Preview
Click here for more Hamlet Essays
Preview

The Supernatural Element in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 1126 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A common motif in Shakespeare’s many plays is the supernatural element, to which Hamlet , with the presence of a ghost, is no exception. The story of Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark, is one of tragedy, revenge, deception, and ghosts. Shakespeare’s use of the supernatural element helps give a definition to the play by being the catalyst of the tragedy that brings upon Hamlet’s untimely demise. The ghost that appears at the beginning of the play could possibly be a satanic figure that causes Hamlet to engage in the terrible acts and endanger his soul. The supernatural element incorporated into the play is used as an instigator, a mentor, as well as mediation for the actions of the protagonist that ultimately end in tragedy, with the loss of multiple lives, as well as suscept Hamlet’s soul to hell. Shakespeare’s portrayal of the ghostly apparition causes a reader to question whether the ghost is a demonic force on the basis of its diction, conduct towards others as well as Hamlet, and it’s motive to kill.
The play starts out with the ghost, dressed in the late king’s war attire, walking past the guards on duty. One of the guards interprets the ghosts passage as being a bad omen of something horrendous to befall soon: “In what particular thought to work I know not,/ But in the gross and scope of mine opinion/ This bodes some strange eruption to our state.”(Shakespeare I.i). This clearly foreshadows a major tragedy since supernatural figures were associated with Satan and damnation during Shakespeare’s time. After the guards speculate about the ghost, and who the ghost is supposed to be, it suddenly disappears as the sun rises. The guards find this to also be a warning, since the ghost only came out at night, and “faded on the c...


... middle of paper ...


...zen Harris. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. 393-421. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Woodbridge Public Library NJ. 16 Dec. 2009 .

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.

Skulsky, Harold. "Revenge, Honor, and Conscience in Hamlet." PMLA. 85.1 (Jan. 1970): 78- 87. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Dana Ramel Barnes. Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. 78-87. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Woodbridge Public Library NJ. 16 Dec. 2009 .

Tiffany, Grace. "Hamlet and Nineteenth-Century Ghosts. (Review of Periodicals)." Shakespeare Newsletter. 51.3 (Fall 2001): p73. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Woodbridge Public Library NJ. 16 Dec. 2009 .


