Essay on William Shakespeare 's Hamlet As A Mere Image

1120 Words Dec 18th, 2015 null Page
“Seems madam, I no not seems,” (Act I, scene 2, line 76). Acting and pretense 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 and blends 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 pretense are shown through Reynaldo’s spying, Ophelia and Hamlet’s love, and Hamlet’s sanity.
The theme of acting and pretense 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 behavior Laertes is engaging in. In this conversation he is told that if anyone has inquires about his identity he is to say he is a family friend (Act II, scene I, lines 12-14). This exemplifies the theme of acting and pretense because he is told to act like someone who he is not, under the pretense that his lies will breed truth. Further, Polonius tells Reynaldo to spread rumours about Laertes in France because the response to these rumours will reveal Laertes’ behavior. 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). This passage shows the theme of acting and pretense because through his words to the…

Related Documents