Deception in the Works of William Shakespeare

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Deception in the Works of William Shakespeare

  1. 1. Deception in the Works of William Shakespeare<br />By Lindsey Frederick<br />
  2. 2. What is deception today?<br />Omitting information to make something seem better than it is?<br />A little white lie?<br />Misrepresenting information to get ahead at work?<br />Telling your wife that the dress doesn’t make her look fat?<br />
  3. 3. Deception in Literature<br />Deception is not a new concept to written works.<br />Many authors use this as a tool to move a story along or produce plot twists.<br />
  4. 4. Shakespearean Deception<br />Shakespeare used deception often in his plays. <br />Deception was a tool employed by antagonists and protagonists alike.<br />Not all deceit in his works was used maliciously, but the end result was almost always tragic. <br />William Shakespeare’s uses deception as a plot device in his plays to show the harsh consequences of deceit whether the intent was good or bad.<br />
  5. 5. Contents<br />To illustrate my point, we will discuss the following plays:<br />Hamlet<br />Romeo and Juliet<br />Macbeth<br />Othello<br />
  6. 6. Hamlet<br />Examples of Deception in Hamlet<br />Hamlet’s Father is killed in a secret plot by his uncle to seize the throne.<br />Hamlet begins to act crazy to avert his uncle’s suspicions while he gather evidence.<br /> Hamlet commissions a group of actors to stage a play depicting Claudius killing his father to confirm his uncle’s guilt.<br />Results of Deception:<br />Hamlet and Claudius both die<br />Ophelia, Gertrude, and Polonius die<br />The throne is left to the Prince of Norway<br />
  7. 7. Romeo and Juliet<br />Deception in Romeo and Juliet<br />Romeo and Juliet fall in love and court each other against the wishes of their families.<br />Romeo secretly weds Juliet.<br />Juliet fakes her death to avoid marrying Paris. <br />Results of Deception:<br />Romeo arrives at the Juliet’s tomb, sees his sleeping wife and kills himself, unaware of her plans. <br />Juliet awakens, sees Romeo’s dead body and kills herself as well. <br />Mercutio, Tybalt, and Paris all die.<br />On a lighter note, the families stop their feud. <br />
  8. 8. Macbeth<br />Deception in Macbeth:<br />Macbeth tricking himself into believing he can control fate when he is told he will become king.<br />Macbeth’s delusion that no man could harm him. <br />Macbeth believing that the witches were on his side and not agents of fate <br />Results of Deception:<br />Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both die.<br />Macbeth has everyone in Macduff’s castle killed, including his wife and children. <br />
  9. 9. Othello<br />Deception in Othello:<br />Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona is having an affair.<br />Iago plants a handkerchief on Cassio to frame him in the affair.<br />Iago tricks Roderigo into killing Cassio. <br />Results of the Deception:<br />Othello kills Desdemona and later commits suicide over this act.<br />Roderigo, Cassio, and Emilia all die.<br />Iago is imprisoned. <br />
  10. 10. Shakespearean Deception<br />In the end we are left with some interesting questions:<br />What would have happened if Hamlet confronted Claudius about his father’s murder instead of trying to trick him into confessing? <br />What if Juliet had told her parents she was already married to Romeo when they told her to marry Paris?<br />What if Macbeth had stopped to realize he was delusional?<br />Why didn’t Othello trust Desdemona? <br />
  11. 11. Conclusion<br />Art imitates life.<br />Most of us lie to avoid the potentially harsh consequences of the truth. <br />These lies are often told without regard to other people.<br />Through his stories, Shakespeare shows us the harsh, sometimes unintended consequences that can come from lies.<br />Honesty is a virtue and should be cherished.<br />

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