Subterfuge: Theme of Hamlet

Essay by goofy88High School, 12th gradeA, December 2007

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After studying and reviewing the book “Hamlet”, there are many different types of themes that stand out. Subterfuge was one of those themes and it is an important theme with several examples from the book supporting it. Many of these examples are important parts in the book and they all seemed to have something to do with secret plans. Upon reviewing many themes of Hamlet, Subterfuge was the theme that stood out the most to be the major theme of Hamlet.

One example of the theme subterfuge is Laertes and Claudius’ plans to kill Hamlet. When they are sitting with each other discussing ways to kill hamlet, they both come up with secret plans to execute Hamlet. When Laertes says to Claudius, “Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare, collected from all simples that have virtue under the moon, can save the thing from death,” Claudius agrees with Laertes’ secret plan.

Claudius then tells Laertes of his plan that would forsurely kill Hamlet if he was to escape Laertes plan. These two examples represent the theme subterfuge very well.

Another example of subterfuge is the re-enactment of the murder of King Hamlet where Hamlet has his little plan to see if the ghost was telling the truth. Hamlet has a plan to see if Claudius was really responsible for the death of King Hamlet by watching his reaction during the play. Hamlet achieves this plan by telling the player to “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you.” Hamlet has another plan up his sleeve to watch the King’s facial reactions when he says to Horatio, “Give him heedful note; for I mine eyes will rivet to his face, and after will both our judgments join in censure of his seeming.” Both of the...