Throughout the play of Hamlet, it is easy to see that appearance, the right appearance, is a big part of many characters’ center. These characters establish an appearance that is different than their reality. They are trying to follow, distract from, forget about, and remain outside of reality. When I turned to my community, I witnessed the same thing. The Community wants us to be blinded, or at least immovable, towards the reality around us. I have allowed the Community to do the same to me as well. I am just as guilty as the next person of putting up an appearance. Living in a community means you can never leave its influence, but we can become more aware of it.
“No, my good lord, but as you did command,
I did repel his letters and denied
His access to me.” (Act II, Scene I)
The Community of today wants us to lock our true feelings away. Ophelia was instructed to do the same when dealing with Hamlet. Our community wants all great, happy law abiding citizens, so society pushes this happy image. This girl could be locking away her true feelings just like Ophelia was. Ophelia had to act like she possessed no love for Hamlet and that they were only friends. This poor girl is very likely doing the exact same thing. I bet she is stressed out about the scholarships she still has to apply for, what university (if any) she will attend this fall and who she wants to be when she grows up not laughing because her life is a breeze. Social media is where people try to hide how they truly feeling. Like Ophelia, they turn a blind eye to their own feelings and lock them inside as they were instructed to do by society. Instead of showing the world their feelings about this or that, people (especially ones who don’t want to make ripples) lock their feelings away.
“What doth this mean, my lord?”
“The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse,” (Act l, Scene lV)
The Community of today wants us to be distracted from what has and what might happen next as the King was trying to make the people forget about the late King’s murder. Claudius wants to push the problem under the rug. In one year, there were two suicides connected to a Lutheran school. There is not one thing that would ever hint at that or imply that its own students diner struggle with the same things as other schools. Claudius hosted a party to distract while a school might throw its “Lutheran” name to distract. There is this appearance of a nice Lutheran school where nothing bad happens; but events did happen. Kids suffer from depression at Lutheran schools. Kids who attend Lutheran schools have parents and friend problems. The study body faces hardship also even though they attend a Lutheran school. By not letting the light hit every part of the school and its past, it is trying to hide the whole appearance. With a party or a name thrown at people, it attempts to distract from the fact that it (or he) is not perfect.
“Good Hamlet, cast thy’ nighted color off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.” (Act l, Scene l)
The Community of today wants us to build a barrier between ourselves and what the world sees like how Queen Gertrude is asking Hamlet to hide his grief. She wants him to move on; to put away what he is really feeling behind a wall so the rest of the world won’t see it. Ann-b’yon, much like Hamlet, doesn’t feel the need to keep what she is feeling behind the wall. People have tried to break past the wall but the Community they live in keep filling the holes. Gertrude wanted Hamlet to build a wall between himself and what the world. The Community is building a barrier between itself and the problems its citizens might be facing. It is acting like a two year old toddler who believes if she doesn’t see you, you don’t exist. The Community doesn’t want to face the problems around them so it would be better if the problems didn’t exist. If they turn the other way, the problems in the community are not present.
“Let me not think on’t-” (Act l, Scene ll)
The Community of today wants us to forget the reality around us as Hamlet wanted to forget what his mother had done. There is a crack threatening his community and those in it but he doesn’t want to think about it. There is a crack in our community but all we see is the nice new tile the Community has installed. Hamlet will not allow himself to connect the dots of what it could mean that his mother married his uncle. The Community doesn’t want to face the problems directly so they will go around it and fix other things that are less work and less money. Like Hamlet, the Community wants us to forget about he real problems around us by establishing an appearance that the problem isn’t there or is small enough to ignore for now. If Hamlet can establish a feeling that everything is not about to crumple all around him then, he is hoping, he will forget that it could give way any minute.
“O Hamlet, speak no more.
Thou turns’t mine eyes into my very soul,
And there I see such black and trained spots
As will not leave their tinct.” (Act lll, Scene lV)
The Community of today wants us to remain in the dark about what is happening around us as Gertrude wants to stay in the dark about what she has done. She knows that she is not perfect but wants to forget about it anyway. It is dark in the suit. The knight, very much like Gertrude, will remain immobile unless it allows some feeling to move it. The knight is equipped to help but it will not move unless it recognizes he danger around it. In attempt to make she appear better, she shines up the appearance that others see but neglects the dark spots at her center. The outside doesn’t match the reality within. The shine is what the knight wants the world to see and not its true self. The armor will protect itself the outside world.