Ambiguity In Hamlet

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In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the occurrence of appearance vs reality was one that set up the basis of a story surrounded by tragedy in the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare had an understanding that in life, humans had a tendency to believe their opinion to be irrefutable fact. He played upon this idea to bring awareness to issues that occured in his reality without being deliberate. He had an ability to create ambiguity throughout the play which led readers to challenge the stereotypes and social structures surrounding a time that was not only corrupt; but also non progressive. Through his characters, imagery, and physical world, he was able to use elements such as gender, madness, kingship, and social class preconceptions to bring forth the …show more content…

Shakespeare used the stereotypes established in life to offer a new view on the lower class. This was seen during the death of Ophelia, many believed her death was self inflicted, yet she received a catholic burial. One of the gravediggers said, “How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense?” (5.1.6-7). In catholicism, suicide is a sinful and unforgivable act. Many believed that if they acted upon their suicidal thoughts, such as Hamlet, they would perish in hell. Although, due to Ophelia’s family’s status, they were able to cover up her suicide for a catholic burial. However, it appeared as though in the bible that everyone was treated equally and got the same punishment no matter what. When in reality, one’s social standing had more of an impact on how one was treated in the afterlife.. Shakespeare was very keen on eliminating the division between classes mentally in the Elizabethan era, which was very apparent when Hamlet spoke about the afterlife. Hamlet said to Claudius, “Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service—two dishes, but to one table” (4.3.23-25). Hamlet regarded the fact even the most noble person, such as the king, would have a vile worm eat away at his flesh. It does not matter how a king or a peasant were raised, a king may be above a peasant in ranking in life. However, in reality everyone would be in the ground, dead, with the flesh on their skin devoured by worms. Shakespeare took a jab at the nobles incapability to recognize the growing wit of the peasants among the kingdom, insinuated that they were much smarter than they seemed. “The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier he galls his kibe” (5.1.142-144). Social class was the main factor in whether a person received education, health care, and employment. Thus, when

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