The Revenger's Tragedy

Reality and Appearance: A Comparison of Hamlet and The Revenger's Tragedy 12th Grade

Throughout both Shakespeare's Hamlet and Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, the disparity between how things seem and how they really are is a constant underlying motif; the depth in which both plays examine the concept of appearance and reality justifies the claim that they are a 'sustained exploration' of the theme. Within Hamlet, in particular, the protagonist is presented as constantly attempting to fathom though a mist of duplicity, equivocation and pretense which, in turn, leads him to create his own elaborate deceptions to establish the truth in others. This capacity for deception he shares with The Revenger's Tragedy 's Vindice. As the play progresses, it becomes clear that almost all of the principle characters within Hamlet have become involved in a deception of some kind clearly demonstrating to an audience the differences between how things or characters seem to be and how they truly are.

Throughout Hamlet, the protagonist is presented as entirely and relentlessly surrounded by the blurring of appearances and reality, much of which is arguably self-inflicted. From the opening Act of the play, the audience is made aware of Hamlet's tendency to muse on the nature of appearances and reality; he suspects and sees...

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