Reality

Throughout several tragic and upsetting events, Hamlet witnesses his loyalty and honesty betrayed by both friends and foes. Shakespeare's Hamlet, tells a story of the young prince of Denmark who find the truth about his father, and then seek revenge. Hamlet's uncle Claudius marries his mother, the queen, taking Hamlet's father's place as king, who has passed away with an unknown cause. Not to his surprise, Hamlet later finds that it was his step-father who killed King Hamlet. Events within the play appear to be true and honest but in reality are infested with evil. Many of the characters within the play hide behind a mask of falseness. Three of the main characters that hide behind this mask are Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In this disguise they give the impression of a person who is sincere and genuine, yet in reality they carry lies and wickedness.

Their appearance makes it very difficult for Hamlet to uncover the truth that characters hide behind.

Polonius, the king's assistant, includes himself in this constant scandal. He always wants to keep the appearance of loving and caring person. Polonius appears to be a man who loves and cares about his son, Laertes. Polonius speaks to his son with advice that sounds sincere but in reality it is rehearsed, meaningless and in truth, gives his advice only to appear to be the dear, tending father. The reality is he's hardly genuine. "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!"(I, iii, 81) Here Polonius releases his son, and lets him go with trust. However his trust is erased when...