Illusion Against Reality in Hamlet

             The focus of this essay is the struggle between appearance and reality as illustrated in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. This play teaches us about the reality and appearances and how important each of these are. The struggle between appearance and reality is clearly evident throughout the play. Things within the play appear to be true and honest but in reality are polluted with evil, mainly the characters.
             Polonius the king’s royal assistant has a fixation with appearance. He always wants to keep up the appearance of la oving and caring person. Polonius appears to be like a man who loves and cares about his son, Laertes. Polonius speaks to his son with advice, which sounds sincere but in reality it is rehearsed, hollow and without feeling. Polonius gives his advice only to appear to be the loving caring father. The reality is he only speaks to appear sincere as a politician, to look good rather then actually be good:
             "And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!" Act 1
             Polonius gives his son Laertes his blessing to go away, but he sends a spy to follow him and keep an eye on him. This shows his lack of trust for anyone, he gives the appearance of a confident father who trusts his son to go off on his own. In reality he lies about his trust for his son by sending a spy to watch him. His advice he gives his son is rehearsed and only said to give the appearance of a loving father. Polonius further adds to the theme appearance verses reality by ordering Ophelia to stop seeing Hamlet. He lies to her telling her that Hamlet does not love her, he only lusts for her, when in truth he does love her. Through the play Polonius hides behind his mask appearing to be honest loving parent. In reality Polonius lies, manipulates people and eavesdrops on peoples conver

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Illusion Against Reality in Hamlet. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:11, January 18, 2017, from