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In Act I Scene II of Hamlet Gertrude asks Hamlet Why seems it so particular with thee Since death is common to all she asks why does Hamlet seem to be making such a particular fuss about his fathers death He replies Seems Madam Nay it is I know not seems It is not a question of seeming but being His black mourning clothes are simply a true representation of his deep unhappiness With this line Shakespeare develops the theme of appearance versus reality and that he intends to stress Hamlets dedication to truth in contrast to appearances which serve others notably Claudius Allied to the question of Hamlets madness is a variety of references to the idea of acting a part or of presenting a false image to the world Hamlet demands honesty but is he himself always honest Many characters at various times seem to be playing parts and the troupe of players is in the play as an active reminder that in real life a person can play many roles and it is not always easy to tell what is true from what only appears to be true Polonius the Kings royal assistant has a preoccupation with appearance He always wants to keep up the appearance of loving and caring person Polonius appears like a man who loves and cares about his son Laertes Before Laertes leaves to Paris Polonius speaks to his son with advice that sounds sincere but in reality is rehearsed hollow and without feeling Polonius gives his advice only to appear to be the loving caring father He tries to teach Polonius how to seem and how to show himself publically 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
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