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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.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_3.html#anchor213392

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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jagtig | Salutatorian

Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:22 AM (Answer #2)

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Claudius betrays his brother.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_7.html#anchor190102

Gertrude betrays her husband's memory, at least.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_1.html#anchor276317

Polonius betrays his son Laertes, at least some would say so.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_3.html#anchor221232

Ophelia betrays Hamlet's love for her, following the lead of her father.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_3.html#anchor257232

Her father's lead:

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_2.html#anchor224089

Rosencrantz and Guilderstern betray Hamlet.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_7.html#anchor181653

Laertes betrays Hamlet.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_9.html#anchor230565

Osric does the same.

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_10.html#anchor272494

These links will take you to quotable lines showing the betrayals to be very real, as far as the text of the play goes.

Good luck, John

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