Character Analysis: The Ways We Lie

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Optical illusion and misconception are tools that are used to mask the truth and enhance a story. In “The Ways We Lie”, by Stephanie Ericsson, she touches on how individuals in society often fabricate the truth in order to achieve a good sense of life. In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, fabricating the truth plays a prominent role in this drama and is continuously shown through the actions of Guildenstern, Claudius and Hamlet. These characters use dishonesty not only to create suspense in the play but also to create suspense in their every day lives. Guildenstern’s sympathetic needs are often confused with his sense of anger and wickedness. He appears to be on the good side of Hamlet, but only because he is plotting with former friend, Rosencrantz.…show more content…
Hamlet portrays falsity when using rage against Ophelia after discovering she has been apart of a plot of revenge. He uses this as an opportunity to deny his love for her and degrade her until she felt horrible about her self. “I did love you once but you should have not belived me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.”(3.1.114-119). It becomes clear that Hamlet did truly love Ophelia, yet hid it because he was a coward. The “ White Lie” is not only depicted through Hamlet denying his love but also putting a front up for the selfish betterment of his life style. After his outrageous lecture on self worth that Hamlet gives Ophelia, she grows incredibly mad, which ultimately leads to her death. Although the intentions of his lecture were clearly to hurt Ophelia and gain power over her, once he realizes she is dead he feels the need to express his actual love for her. His change of attitude grows confusing as he professes his dear love after her awful death, “ I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?”(5.1.255-257). After all the hatred consumed for Ophelia, Hamlet feels the need to show his love and care for her only after she is dead. Hamlet’s web of lies causes a dent in his portrayal towards society and the audience. Although he does not get caught in his illusions, it is very clear that Hamlet is not only a liar but also a great
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