Ghost in Hamlet- Essay

Ghost in Hamlet- Essay

Ghost in Hamlet- Essay : Write a short essay on the importance of Ghost in ‘Hamlet’. Or Account for the importance of supernatural element in ‘Hamlet’.

Supernatural Element : Ghost in ‘Hamlet’

Under the influence of the Renaissance, the Elizabethans had a natural interest in the uncommon. Taking advantage of this, dramatists of that time included the part played by supernatural spirits in their plays. Marlowe introduces Mephistopheles in ‘Dr. Faustus’ and Shakespeare introduces the ghost of Hamlet’s father in ‘Hamlet’.

Objective appearance of Ghost :

Mystery of murder Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark is heavily shocked for after his father’s untimely death, Hamlet’s mother is married to his uncle, an unworthy man. It has broken Hamlet’s heart. He remains lost in gloomy thoughts all the time. One day, he learns that the ghost of his father visits the fort at midnight. At midnight, Hamlet waits for the ghost and succeeds in having a talk with it. The ghost informs that Hamlet’s uncle poisoned him and seduced his wife. It is Hamlet’s duty to take revenge. The ghost is objective for all may see it.

Scholarly interpretation of Ghost-

Hamlet tells about Ghost to Horatio who remarks that it is very strange and unbelievable. No can believe in such a superstitious story. Therefore, Horatio remarks that this is strange. But he can’t disbelieve what Hamlet has experienced. As a scholar, he challenges the existence of ghosts or witches. But he is not able to contradict it for seeing is believing.

It is strange that a man dies or is killed and his ghost exposes the secret, related to his murder. Hamlet satisfies his curiosity by saying that the universe is full of mystery. Human knowledge is limited. He asks Horatio to welcome it as something strange to him. There are more things in heaven and earth than are discussed in philosophy and studied by scholars.

The Ghost and Hamlet’s madness-

Hamlet pretends madness after meeting the ghost of his father. Hamlet pretends madness to succeed in taking revenge. Hamlet shows his determination to take revenge. It gives him a purpose of living as well as punishing a sinner. His resolution to pretend madness is a part of it. Now, he has full faith in the Ghost’s report. The following remark confirms the viewpoint.

So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word.

After meeting the ghost, Hamlet asks his faithful friends to swear that they will keep it secret. Hamlet tells them about his pretending of madness also. Hamlet has decided to pretend madness in order to take revenge from his uncle. To make it public that he is mad, he visits Ophelia’s chamber and acts insanely. She reports it to her father Polonius who concludes that Hamlet is mad in her love. The Queen claims that he is mad on account of her hasty marriage, but the King thinks otherwise. In his opinion, it is melancholy that makes him act madly. It is the great importance of Ghost that Hamlet to pretend madness to fulfill the wish of his father’s ghost.

Ghost : True or false? 

Hamlet suffers from a deep sense of guilt when he does not get opportunity to fulfill the wish of his father’s ghost. Hamlet does not succeed in taking revenge. He is rather confused if his uncle is guilty or not. Hamlet calls some players to stage a play. They come and display their art. A player acts the scene of lament on Priam’s murder. It reminds Hamlet of his inaction. Hamlet curses himself for delay in taking revenge. Hamlet rebukes himself for being inactive. But a true Christian like Hamlet has to confirm if the ghost was real or false. If it was his father’s ghost, he should act otherwise give up the idea of it.

He wants more solid grounds than this before killing his uncle. He decides to arrange for a psychological testing of his uncle’s mind and mental instincts. He plans to present the scene of killing of a king in play and decides to watch its impact on the King. If he is upset, he is guilty otherwise the ghost is false. Hamlet directs the players and stages a play, called ‘The Murder of Gonzago’. Seeing the murder scene in it the King remembers how he had poisoned Hamlet’s father. Feeling upset, the King rises and goes out. This wild action confirms the King’s guilt as well as truth of the ghost’s report. Hamlet is resolute to take revenge.

Subjective appearance of Ghost-Ghost appears in subjective form when Hamlet is talking to his mother after murdering Polonius taking him for the King. Ghost is visible only to Hamlet. Hamlet talks to him and the mother thinks Hamlet has lost his wits. Ghost has come to prevent Hamlet from being cruel to his mother. The important role of Ghost ends with this visit.

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