Truth Vs Reality Essay

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Reality, Appearance and Deception

875 Words4 Pages

Reality and Illusion in Hamlet

Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the play, choosing the direction of the conflict by his decisions regarding his revenge and defining the outcome. Shakespeare begins Hamlet's struggle with recognition of Hamlet's sincere grief and anger following his father's untimely death. A taste of the conflict is expressed in the dialogue…show more content…

(II.2 ln 547-585) He mistakenly awards the pretense the same degree of authenticity as his own reality receives. However, because of the disparity between the actor's performance and Hamlet's own actions, Hamlet gains needed motivation. He remains uncertain of the ghost's reliability, confused by the seemingly genuine grief of the actor. Nonetheless, it is this uncertainty that provides Hamlet with the less disturbing purpose of proving the ghost's story in contrast to the more daunting intention of murder. Now that the pressure has been lifted, Hamlet has the opportunity to ponder death, something that has demanded his attention since his father's demise. In the famous soliloquy Hamlet attempts to discard the appearance of death to dissect the survival instinct of human beings. Why, when death appears to be the desired escape from "a sea of troubles," do human beings refuse to succumb? (III.1 ln 59) Hamlet quickly grasps the inherent fear of the unknown present in the human psyche. This display of insightquickly disappears once Hamlet again faces emotional pressure. He somewhat maintains his ability to separate reality and appearance, but his intense passions stunt his efforts to remain on a direct course to his goals. Although indecision continues to plague him, Hamlet establishes the certainty of the ghost's claims of murder using a play, written by Hamlet himself and performed before

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Essay about Illusion vs. Reality in Macbeth

1737 Words7 Pages

Reality is the state of being real or actual, whereas an illusion is a mental misinterpretation of what is believed to be true. Illusions often prevent people from perceiving reality and objective truths, which consequently results in delusions, and in some cases, tragedies. In Macbeth, a play written by William Shakespeare, the theme of illusion versus reality is overtly evident in the main character, Macbeth. Macbeth frequently misinterprets illusions as the actual reality due to possessing such an untamed ambition, which ultimately ends up resulting in a series of tragic and horrific events, for Macbeth and his victims. Macbeth’s ambition first leads him into believing that he is destined to become King of Scotland, which results in…show more content…

If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings.” (I, iii, 137-142).
Macbeth subconsciously knows that he may have to kill Duncan in order to pursue the third prophecy, as it is Duncan who is presently king, and the only way for Macbeth to obtain Duncan’s title is if Duncan were to die and lose his title. In this scenario, Macbeth has thoughts of himself being the cause of Duncan’s death, in order to have Duncan’s title passed on to him. Macbeth is soon outraged to discover that Duncan has announced his son Malcolm as the future King of Scotland, Prince of Cumberland, as Malcolm now stands in his way of pursuing the actualization of the third prophecy. When Lady Macbeth receives news of the witches’ three prophecies and the fulfillment of the second prophecy, the enormity of her ambition to make Macbeth become King of Scotland leads her into plotting out the murder of Duncan. When Macbeth hears of Lady Macbeth’s plans to kill Duncan, he is at first unwilling to go through such horrific and drastic measures in order to obtain a royal title. Macbeth gives reasons during his soliloquy as to why he shouldn’t kill Duncan, and then says:
“I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on th' other.” (I, vii, 25-28).
Macbeth is saying

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