How do the terms dissimulation and simulation apply to Hamlet?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For the purposes of this question, simulation will be defined as a sham or an imitation whereas dissimulation will be defined as a method of disguise to cover up one's true intentions or feelings. Arguably, this tragedy contains more dissimulation than simulation, as lots of characters put on a show or a pretense in order to cover up their true feelings and intentions. This is something that becomes very clear in Act I scene 5, when Hamlet declares to Horatio and Marcellus that he intends to play the role of a madman as a result of hearing what the Ghost has to tell him:

As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

To put an antic disposition on--

This draws the attention of the audience to the way in which very few characters are actually open and honest towards each other. Dissimulation, or the concealing of real emotions and intentions, is the basis of so many relationships in the play. Polonius employs Reynaldo to spy on his son after bidding him farewell and apparently trusting him to be independent. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are employed by Claudius to find out what is wrong with Hamlet. Ophelia has to stop expressing her love to Hamlet and is used as bait by her father and Claudius. There is a huge list of situations in this play that are based on dissimulation, and it is possible to argue that this play is more about the search for authenticity and openness than anything else, as Hamlet struggles to work out who he can trust and who is betraying him.

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shewa55's profile pic

shewa55 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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dissimulation means to speak in such a manner as to hide one'sreal feelings.Sir Francis Bacon says that dissimulation is a weakness,it is for baser and inferior to wisdom.But it must be used by those who has no power of judgement.that is who cannot judge as to when to disclose their hearts.

simulation is bad habit.in simulation we tend to  or pretend to feel.it shows sometime that one has some serious defect to conceal.in simulation we show the  people we agree with them though we may not.there are many advantages of simulation.one can avoid to arouse or provoke the opposition of others.one can have safe place or shelter

and through this device one can know the intentions of others.

but there are disadvantages of simulation also 1 it is a sign of cowardice.2it may result in lose of trust and sympathy and help.3one may lose trust and confidence if the policy of simulation may disclose to others.

in the lost resort Sir Francis  Bacon says that it is best to have reputation for open mindedness.dissimulation should be employed when it is convenient.it is better to feign one power and strength when there is no remedy.

 

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