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Word Count: 1,300
In ShakespeareNs tragedy Hamlet there is a prevalentand almost overwhelming theme All throughout the play allof the characters appear as one thing with one standpointand one outlook However on the inside all of thesecharacters are completely different This NmaskN theme theway that all of the characters portray themselves as oneperson on the outside and one different one on the inside is not in the least disguised by Shakespeare Claudius themurdering king appears to be a somewhat kind caring andfriendly person But inside he is different He is coldcalculating and self-serving But this might also be amask The women in the play Ophelia and Gertrude both usea type of mask to cover what is obvious in their livesmasking it so that they can continue living as if theirexistence was without cruelty And finally Hamlet hidesbehind his madness be it real or pretend a person who isindecisive and spiteful Masks in this play are not just atheme they are the whole basis of it The mask theme develops throughout the play as variouscharacters try to cover their secret intentions with aveneer of a whole other person One of the most obvious ofcourse is Claudius Claudius murdered his brother theformer king Hamlet in order to become king himself This murder which was done in secret with no one but Claudiusknowing that the act was committed by him Not only is hethe King of Denmark but he is also married to QueenGertrude his brothers former wife These hideous and awfulcrimes have not been punished and no one knows thatClaudius has done this When Claudius confronts anyone hemust become someone totally different Claudius puts on amask of his own He is no longer the self-serving coldcalculating man that he really is out he becomes a kindcaring man who does his very best to ensure that Gertrudestays with him and also so that he can do his best to keepHamlet from trying to take the kingdom and
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