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In Hamlet the convention of false seeming is one that exists throughout the play and is one of the main themes the play focuses on.

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Introduction

Question 2) In Hamlet the convention of false seeming is one that exists throughout the play and is one of the main themes the play focuses on. Shakespeare uses this convention to portray Hamlet's confusion in understanding the world and how it is able to corrupt Denmark. Hamlet suffers from his own moral standards, the desperate need to seek the truth, lack of confidence and confusion within his mind. The first confusing incident for Hamlet is the appearance of the ghost of his dead father in the beginning of the play. With the ghost telling him of the task that he must fulfil, he instantly becomes confused and introspective. Shakespeare portrays this confusion as a need to find the truth, as Hamlet must decide whether to believe the ghost, or not. The spirit that I have seen may be the devil: and the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape..." ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet learns of this and gains a confession from the two men, leading him to become confused as to who can be trusted and he feels his first bitter taste of betrayal. Through spying on a meeting with Ophelia, Claudius learns of Hamlets threat to end his life. "I say we will have no mo marriage. Those that are married already-all but one-shall live;"(A3:S1:L149) Because of this Hamlet is sent to England where Claudius wishes to have him killed in secret, to negate the threat. "Madness in great ones must not unwatched go."(A3:S1:L190). When Hamlet learns of the plot against his life he trusts no one and feels suspicious of every word spoken to him, something that leaves him isolated in his life. One of the things that Shakespeare attempts to do in Hamlet is to show the consequences of avoiding the truth and of the false-seeming behaviour. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hamlet is still alone and confused as Horatio only every offers a balanced view that does not aid Hamlet in his decisions. Hamlet's need to seek the truth is his greatest virtue but it is also his Achilles heel as it leads to his procrastination and introspective nature. Although he finally does find out the truth he learns of the sad fate tat he must die as all who partake in the 'false-seeming' do. It has been said that Shakespeare paralleled the court of Denmark with some aspects of the English court as a great deal of spying took place and betrayal of friends was not uncommon. He attempted to show how Hamlet was confused by the deceitful behaviour in the court, and how it would have affected his own country and court. Not only is Hamlet a play about revenge, it is also one about deception, loneliness, morality and the chaos and harm that it can cause to innocent people. By Spencer Harrison 12-3 ...read more.

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