Hamlet - The Master of Deception Essay

1770 Words 8 Pages
Deception is defined as a misleading falsehood. One is usually deceitful when there is a need to conceal the truth, or create a scheme to reveal the truth. This statement can be applied to the play Hamlet, where Shakespeare creates a society that is built upon deceit. Each character in the play experiences or enacts on some form of deceit in order to expose the truth or obscure the truth. There are no characters in the play that feel the need to be straightforward and seek the truth. As a result, the characters feel the need to continually be deceitful to cover up their past errors. Shakespeare displays various examples of deceit in the play such as dishonesty, antic disposition and betrayal. Through these forms of deceit, Shakespeare …show more content…
Ophelia tries to obscure the truth because she is afraid of disobeying her father. It is obvious that Hamlet is already well aware that Polonius is watching after he states “Let the doors be shut upon him, the he may play the fool nowhere but in’s own house.”(3.1.132-133) Ophelia could have easily told Hamlet the truth, but due to her undying love for her father chooses to deceive Hamlet. Ophelia’s deceit leads Hamlet to start questioning her honest nature. Hamlet begins tearing apart by Ophelia because he is so irritated with her for being insincere to him. He states to Ophelia that “you should not have believed me: for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it: I loved you not.” (3.1.117-119) Hamlet states that he does not love Ophelia because he believes that through this scheme, Ophelia will reveal the truth that Polonius is in fact behind their “unplanned” meeting. Ophelia had betrayed Hamlet by lying to him, thus Hamlet felt the need to betray her. If Ophelia had just been honest with Hamlet he would have not become so discourteous towards her, but she was not which resulted in him denying his love for her. Just as Hamlet was deceived, Ophelia was also because it was her lies that led to the ending of their love. Ophelia’s dishonesty resulted in her becoming a mockery of Hamlets antic disposition. Hamlet uses Ophelia to uncover
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