Consequences Of Deception In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Deception leading down a destructive path ending in corruption is a primary theme displayed in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Deceit is like quicksand because the more someone sinks into it the more they struggle to get out and getting out of it is the hardest part. The characters around Hamlet sink into the deceit and corruption so quickly that they can no longer act as they normally would. They begin to act irrationally and be completely filled with the lies they tell. One single thing does not cause the deception amongst the characters though. It is a multitude of events that led to the corrupt fabrications that Hamlet becomes consumed in. Deception not only fills the characters, but it develops into a habit for most characters which forces …show more content…
The first true cause of mistrust is when Hamlet creates “The Mousetrap” in the play that triggers Claudius to stop the play and show his rage. Then, Claudius fires back with some deception of his own. He plans to send Hamlet to England to be killed without others knowing that the plan ends with Hamlet’s death.
Thou mayst not coldly set/ Our sovereign process; which imports at full,/ By letters congruing to that effect,/ The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;/ For like the hectic in my blood he rages,/ And thou must cure me. Till I know ‘tis done,/ Howe’er my haps, my joys will ne’er begin. (IV. iii.
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He agrees that his mother is filled with lustful intent, Claudius is the ultimate enemy and an awful person no matter what, and his late father is seemingly faultless (Battenhouse). This acceptance of what a biased ghost has to say is the onset of what becomes Hamlet’s apparent madness, which leads him to lie and deceive most characters he comes in contact with. Hamlet takes part in the ultimate deception through speech to the characters around him and even to those reading Hamlet. He claims to be faking madness when around the characters, but this insanity comes through in his soliloquies when he is alone as well. So, Hamlet appears to play both the characters in the story and the audience reading it by acting with such irrationality that it keeps everyone guessing about Hamlet’s true mindset (“Hamlet”). He even attempts to feign his insanity when meeting Ophelia in her room, but his unsettled behavior seems so genuine that it is hard to know if he is actually crazy or not (Lidz). Along with “faking” madness, Hamlet is quite deceptive and prone to changing what he says about his love for Ophelia. In Act Three he claims to have never loved Ophelia, but then after she dies he says that he loved her more than her brother ever could have. So, Hamlet has to be lying in one of these situations. Then, as mentioned in the previous paragraph when Claudius is talking to

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