The Ghost In Hamlet Essay

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Hamlet is one of the most memorable Shakespearean plays due to the focus on a young prince`s struggle with obeying the ghostly figure that we witness briefly on stage. The ghost is certainly an important figure in shaping the outcome of this revenge tragedy. Thus, we must ponder what is the ghost and how it can be interpreted in a plethora of ways. It is arguably seen as the spirit of Hamlet`s father, a figment of his imagination and being Shakespeare himself. Therefore, this essay will examine these potential answers to the question.
The most common answer to the question has always been that the ghost is the spirit of the dead king Hamlet, returning to comfort his grieving young son left inconsolable by his loss and to provide answers for …show more content…

It has been argued by many literary critics that the ghost is a figment of Hamlet`s imagination, despite Barnardo, Mercutio and Horatio witnessing it before the prince, potentially indicating that it is real because three level headed characters view it first. However, the characters are hesitant about the ghost with Marcellus insisting that they “question it “whilst Barnardo seems to believe “its` not something more than fantasy” which creates uncertainty about the figure`s identity. Many events over the course of the play indicate Hamlet`s fragile state of mind and how the ghost is only present in his thoughts. For example, the prince`s obsession with his mother`s infidelity could be a reason for the ghost instructing him to murder Claudius. Perhaps the spirit wants him to avenge his father`s death so that he can have his mother to himself? Also, can it ever be said that the ghost speaks the absolute truth? For example, it says that his father suffered the “most unnatural murder” but can there be such a thing as a “foul and most natural murder”? . The flaws that arise create speculation about the ghostly figure. It is only when he contemplates suicide “to be or not to be that is the question” that he finally begins to recognise the permanency of death as being “the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns”. It appears that he accepts the likelihood of the ghost not descending from purgatory after all supporting the argument that it is not

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