Deception And Deception In Hamlet

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Throughout Shakespeare’s plays, deception is used to grant the characters the ability to attain social status and success. Deception comes from the root word “deceive,” which can be defined as, “to mislead by a false appearance or statement,” or “to mislead or falsely persuade others” (“Deceive”). When attempting to deceive another person, the characters must be able to understand the consequences one may face when manipulating another through deceit. Two plays that strongly showcase Shakespeare’s lies and manipulation are Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. In both, one can see how the characters create plans to spy and lie to one another to either “promote happiness” or “harm” the other (Shmoop Editorial Team). Within both these…show more content…
“The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art, / Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it / Than is my deed to my most painted word: / O heavy burthen!” (III.1.50)(Shakespeare). During this aside, the audience is able to see that Claudius has committed the murder, but is left in suspense to whether or not Hamlet will be able to prove that Claudius is his father's murders (Mabillard).
As Hamlet is trying to find evidence against Claudius, he attempts to create a distraction, drawing attention away from his suspicious activities during the time of him gathering evidence against Claudius (Mabillard). Horatio was the only one who Hamlet informed of this deceitful plan, when Hamlet says, “Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, / How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself, / As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on, / That you, at such times seeing me, / never shall, / With arms encumber’d thus, or this head-shake, / Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, / As ‘Well, well, we know’; or ‘We could, an if we would’; / Or ‘If we list to speak’; or ‘There be, an if they might’; / Or such ambiguous giving out, to note / That you know aught of me: this is not to do / So grace and mercy at most need help you” (I.5.187-199)(Shakespeare). As Hamlet goes through with his plan to “feign insanity,” some argue that he might have actually began to go insane (Mabillard). In an attempt to

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