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How does the theme of Reality vs Unreality of Hamlet and 1984 relate to a current news...

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foro | Student | eNoter

Posted July 25, 2013 at 3:48 PM via web

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How does the theme of Reality vs Unreality of Hamlet and 1984 relate to a current news event?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 25, 2013 at 6:36 PM (Answer #1)

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At work in both Hamlet and 1984 are the power structures of Denmark and Oceania, respectively. The political distortion of the truth as well as the virtual hiding of the truth are at work in both countries. For instance, in Denmark, not long after the mysterious death of King Hamlet, Claudius and Gertrude marry supposedly for the stability of the state since Norway may perceive the state in disarray and attempt to regain territories that have been previously lost (1.2). Likewise, the totalitarian government of Oceania generates propaganda in order to keep the people under control.

Certainly, the slogan of IGNORANCE IS TRUTH of Oceania is at work in King Claudius's words of Act I and in the affairs of state in America.  For instance, with the terrorist bombing of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, the American public was initially told by the President that this incident was a result of a reaction to an inflammatory video about Muslims, and during his campaign for re-election, he asserted that terrorism was being defeated since Osama Bin Laden had been killed. This misinformation kept Americans ignorant of the seriousness of this attack and the resurgence of terrorist activity. Their belief in what they had been told led many voters to retain confidence in the current administration and, thus, give it a second term. Much like King Claudius who shifts blame for the disruption of things upon the "mad" Hamlet, the Congress is blamed for the lack of progress with the economy because the members of the branch fight government spending, and seek the repeal of proposed programs. Like Polonius and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of Hamlet and Mr. O'Brien and Charrington, there are also many in collusion with those in power in contemporary times.

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