Deception And Trickery, Often Seen In Real Life, Is A Concept

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Deception and trickery, often seen in real life, is a concept well portrayed in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the play, as the conflict develops, Hamlet, King Claudius, and Ophelia, all use deception to achieve their goals. Hamlet, being the main character, has many instances of deceit. He starts out by feigning madness, then puts on a play to find out if the king killed his father, and finally switches out papers, sending Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths. Hamlet meets with his dead father’s ghost and learns that Claudius killed the deceased king. Upon learning this, Hamlet says, “How strange or odd some 'er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet/ To put an antic disposition on)” (1.5.190-192). Here,…show more content…
Throughout the play, Hamlet uses deceit and trickery to gain an advantage and achieve his goals. Slightly differently, Polonius utilizes Ophelia in an attempt to deceive Hamlet. In trying to understand what Hamlet is up to, Polonius makes Ophelia lie to Hamlet. Polonius says, “Gracious, so please you/ we will bestow ourselves. (to Ophelia) Read on this book/ That show of such an exercise may colour/ Show your lonliness" (3.1.43-46). Polonius wants Ophelia to find out what Hamlet is doing while he and the king eavesdrop. Because Ophelia is required to listen to Polonius, she blatantly lies to Hamlet in their ensuing conversation. Hamlet and Ophelia talk saying,
HAMLET. . . . Where 's your father?
OPHELIA. At home, my lord.
HAMLET. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in 's own house. Farewell. (3.1.141-144)
Through this conversation, Ophelia is forced to deceive Hamlet. However, Hamlet is not fooled. He knows something is up and doesn’t disclose any pertinent information. In a way, this could really be considered Polonius’s deception because he is the one really in control, not Ophelia. Either way, these deceptions are important in building conflict, contributing to the need for a resolution. Lastly, King Claudius uses deceit often throughout the play. The conflict of the story actually starts, or is caused by, King Claudius. The Ghost of the
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