How does the theme of "Appearance vs. Reality" apply to Hamlet?

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It is really important to revisit this common theme here. Hamlet, himself, illustrates this theme when he says, "As I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on." In other words, Hamlet is going to pretend to act crazy for the rest of the play....

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It is really important to revisit this common theme here. Hamlet, himself, illustrates this theme when he says, "As I perchance hereafter shall think meet / To put an antic disposition on." In other words, Hamlet is going to pretend to act crazy for the rest of the play. How does he plan to do this? Sometimes, says Hamlet, it will be through his appearance through "arms encumb'red thus, or this headshake." Sometimes, says Hamlet, it will be because he speaks irrationally "by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase." Now, how is this appearance vs. reality? Well, according to Hamlet, he will "appear" crazy, but he will be sane in "reality." That is one way to look at it. However, there is another interpretation that should be considered. Does Hamlet simply appear crazy, or might he actually be crazy? Does the plan to act crazy actually lead to real mental illness? Is it possible that Hamlet never becomes crazy and always remains sane?

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