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To the general public, Claudius is an honourable man who, in the wake of King Hamlet’s death, marries Gertrude for the betterment of Denmark.In Act I, in the presence of the court, Claudius speaks highly of the spent king and shows a general love for all of his subjects.While Polonius appears to be a loving and caring father to Laertes and Ophelia, his approach to Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet and his interaction with the King proves his overwhelming desire for recognition and status.
Similarly, Claudius puts on a manufactured appearance to conceal his overwhelming desire for power.
He is an ambitious, intelligent and capable ruler, willing to go to great extents to satisfy his own desires, even at the cost of innocent lives.
Rather than attempting to comfort his daughter after her troublesome experience, he tells her, “Come we to the King. At once, he takes a few pieces of evidence of Hamlet’s affections for Ophelia and presents them to the King and Queen, immediately concluding that Hamlet’s madness “sprung from neglected love” (III.i.190).
After informing the King and Queen, he eagerly offers to loose Ophelia to Hamlet and to “mark the encounter” (177).
Polonius loves his son dearly and obviously wants the best for him.
After sending Laertes off to France, Polonius tends to Ophelia.
– Even though god gives women one face, they put makeup on and give themselves another face.
So, their true face is covered up by makeup, causing them to appear a lot different than they are in reality.– Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s childhood friends, appear to be loyal to him.
Reality in Hamlet Contrast between appearance and reality is a prevalent theme in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.
Hamlet’s feigned madness – a perfect example of appearance versus reality - introduces disorder to the royal house of Denmark, forcing others to act accordingly.