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Analyzing Themes of Betrayal in Hamlet

Analyzing Themes of Betrayal in Hamlet

In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the theme of distrust lays in all four corners of this dwelling through the presence of eavesdropping. This sly way of spying allows the characters to foil each other’s plots, and discover hidden secrets. It also raises the question about the strength of relationships between people within the castle. This theme of eavesdropping is a reoccurring one in most of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as modern day life. This method of obtaining knowledge about someone else’s plans defies morality and weakens any bond of trust formed within Hamlet’s home.

Secrets are supposed to be kept, but when eavesdropping is present, it becomes virtually impossible. Hamlet’s family and piers have considered him insane within his house. He is suffering from internal struggles about his father’s death, and the task he has been given. Hamlet has been instructed by the ghost of his late father to avenge his death by killing King Claudius. This is what brings mistrust and eavesdropping into the picture. Claudius has suspensions about Hamlet’s peculiar behavior, and has summoned his school chums, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, to spy on him. Before they even start their expedition of eavesdropping, the King and Polonious have already made plans to hide being a wall hanging during Hamlet and Ophelia’s exchange of love gifts. King Claudius is determined to discover an alternative motive to Hamlet’s madness besides depression. When Hamlet meets up with his school buddies, they inform him that the players are coming, so Hamlet organizes a plan to catch the King and know if he is the one who killed his father. This starts Hamlets deception, but his actions are to figure out if King Claudius is the foul in the flock. Although eavesdropping may not be present here, Hamlet is more or less eavesdropping on the reaction of Claudius’s face. His reaction to the play will be all that Hamlet needs for proof. Of course after the King sees the play he is enraged, and orders more eavesdropping to been done on Hamlet. This time he uses Polonious to spy on him. The plan is for Polonious to hide in Gertrude’s room and wait until Hamlet comes to see and talk to his mother. Unfortunately for him, plans turn astray when Hamlet discovers this...

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