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Shakespeare’s Usage of Foils Illustrates Man’s Deceit

Shakespeare’s Usage of Foils Illustrates Man’s Deceit

1. William Shakespeare, the most popular playwright of all time, experiments with comedy, mystery, betrayal, romance, and tragedy in his play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The author uses a variety of characters from different social backgrounds to give us an elaborate picture of deception. From the opening line of “Who’s there?” the reader gets the impression that people are not what they seem in this play. The interrelationships between the royalty and people of the court are well-developed to illustrate the major and minor similarities and differences between the characters. Shakespeare reveals the deceptive nature of man and the ruin it causes through his use of foils. [Many of the other essays did not follow the directions and used the definition of foils as the introduction. This writer understood that the essay was to be about the use of foils in the play. The introduction, therefore, is about the play, and it leads up to a thesis which briefly states the function (meaning) of the foils within the play. The thesis, in other words, does not simply state that the essay will discuss foils in the play, but rather that the essay will show how the foils help reveal the deceptive nature of man and the resulting ruin. This is, I believe, also the only writer who alludes to “Who’s there?” and thereby nicely connects the essay — and thus the foils — to much of what I emphasized in class discussions of the play.]

2. Foils are integral to this play, because many of the devious plots are revealed to the reader through them. A foil is a secondary character which [*1] illuminates certain things about a primary character to the audience. The major character may reveal secrets, such as murderous plots or traps, or feelings, for example, a perspective on death or the love of another character. This can happen if the minor character is primarily a listener on stage. Another scenario is if two characters, major and minor, share similarities, but have distinct differences. These variations in personality will reveal something important about the main character. The “something important” could be a fatal flaw or a good point of their personality. Many foils are used in this play, but there are two important ones which happen to be for the same character.

Free Catcher in the Rye Essays: Manic-Depressive Holden

Manic-Depressive Behavior Exhibited in The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, portrays Holden Cawfield a New York City teenager in the 1950’s as a manic-depressive. Holden’s depression starts with the death of his brother, Allie . Holden is expelled from numerous schools due to his poor academics which are brought on by his depression. Manic depression, compulsive lying, and immaturity throughout the novel characterize Holden.

Events in Holden’s life lead him to become depressed. Holden’s depression centers on Allie. The manner that Holden sees himself and how he sees others leads him to be expelled from school. The speaker expresses, “One thing about packing depressed me a little,” (51). Holden expresses these feelings when he packs his bags after being notified that he is expelled. Holden leaves school and heads for New York City, where he finds himself to be more lonely and depressed than ever. He is all alone and he laments, ” What I really felt like doing was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out of the window,” (104). Holden says this while he is all alone in his motel room. He is too ashamed of himself to return home, he knows that his mother will be upset and his father will be angry with him. He also adds that ” I wasn’t feeling sleepy or anything, but I was feeling sort of lousy. Depressed and all, I almost wished I was dead,” (90). Holden states this during one of the first nights that he is staying in New York. Holden expresses many thoughts of depression.

Compulsive lying is another characteristic that Holden exhibits. Holden would tell people lies just so they could not become closer to the real Holden. Holden tells lies on numerous occasions to gain. Holden pathetically tells Mrs. Morrow, ” I have to have a tiny operation… it isn’t very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on my brain” (58). She tells Holden that she is very sorry and she is hopeful that he shall be well soon. Holden then catches him self in a lie and he remarkes, “Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it,” (58). This compulsive lying shows that Holden is not satisfied with himself and that he feels that people will judge him critically.

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