2 February 2017
Hamlet: Seems Versus Is
Throughout the tragic play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, there are a multitude of characters who seem to act one way but, below the surface, are completely different than they are portrayed. These characters hide behind their own disguise, masking their true identities. The motif Seems Versus Is is brought to the reader 's attention in Hamlet because it shows that although people might seem to be one way, they can be completely different on the inside. These disguises serve as obstacles for Hamlet to overcome throughout the play.
Polonius, the chief counselor to the king, is a character who seems to be a loving, charismatic man and father who only wants…show more content… Claudius also seems like a respectable king because he mourns the death of King Hamlet and tells “[the] whole kingdom to be contracted in one brow of woe” (21). Although Claudius seems to be a good king who is deeply saddened by the death of the late King Hamlet, he is actually a horrible man who murdered King Hamlet in a way “most foul,...strange and unnatural” (57). He took his crown and acted as if his death was an accident. Claudius makes it difficult for Hamlet to uncover the truth behind his actions because he constantly acts like nothing is ever wrong. After many different plots against Claudius, Hamlet prevails and the real Claudius is exposed. Claudius played an important role in the play because he reinforced the motif Seems Versus Is and showed the reader that although people can come across as honest and respectable, deep down they can have an evil side.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are characters in Hamlet who have a more complex side to them than one might assume. Hamlet sees them as good friends who have always been there for him, such as after his father 's death when they came “to visit [him]; no other occasion” (99). Although they acted as good friends to Hamlet, in reality they were manipulative and deceitful. The two characters had a darker side because they acted as Claudius’ and Gertrude’s spies. Near the end of the play, Claudius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern