Deception Versus Truth : Illusion Versus Reality Essay

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Deception versus truth; illusion versus reality. In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Prince Hamlet is constantly having to differentiate between their dichotomous nature, amongst a royal Danish court ensnared in a web of espionage, betrayal and lies. Shakespeare explores challenging ideas of truth and deception through imagery developed by features of language throughout the play of Hamlet. Images of nature, unworldly ghosts, madness, the struggles of battle and symbols of juxtaposing colours are explored by Shakespeare to convey themes of deceit and truth within the contextual issues of human reality and desire for power within the play. The themes of truth and deceit along with corresponding imagery are established early in the play, as Hamlet consciously embarks to reveal the hidden truths of Elsinore, in stark contrast to Claudius’ fervent attempts to obscure the truth of murder.

In Act 3, scene 1, Hamlet delivers arguably the most famous soliloquy in all of Shakespearean literature and provides and insight into his philosophical outlook of human suffering. The use of an infinitive central existential question in the very opening line, “To be or not to be,” immediately establishes the contemplative and indecisive tone for the entirety of the soliloquy, whereby Hamlet contemplates the value of existence and suicidal thoughts. Shakespeare poses this rhetorical question with a deliberate sense of ambiguity, to enhance the mystery surrounding Hamlet’s psychological state,
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