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Deceptionying And Deceit And Lies In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Decent Essays
“Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.”(Leviticus 19:11), within the holy bible the act and often consequences of lying appear; whether in passages or the ten commandments the consensus is don’t lie. However, inside the play ‘Hamlet’ by Shakespeare, lying and deceiving others is commonplace. ‘Hamlet’ takes place during the middle ages, in a protestant Denmark. While the characters often worry about their eventual place in the afterlife, it doesn’t stop any of them from being dishonest or deceitful. When Marcellus says “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”(1.4.90), he’s right and Shakespeare uses the characters actions and their inevitable deaths to show us that deceit and lies are what is rotten in Denmark. The most important event that drives the majority of the other characters to their deaths is one of deception. Claudius murders his brother, who was the king of Denmark so he can become king. Claudius is aware of his lies “How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!”(3.1.50), and he does say that he feels unjust for doing it. However no matter how much guilt or remorse he feels, he doesn’t stop spewing lies. While he does his best to keep the murder of his brother a secret he ultimately fails. Hamlet find out about Claudius’ crime and he wants justice originally. His immediate plan to obtain said revenge is “To put an antic disposition on”(1.5.171). Claudius killed a king and is now lying about it, and Hamlet now wants to lie about his
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