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Love and Trust in Hamlet Essay

Free Essay on Love and Trust in Hamlet

The themes of love and trust are closely intertwined in many plays by William Shakespeare; “Hamlet” is no exception.

In “Hamlet” love and trust are no synonyms. From the first few acts of the play, the reader meets Hamlet, a lonely and pensive young man who does not have anyone to confide in.

The only living person the prince trusts is Horatio. Hamlet discovers that his mother, Queen Gertrude, is going to marry his uncle, King Claudius, less than a month after his father’s sudden death. The young prince is bitterly hurt and has senses betrayal in this act. He mocks his mother’s behavior of a lady in love and her quickness in remarriage.

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Later his suspicions about King Hamlet’s death turn out to be true and even worse than expected, his dear father comes as a ghost and reveals the real reason of his own death.

King Hamlet asks his son to avenge his death but warns that prince Hamlet should wrest retribution from Claudius only, leaving Queen Gertrude out of it. From this request one may realize King Hamlet loved his wife and trusted her and his brother when he was alive. After the ugly truth has been revealed to young Hamlet, trust left the castle of Elsinore forever. Both Hamlet and the King and Queen decided to spy on each other. Young Hamlet’s loss of trust affected his relationships with Ophelia and he repudiates his feelings towards her: “I did love you once. […]You should not have believed me; […] I loved you not.” He believes all women and two-faced and traitorous. He often alludes in his phrases to Ophelia and Queen Gertrude that women always betray their husbands for better or worse.

Honesty is the only basis for trust for prince Hamlet. He warns the actors who rehearsed the modified version of Murder of Gonzago to be honest and entirely realistic in their portrayals of the characters.

For prince Hamlet, the revised version of the play, which included the scene of the murder his father’s ghost told him about, was the only way to reveal that his uncle was perfidious and the ghost was no madness, no play of imagination, but someone to trust. King Claudius’ reaction to the act proves the ghost’s trustworthiness.

Hamlet even distrusts his pals Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are of great use for King and Queen in their idea to spy on prince Hamlet. His past feelings of love and trust to Ophelia reverted into scorn and distrust. Eventually, she suffers most from his change of mind and perception. Vindictive prince Hamlet alienates people around himself and can not find any consolation except in the murder of King Claudius. As a result, hatred and madness that were provoked by the atmosphere of distrust lead to Hamlet killing Polonius, Ophelia’s father, who has been mistaken for the King behind the curtains. After decease of his father, Hamlet stopped loving and trusting people and lost his will to live.

Revenge took the place of love and trust in Hamlet. Only after Ophelia’s death he admits he loved her.

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