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Word Count: 2,268
In William Shakespeares Hamlet the protagonist exhibits a puzzling duplicitous nature Hamlet contradicts himself throughout the play He endorses both the virtues of acting a role and that of being true to ones self He further supports both of these conflicting endorsements with his actions This ambiguity is demonstrated by his alleged madness for he does behave madly only to become perfectly calm and rational an instant later These inconsistencies are related with the internal dilemmas he faces He struggles with the issue of revenging his fathers death vowing to kill Claudius and then backing out several times Upon this point Hamlet stammers through the play The reason for this teetering is directly related to his inability to form a solid opinion about role-playing This difficulty is not present however at the start of the play In the first act Hamlet appears to be very straightforward in his actions and inner state When questioned by Gertrude about his melancholy appearance Hamlet says Seems madam Nay it is I know not seems 1276 This is to say I am what I appear to be Later In Act I Hamlet makes a clear statement about his state when he commits himself to revenge In this statement the play makes an easy to follow shift This shift consists of Hamlet giving up the role of a student and mourning son Hamlet says Ill wipe away all trivial fond records All saws of books all forms all pressures past That youth and observation copied there And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain 1599-103 Hamlet is declaring that he will be committed to nothing else but the revenge of his fathers death There is no confusion about Hamlets character He has said earlier that he is what he appears to be and there is no reason to doubt it In the next act however Hamlets status and intentions suddenly and
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