Hamlet The Ghost

1084 Words5 Pages
The Ghost, or the former King of Denmark, is arguably the most important character in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. While he is not necessarily the most prominent, such as the Prince Hamlet, his presence creates the entire plot of the play: young Hamlet’s tragic downfall. There is no questioning the fact that without the King’s death, there would be no play. He is the source of all drama and anguish, tension and distrust; every character death and every dispute serve as a dramatic effect of the King’s mysterious death. Like a rock skipped on the surface of a lake, each scene in the play is a ripple in the water, created both directly and indirectly from the Ghost. The late Hamlet’s brief presence in the play has caused the deaths of several…show more content…
His sudden and infamous demise creates a domino effect of murder, anger, and distrust. The downfalls of each character can be concluded as a direct and indirect effect of the King; without meaning to or not, the Ghost has affected almost every character, whether through immediate contact or through another character. His most significant effect is, without a doubt, his son’s tragic downfall. As a famous tragedy of Shakespeare, this play’s largest focal point is the failing of its hero, Hamlet. Although many can argue his downfall is due to his lack of trust, selfish acts, or hesitant manner, they all have one quality in common: Hamlet goes mad, and his father is the one to blame. His downfall commenced from the very beginning, starting with his father’s dark and spiteful confession: “But know, thou noble youth, the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown,” (1.5.39-41). In this scene, the Ghost takes advantage of his grieving son’s vulnerability, knowing that Hamlet will do or say anything in honor of his dead father. His strategic use of pathos in his long…show more content…
It is often questioned whether he had ever really been crazy, or if his madness is only a façade in his strategic plan. No matter the answer, Hamlet’s craziness was truly his downfall, and the downfall for many others. The mastermind behind this? The Ghost. This is why he is considered a significant presence in this play, because despite his rare sights in the text, he is the germ of all actions and character developments. His death and actions has led to many plot developments, such as the many losses and the insights gained through conversations between characters. A large source of tension is the marriage between Gertrude and Claudius; Gertrude is the mother of Hamlet and the widow of the King, who wrongfully married Claudius. Jealousy is another character flaw of Hamlet, who gained this imperfection from the Ghost. Hamlet was taught to hate Claudius for, in addition to murdering his father, spitefully marrying his mother and taking away the only love of the King’s life; during a long, emotional speech to Hamlet, the Ghost exclaimed that “thus was [he], sleeping, by a brother’s hand of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched,” (1.5. 75-76). Hamlet begins to despise his uncle for not only killing his father, but for stealing his father’s wife, and perhaps winning his mother’s love. It is often wondered whether Hamlet has inappropriate
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