Hamlet Appearance Vs Reality Claudius And Polonius

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In Act I Scene II of Hamlet, Gertrude asks Hamlet, ?Why seems it so particular with thee?? Since death is common to all, she asks, why does Hamlet seem to be making such a particular fuss about his father?s death? He replies, ?Seems Madam? Nay it is. I know not seems.? It is not a question of seeming, but being: His black mourning clothes are simply a true representation of his deep unhappiness. With this line, Shakespeare develops the theme of appearance versus reality and that he intends to stress Hamlet?s dedication to truth in contrast to appearances which serve others, notably Claudius. Allied to the question of Hamlet's madness is a variety of references to the idea of acting a part or of presenting a... View More »

Body Sample...


In Act one Scene two, Claudius, in the presence of the council, shows his true skill and ease of manner at speaking. Claudius speaks well of the spent king by showing a general love for him by all his subjects. Claudius shows respect for the old sovereign by speaking kind words of him. In reality he cares little for the old king, he speaks kindly only to give the appearance of loving brother. ?Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death, The memory be green, and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe.? (Act 1, Scene 2 lines 1 - 4)

As Claudius sends Voltimand and Cornelius off to give the king of Norway the message of Fortinbras, he thanks and gives them complete trust, in the deliverance of the notation.

This shows his trust and caring for his subjects in front of the council, winning even more

consent from the council: ?We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.? (Act 1, Scene 2 line 41) Claudius increases his appearance of an honest and honorable man, in front of the council by showing his respect for Polonius. He gives him the power to let his son Laertes stay or leave for Norway. Claudius speaks highly of Polonius giving him thanks and saying the he was responsible for Claudius becoming king: ?The head is not more native to the heart, The hand more instrumental to the mouth, Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father. What woudlst thou have, Laertes?? (Act 1, Scene 2 lines 47 - 50)

This council would see this as a man who greatly respects his subjects and cares for ...

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