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Word Count: 521
Hamlet In William Shakespeares Hamlet the protagonist exhibits a puzzling duplicitous nature Hamlet contradicts throughout the play He supports 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 tome perfectly calm and rational an instant later He struggles with the issue of revenging his fathers death to kill Claudius and backing out several times The reason for this 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 seems1276 This is to say I am what I appear to be In Act 1 Hamlet makes a clear statement about his state when he commits himself to revenge 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 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 with out demonstrated reason become sink in confusion After Hamlet backs out of killing Claudius Hamlet says to his mother O shame where is thy blush 3472 He is voicing his distaste for Gertrude not only for marrying his uncle but also for not being true to herself Hamlet believes that she should show some shame for her sins but she does not Hamlet is contradicting himself in this He has been duplicitous and untrue for two thirds of the
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