At first sight, the play is clearly about suicide, with a revenge plot. But the core of the play is so much more. The play’s core certainly shows how a psychodrama should be executed.
This is shown through the rollercoaster of emotions Hamlets goes through, throughout the story, which leaves him in an unstable condition, for larger periods of play.
This unstable mentality Hamlet develops is vividly portrayed in the soliloquies. These soliloquies are certainly descriptive, while still leaving a lot of room for interpretation.
Hamlet is convincingly characterized as mentally unstable, but who and what causes him to become so mentally unstable and mad?
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The main theme in Hamlet is duplicity. Duplicity merits an important role in the play and is constructed to make characters deceive, betray, and create chaos.
Duplicity is fundamental, essential, and crucial to the play, but most times it causes more problems rather than solutions. Most of the characters in the play are duplicitous towards Hamlet, except himself.
However, nearly all this deception, spying, and prying are set up by Polonius and Claudius, with their manipulative, duplicitous natures.
Hamlet reveals to Horatio that he is going to be duplicitous “put an antic disposition on” (p. 49, l. 172), Hamlet foreshadows him being duplicitous, so he can camouflage his suspicious actions and motives.
Polonius and Claudius are like puppeteers, by the way, they use people. Polonius orders Ophelia to spy on Hamlet and Reynaldo to spy on Laertes, showing his duplicitous nature.
Claudius orders Guildenstern and Rosencrantz to spy on Hamlet. Claudius necessarily acts dubious and duplicitous because he can’t and won’t admit his true intentions, because of his treachery.
Having all these people act duplicitously around Hamlet, as well as Hamlet also acting duplicitous, makes everybody mad and unstable because they constantly are trying to one-up another.