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Whos There Ben Bonoma In Shakespeares tragedy Hamlet the protean characters mask their true identity with misrepresentations appearing to be one person on the outside but on the inside we see an entirely different person It is as almost the characters walk around with masks on to hide who they really are Claudius appears to be a somewhat kind and caring person who is well liked throughout the kingdom The audience knows his true face of being a murderous brother brought to the throne by lust and envy Both women in the play Ophelia and Gertrude use masks to cover what is obvious to the audience their pain and suffering Finally Hamlet hides in the sanctity of his madness whether it be real or pretend not showing anyone his indecisive and spiteful nature Only the audience is able to see the real true characters in the play because of their insecurities and frailties to each other This theme of masking develops further throughout the play as the characters try to cover their secret intentions desires and fears with a portrayal of an entirely different person Claudius is a well liked king as a leader in the state of Denmark who portrays himself as a caring and friendly person Claudius wants Hamlet to stay in Denmark instead of departing for Wittenberg to further his education at the university Claudius speaks highly of Hamlet and to Hamlet he appears to be very loving and caring And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son So I impart toward you Iii114-116 This quotation shows that Claudius takes a caring role towards his nephew Hamlet at least on the outside While Claudius and Gertrude interact very little in the play from what we see in the dialogue Claudius carries the same attitude from Hamlet to Gertrude He always treats her well and is caring and affectionate towards her This
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