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William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet '

Good Essays
Elena Ehrlich
Mrs. Stensaas
Hour 1
Hamlet Final Paper

Motif Paper - Seems vs. Is

The play, Hamlet, takes place in the Renaissance era, and readers are exposed to the golden age of English writing as well as its featured complexities. Shakespeare’s work features young Hamlet’s life after his father’s passing. Hamlet shows that death is a hard occurrence to heal from. Hamlet reveals both the negative and positive events that arise because of it. Prince Hamlet does not alleviate from his father’s death like others do in the play. He even attempts to get revenge because his father’s ghost requests him to do so.
Shakespeare’s writing is embedded with a strong sense of comparing the fantasy world of people, things, and ideas that “seem”
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how it “is”.
During Hamlet, the Ghost of King Hamlet is a dominant character. Prince Hamlet, the King’s son, claims that he sees the Ghost and talks to it. On one occasion, the Ghost converses with Hamlet while he is in a room with Gertrude, the Queen. Hamlet responds to the Ghost, so the Queen wonders “To whom do you speak this” (3.4.149) concerning Hamlet’s actions. Although the ghost “seemed” to be real to Hamlet as a perceived fantasy, the Queen saw nothing in reality. This makes it questionable to readers whether or not there actually “is” a ghost. Furthermore, it is questionable whether or not Shakespeare intended to portray a true ghost, or if it might have truly just been a figment of Hamlet’s imagination to add to the motif of “seems vs. is.”
Another instance in the play involves Gertrude when she is concerned for Hamlet’s coping to his father’s death. The Queen confronts Hamlet and asks him what “seems” to be so important about his father’s death. Hamlet brusquely snaps back and replies, “Seems,” madam? Nay, it is. I know not “seems.” (1.2.78-79). Hamlet completely rejects how his appearance of himself “seems” to be by revealing how he actually “is” feeling to his mother with the harsh reality of the truth to his feelings that he blatantly says it to her.
Lastly, Shakespeare accounted for this “seems vs. is” motif
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