An Analysis Of William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

1012 Words Dec 15th, 2015 null Page
“Seems madam, I no not seems”. Acting and pretence are recurring themes in William Shakespeare’s most renowned play, Hamlet. The play asks what is real and what is a mere image. It consistently questions truth and how it can be tested, blending the lines between lies and fiction. The similarities between truth and lies are demonstrated in the play, essentially proving that they can be intertwined. Acting and pretence are shown through Reynaldo’s spying, Ophelia and Hamlet’s love, and Hamlet’s sanity.
The theme of acting and pretence is evident when Reynaldo is asked to spy on Laertes by Polonius. Polonius asks Reynaldo to spy on his son Laertes in Paris to find out what type of behaviour Laertes is engaging in. In this conversation, he is told that if anyone has inquired about his identity he is to say he’s a family friend (Act II, scene I, lines 12-14). This exemplifies the theme of acting and pretence because he is told to act like he is someone who he is not, under the pretence that his lies will breed truth. Another example is when Polonius tells Reynaldo to spread rumours about Laertes in France because the response of those he tells the rumours will reveal Laertes’ behaviour. He tells Reynaldo, “Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth. And thus do we of wisdom and of reach, With windlasses and with assays of bias, By indirections find directions out” (Act II, scene I, lines 12-14). In this passage the theme of acting and pretence is shown because through his…

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