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What is the analysis of betrayal in Hamlet?

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naif | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 13, 2009 at 4:14 AM via web

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What is the analysis of betrayal in Hamlet?

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jagtig | Salutatorian

Posted August 14, 2009 at 2:11 AM (Answer #1)

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Betrayal is the rule in Hamlet.

Claudius betrays his brother. Gertrude betrays her husband's memory, at least. Ophelia betrays Hamlet's love for her, following the lead of her father. Rosencrantz and Guilderstern betray Hamlet. Laertes betrays Hamlet. Osric does the same.

The only true friendship is that of Horatio for Hamlet. Hamlet has told him not to betray him through following the crowd that will certainly call him mad, and Horatio holds true to the end.


These lines indicate either an intent to feign madness or an impending and looming suspicion of the same. That is, Hamlet feels he is becoming mad, and asks his friend not to join with the others in the typical treatment afforded the insane then and now, quips and jibes, insincerity, etc.

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