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Supernatural in the Plays of Shakespeare Essay - ---1592, time of the plague, witches being burned and hanged and a big belief in evil spirits, but he never goes against what the monarchy of the time believes. In searching for what to write on for the topic of “supernatural,” we figured that, since this is an English class, it would be interesting to write about the use of supernatural in literature. One of the greatest examples of this would be the plays and writings of William Shakespeare. Of all of these works, there are hundreds of allusions to the supernatural and mythology....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature ]
:: 6 Works Cited
1478 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about The Supernatural in Hamlet - The Supernatural in Hamlet       Though Shakespeare cannot claim the invention of the ghosts in tragedies, still he can claim to have clothed his ghost in Hamlet with convincingness. This essay concerns his one supernatural character in the tragedy.   Regarding the supernatural in Hamlet, Cumberland Clark says in “The Supernatural in Hamlet”:   At least six or seven years pass after the writing of Midsummer Night’s Dream before we find Shakespeare engaged on Hamlet, the second of the great plays with an important Supernatural element, and, in the opinion of many, the greatest tragedy ever penned....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]
:: 24 Works Cited
3066 words
(8.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Use of Supernatural Elements in Shakespeare's Hamlet and Kyd's the Spanish Tragedy - Discuss the usage and effects that the supernatural elements have in both Kyd's `The Spanish Tragedy' and Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ghosts or supernatural beings feature both in The Spanish Tragedy, written by Thomas Kyd, in 1587, and in Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, in 1601. Ghosts and the supernatural `remind the characters and the audience of the constraints the past places on the present, and also the obligations the living bear to the departed' . There were many superstitions surrounding these entities during Elizabethan times....   [tags: Comparative Literature] 1172 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Hamlet’s Astounding Success - Hamlet’s Astounding Success       What secret formula did the playwright William Shakespeare use in the recipe for the tragedy Hamlet. Why, this play has been the rage for 400 years. Let’s analyze the reasons for its success.   A.C. Bradley tells in his book of criticism, Shakespearean Tragedy, the extreme importance of the character of Hamlet to the rating of the play:   Naturally then, the tragedy of Hamlet with Hamlet left out has become the symbol of extreme absurdity; while the character itself has probably exerted a great fascination, and certainly has been the subject of more discussion, than any other in the whole literature of the world....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 13 Works Cited
1948 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Success of Hamlet Essay - The Success of Hamlet         Is this Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet as successful a play as some critics say. Wherein lies the success. Is the protagonist the prime reason for the continuing success.   J. Dover Wilson in “What Happens in Hamlet” attributes much of the success of the drama to the characterization of the prince:   Finally, this compound of overwhelmingly convincing humanity and psychological contradiction is the greatest of Shakespeare’s legacies to the men of his own quality....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]
:: 12 Works Cited
2080 words
(5.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Supernatural in Shakespeare's Works Essays - The Supernatural in Shakespeare's Works No one questions the fact that William Shakespeare is a pure genius when it comes to creating immortal characters whose characteristics transcends those of the normal supernatural beings, but most students of literature agree that his uses of the supernatural aren’t merely figments of his creative imagination. Every man, woman, and child is influenced by the age into which they are born and Shakespeare was no exception. Not only does his use of supernatural elements within his works reveal the Elizabethans’ obsession with mythical beliefs, but it also reveals his attitude toward these beliefs at different points of his writing career....   [tags: William Shakespeare English Literature Essays] 1740 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Ranking of the Play Hamlet - Ranking of the Play Hamlet         Literary critics give the highest ranking to the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet. This essay will explore critical opinion and the reasons for the Bard’s exceptional rating.   This play is ranked by many as the very greatest ever written. Cumberland Clark in “The Supernatural in Hamlet” gives the consensus regarding Hamlet that exists among literary critics of today:   At least six or seven years pass after the writing of Midsummer Night’s Dream before we find Shakespeare engaged on Hamlet, the second of the great plays with an important Supernatural element, and, in the opinion of many, the greatest tragedy ever penned....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]
:: 10 Works Cited
1932 words
(5.5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Custom Written Essays: Rating Hamlet - Rating Hamlet         Is this Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet at the top of the rating chart, or is it just near the top. This essay intends to examine various aspects of this subject, along with critical opinion.   Could the enduring reputation of Hamlet  be attributed to the “ultimate form” in which the Bard of Avon expressed his ideas. Robert B. Heilman says so in “The Role We Give Shakespeare”:   It is the way of venerable texts whose authenticity has impressed itself on the human imagination: he has said many things in what seems an ultimate form, and he is a fountainhead of quotation and universal center of allusion....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]
:: 11 Works Cited
1968 words
(5.6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Custom Written Essays: Ranking the Play Hamlet - Ranking the Play Hamlet         The Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet is among the best ever written, and perhaps the very best. Why do the literary critics say this. In this essay let’s examine the play to see what makes it a prizewinner.   Phyllis Abrahms and Alan Brody in “Hamlet and the Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy Formula” give some detail about the reasons for the undying popularity of this play:   No play demonstrates the power and glory of Shakespeare’s tragic vision more than Hamlet, which for over 350 years has excited us with its action, its insight, its brilliant language....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]
:: 11 Works Cited
1979 words
(5.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in "Macbeth" - The supernatural was a popular element in many of the plays written in Shakespeare's time (including Hamlet) and everyone of Shakespeare's time found the supernatural fascinating. Even King James I took a special interest in supernatural and written a book, Daemonologie, on witchcraft. It must be remembered that, in Shakespeare's day, supernatural referred to things that were "above Nature"; things which existed, but not part of the normal human life and unexplainable. The play Macbeth involves many supernatural actions that act as a catalyst for suspense and thrill, insight into character, foreshadowing of future events as well as making connections with the theme....   [tags: European Literature] 858 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]