The nonbelievers among the Elizabethans saw ghosts as omens, telling of troubled time ahead, or simply as the hallucinations of a crazed person or group. Shakespeare recognized the complexity of the Elizabethan ghost's identity and played off of the confusion, making the question of identity a key theme to his play. Throughout Hamlet Shakespeare explores each of the possible identities of the ghost with each one adding a new twist to Hamlet's plight. When news of the ghost's presence first reaches Hamlet and Horatio, they declare it an omen of forthcoming evil. Hamlet's reaction indicates that he is not surprised, "My father's spirit - in arms?
Also, we see evidence of Hamlet being mad even before he starts to ‘act like being mad.’ As is evident in the beginning of the play, Horatio and Marcellus tried to hold Hamlet back, but Hamlet rebelled. Hamlet said, "Still am I called. Unhand me, gentlemen--/ Heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!/ I say, away" (1.4, 84-86). Hamlet risked a lot, without thinking about possible consequences. While walking towards the ghost, Hamlet shows the behavior of toughness, the characteristic of madness.
Zeffirelli and Branagh each possessed their own personal interpretation of the text of the play which resulted in two movies that utilized different imagery to portray the main characters. The movie begins with the two guards seeing the apparition of old king Hamlet. Zeffirelli portrays Hamlet as confused and scared as he follows the voice and shadow of the ghost. The setting is dark with mysterious shadows and Hamlet appears to be uncertain about his own sanity as he follows the voice of the ghost. Zeffirelli's use of imagery is evident when Hamlet expresses raw emotions on seeing the ghost of his father and hearing of the corruption within his family (Hamlet).
When Hamlet first meets the ghost, he immediately calls the ghost by his father’s name and follows it to where the ghost beckons him. In response to the ghost’s claim that "the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown," Hamlet answers, " O my prophetic soul!" (1.5.46-48), revealing that Hamlet has already contemplated this possibility. The ghost does little to persuade Hamlet of the cause of his father’s death because Hamlet is already convinced of his uncle/step-father’s guilt due to his great distrust and dislike for Claudius. Although at first, Hamlet reacts with an... ... middle of paper ... ...d by his disbelief in the ghost of his father, his belief in religion, and his education, it still brings about his untimely demise.
The appearance becomes the most important scene in the play. To Hamlet, Hamlet really admired his father, and his father’s death entirely affected his emotion and life. As Hamlet knew that the ghost was the symbol of his father and the unnatural murder. The nightmare... ... middle of paper ... ...c in the closet scene. Hamlet could hear the ghost, but Gertrude didn’t see and hear anything and thought Hamlet is mad.
Hamlet's mother has waited "Not so much, not two" (12) months after the Kings death to remarry and her new husband, who coincidentally is King Hamlet's brother, has swiftly embraced the throne. As the plot unfolds, King Hamlet's ghost appears to young Hamlet. He explains the current dilemma and elicits a vengeful feeling from Hamlet, providing young Hamlet with purpose, to "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder". (25) At first, Hamlet is weary of this appearance, but he compromises his thoughts and put his faith in the ghost. In addition, the ghost even evokes a vow of allegiance from Hamlet.
Just encountering a ghost is traumatic enough, but learning that his father was murdered by his uncle overwhelms him to the point of trauma. Indications are made that Hamlet is indeed traumatized. A big theme of the play being action and inaction from Hamlet, he seems to be having “Difficulty making decisions [being] symptoms of emotional trauma” (Jaffe, Segal and Dumke 2005), the main decision being the homicide of Claudius. According to psychologists Jaffe, Segal and Dumke, trauma can also manifest itself by impulsive behaviours, feeling out of control and emotional numbness. All three are portrayed during Hamlet’s accidental murder of Polonius.
Hamlet suspects foul play. When his father’s ghost visits the castle, Hamlet’s suspicions are confirmed. The Ghost complains that he is unable to rest in peace because he was murdered. Claudius, says the Ghost, poured poison in King Hamlet’s ear while the old king napped. Unable to confess and find salvation, King Hamlet is now consigned, for a time, to spend his days in Purgatory and walk the earth by night.
From the beginning of the novel, Hamlet puts others under the impression that sadness has overcome his personality. He laments over his father’s death and his mother’s marriage to an uncle he dislikes. We see that Hamlet is quite sane because it proves that he has emotion and is simply grieving the death of his father. Later on, the ghost of King Hamlet visits Hamlet and tells him to “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” This is the first sign that could suggest to some readers that Hamlet has gone insane because the average person should not be seeing and communicating with ghosts. However, after his confrontation with the ghost, Hamlet questions whether the ghost of his dead father is a good or evil spirit.
"The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil, and the devil hath power / T' assume a pleasing shape" (2.2.627-629). With this doubt clouding his mind, Hamlet seems completely unable to act. This indecision is somewhat resolved in the form of the play. Hamlet comes up with the idea of the play that is similar to the events recounted by the ghost about his murder to prove Claudius guilty or innocent. Due to the king's reaction to the play, Hamlet attains the belief that the Ghost was telling the truth the night of the apparition.