Essay about Deception in Hamlet

1150 Words 5 Pages
In any war, deception is an absolute necessity. Sun Tzu once said, “All war is based on deception.” These “wars” can be between nations, individuals, or even oneself; but they are all based on deception. William Shakespeare shows the use of deception many different times in his plays, in many different ways. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows that, not only can deception make or break a plan for revenge, but also cause self deception. From Hamlet using deception to appear mad, to using deception to try and stop Hamlet’s plans, Hamlet displays the many uses of deception magnificently. The employment of the art of deception could bring a plan to success, cause a plan to fall apart, and cause the mastermind of the plan to deceive himself and go mad. …show more content…
Hamlet uses deception to prevent his own death in the play. Deception can be an extremely useful technique in plans for revenge if used carefully.
Although these may be the best displays of Hamlet’s use of deception, Hamlet actually starts using deception in act II of the play, as Charles Boyce explains. Shakespeare A to Z by Charles Boyce reads, ”Ophelia reports that Hamlet has come to her and behaved as if he were insane” (234). This is Hamlet’s first attempt to draw attention away from his real plans, and divert attention to his false insanity. Hamlet also confirms at the end of act I of Hamlet that his insanity will, in fact, be false insanity. Hamlet says, “How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself” (1.5.174). This proves that Hamlet will only portray himself as insane. Deception can trick even the brightest of minds because what appears to the eye, might not be the reality. When being deceptive, there is chance that someone will see through the deceit and employ the use of counter-deception, which can cause a plan to fall apart at the hinges. The Shakespearean literature reference, Shakespeare A to Z, explains how deception can be fatal and put a plan to a standstill. The book says, “The king tells Hamlet that he is being sent to England immediately for his own safety. The king’s entourage escorts Hamlet to the boat, leaving the king to muse on his plot: he is sending letters to the English that threaten war unless they kill Hamlet immediately” (Boyce 235).

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