27 February 2015
World Lit A
Entrapment within the Hamlet
Entrapment means to gain the trust of another person and then to use that good feeling for a negative purpose. In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, there are three instances of entrapment.
First, Hamlet’s effort to appear to be crazy; second is Polonius’ setting Hamlet up after reading his love letter to Ophelia to the entire court; last is the play “Mousetrap” which recreates the events of Hamlet’s father’s death. Some of the victims of entrapment are evil and probably deserve their fate while others are innocent of any wrong doing. Entrapment obscures reality making logical judgement difficult.
Hamlet puts on an act of becoming mad to deceive the others. “I am not mad northnorthwest. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” Hamlet insinuated to his friends that his madness is but an act. After discovering the order of which his father’s death took place, he decided the way to avenge his father’s murder was to allow himself the upper hand while the others were under the impression he went insane. Hamlet’s father’s death hit him very hard, making it difficult to have logical judgement.
In the second act, Polonius investigates his theory of Hamlet becoming mad due to the rejection of love by his daughter Ophelia. Polonius tells the new king, “At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him. Be you and I behind an arras then. Mark the encounter.” His plan was to use
Ophelia as bait, and Hamlet’s reaction would prove whether or not his theory was correct.
Polonius was very sure of the source behind Hamlet’s madness was caused by a broken heart and was surprised during the confrontation that Hamlet didn’t have the assumed reaction. He used the trust between Hamlet and Ophelia for his own benefit, only to have his theory proven false.
Act three shows the