In discussions pertaining to the nature of Hamlet’s ghost, there is much debate. On the one hand, authors such as W.W. Greg believe that Hamlet’s ghost was merely a hallucination, but on the other hand, Maurice Egan believes that Hamlet’s ghost was a real character who truly existed. Egan also contends that the ghost is sent from purgatory, however, authors such as Roy Battenhouse believe that the ghost is pagan and came from hell. Others such as Robert West maintain that the ghost is neither from heaven or hell, but was written to be purposefully confusing so that any audience member could think of the ghost in many different ways. I personally believe that the ghost was a real character who came from hell and appeared before Hamlet in order to have him exact his revenge on Claudius. I personally disagree with the author W.W. Greg’s interpretation of Hamlet’s ghost, and believe that his assumption that Hamlet is simply hallucinating his father’s ghost is without merit. Many of W.W. Greg’s claims relate Hamlet to other plays that were written by Shakespeare, claiming that due to how Shakespeare portrayed ghosts in his previous works, it would follow that Hamlet also fits into the same mold as these past writings. W.W. Greg even states, “I should like to be told what Shakespeare's views were of ghosts in general ... I am forced to turn to Shakespeare's other plays for suggestions as to how he represented these phenomena” (Greg 395). W.W. Greg is simply claiming that trends in Shakespeare’s writings in the past logically must take the same form in the character of Hamlet’s ghost. This method of thinking simply does not hold up when examined critically, mainly due to the fact that there were multiple witnesses to the ghost, a... ... middle of paper ... ... Battenhouse, Roy W. "The Ghost in "Hamlet": A Catholic "Linchpin"?" Studies in Philology 48.2 (1951): 161-92. JSTOR. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. Egan, Maurice Francis. The Ghost in Hamlet, and Other Essays in Comparative Literature. Freeport, NY: for Libraries, 1971. Print. Greg, W. W. "Hamlet's Hallucination." The Modern Language Review 12.4 (1917): 393-421. JSTOR. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. Low, Anthony. "Hamlet and the Ghost of Purgatory: Intimations of Killing the Father."English Literary Renaissance 29.2 (1999): 443-67. Wiley Online Library. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Eds. Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. Tenth. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. 1024-1129. Print. West, Robert H. "King Hamlet's Ambiguous Ghost." Modern Language Association 70.5 (1955): 1107-117. JSTOR. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is one of William Shakespeare’s most notorious pieces of literature. Published in the early sixteenth century, the play continues to be the longest of all Shakespeare’s plays and the most famous as well. In the very beginning of the play, Hamlet is visited by a captivating ghost similar to his recently deceased father, the King of Denmark. The ghost informs Hamlet that his father was poisoned by Claudius, the King’s brother. Claudius then went on to take the throne and also marry Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. The Ghost persuades Hamlet to avenge his father’s death by killing King Claudius. The task given to Hamlet causes a great deal of internal conflict. What is so appealing about this masterpiece is the
Although many different positions could be taken on writing an essay for this Shakespearian play, the author took it upon himself to write about Hamlet’s grief. His grief is obvious from the beginning of the play and he continues to grieve althroughout the play. Within his twenty-one-page essay, I chose this line to represent that I agree with his outlook on the play. “…his focus is on his grief and the profound impact in which the ghost has upon it. (Hamlet pg.18 paragraph 3)
Kemp, Lysander. "Understanding "Hamlet". National Council of Teachers of English. 13.1 (1951): 9-13. JSTOR. Web. 8 December 2013.
I think the ghost in Hamlet is really interesting. It makes me wonder if the ghost is really his father or if it really is real. At first I suspect that Hamlet is losing her sanity and is imagining things. After all, he loves his father so much and now he still hasn’t recovered from his death. So it is possible that he is seeing his father because that is what he wants to see. However, I remembered it was Bernardo and Marcellus who saw the ghost first. Then Horatio saw it as well. Then they told Hamlet. So there are three other people who saw the ghost first. So as far as sanity goes, I think Hamlet is still sane.
Shakespeare, William. The Three-Text Hamlet. Eds. Paul Bertram and Bernice Kliman. New York: AMS Press, 1991.
Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is a complex and ambiguous public exploration of key human experiences surrounding the aspects of revenge, betrayal and corruption. The Elizabethan play is focused centrally on the ghost’s reoccurring appearance as a symbol of death and disruption to the chain of being in the state of Denmark. The imagery of death and uncertainty has a direct impact on Hamlet’s state of mind as he struggles to search for the truth on his quest for revenge as he switches between his two incompatible values of his Christian codes of honour and humanist beliefs which come into direct conflict. The deterioration of the diseased state is aligned with his detached relationship with all women as a result of Gertrude’s betrayal to King Hamlet which makes Hamlet question his very existence and the need to restore the natural order of kings. Hamlet has endured the test of time as it still identifies with a modern audience through the dramatized issues concerning every human’s critical self and is a representation of their own experience of the bewildering human condition, as Hamlet struggles to pursuit justice as a result of an unwise desire for revenge.
illuminates on the mystery surrounding the death of Hamlet’s father, the King of Denmark. Often in literature the presence of a ghost indicates something left unresolved. In this case, the death of Hamlets father is the unresolved event as well the revenge necessary to give the tormented soul repose. The ghost created mystery for the audience, spawns the chain of death and treachery in Denmark, causes characters to question the death of their former king, and