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Lies and Deceit Quotes

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Quote #7

HAMLET
You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks
which your modesties have not craft enough to colour:
I know the good king and queen have sent for you.
(2.2.25)

The force (of sensing deception) is strong in this one: Hamlet's old friends try to deceive him, but Hamlet sees right through it.

Quote #8

KING CLAUDIUS
[Aside] O, 'tis too true!
How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience!
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art,
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it
Than is my deed to my most painted word:
O heavy burthen!
(3.1.4)

Unlike Polonius, Claudius knows that all his scheming might catch up with him in the end. What's interesting about this passage is the way his sexist remarks align his own deception with the use of cosmetics. The king compares his "painted word[s]" (every lie he tells) to the way a "harlot" "plasters" her face with makeup. It sounds like, in Hamlet's world, women are fundamentally deceptive.

Quote #9

HAMLET
[…] Where's your father?

OPHELIA
At home, my lord.

HAMLET
Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the
fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.
(3.1.9)

When Hamlet confronts her, Ophelia lies to him outright—but she has no choice. As an unmarried daughter, she has to obey her father's order to help him catch Hamlet. And it ends up killing her, just like it kills him.

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