Ryan Otto Mrs.Sohl
Hamlet Literary Essay
In the poem Hamlet there is one theme that is very consistent during the story. One symbol is appearance vs. reality and how people seem one way but actually are another on the inside. Some examples are Claudius, Laertes, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. These characters are very contradicting throughout the poem and all try to cover up their real feelings toward Hamlet.
In the poem Hamlet we learn that Claudius actually killed King Hamlet instead of what everyone else thinks happened (the fatal snake bite). Until King Hamlets Ghost tells Hamlet the truth of what happened Claudius appears to be innocent and cares about the well being of Hamlet because of the tragic death. "The serpent that did sting thy father's life, now wears his crown"(Act I, scene V, line 44-45). After Hamlet finds this out he is enraged because his father’s own brother betrayed King Hamlet, the Queen, and Hamlet. Two more people have similar qualities in contrast to Claudius are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Both of them were old school friends of Hamlet but because of the Kings suspicion of Hamlet he sends them to go spy on them. "Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation?"(Act II, scene II, line 281-282) Hamlet says this because he is now suspicious of R+G. They appear to be just visiting an old friend but is that the reality of their intentions? No it is not.
One last person who fits these characteristics is Laertes. Because Hamlet accidently killed his father Laertes wants him dead. So Laertes tries to become sort of friendly with him to set him up to kill him, with the help of previously mentioned Claudius. "What would you undertake to show yourself your father's son in deed more than in words? To cut his throat i' the church."( Act IV, scene VII, line 135-138). What Claudius and Laertes are saying is Claudius wants to know how far he would go to avenge...