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Jun 27, 2023
  • "Don`t judge a book by its cover" is an american proverb that has been around since the 1900`s, suggesting that one should never form an opinion based on outward appearances alone. Yet before this phrase existed in writing, this concept was found many times in literature. In William Shakespeare`s Hamlet, king Claudius states about his son and nephew that " He`s loved of the distracted multitude,/ Who like not in their judgement, but their eyes," (iv.iii.4-5). This quotation can be interpreted from two points of view, that of King Claudius, and that of Shakespeare himself, yet it is also seen excessively in our society today.

    King Claudius speaks out of jealousy. His quote suggests that the public is not thinking clearly, they only love Hamlet because they judge on appearance rather than reason. By creating the perception that Hamlet is crazy, the King is deflecting the attention from himself, the true traitor, in order to avoid being exposed for the murder of his brother. However, I believe that out of context, Shakespeare has chosen to make a statement about human nature, about the fact that most of us risk judging a person based on looks, when the surface can be deceptive. We all have superficial outer casts that do not represent who we are individually.

    The mass media plays a significant role in the shaping of perceptions on a variety of important issues through valid information, and more often than not, through interpretations. Celebrities have the facilities to look close to the ideal, and are even more glamorized by the media. Everything we see in magazines, on TV, in movies, makes us want to follow the trends, to be closer to the ideal as well. However, this is only the view of the celebrities outer casts, as the we usually know almost nothing about their personalities or character.

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