How do Hamlet, Polonius, and Claudius use disguise to subvert their true natures and purposes and thereby achieve power? My main topic here is "Appearance Vs. Reality."
Claudius attempts to disguise himself as a father-figure to Hamlet, as someone who cares for and will look out for Hamlet's best interests, when he is really just trying to protect himself and his own power. He says to Hamlet,
We pray you, throw to earth
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
As of a father. For let the world take note
You are the most immediate to our throne
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire. (1.2.106-114)
First, Claudius tells Hamlet to come out of mourning for his father's death, and Hamlet begins to think of Claudius as a father. He says that Hamlet is the person closest to his throne (truly, one might have expected Hamlet to inherit the throne when his father died), and he tells Hamlet that he loves him as a father does his son. He will not let Hamlet return to Wittenberg. Claudius implies that he wants Hamlet to stay...
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