The Ghost Of Hamlet’s Father

1594 Words7 Pages
The Ghost Of Hamlet’s Father What would Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, be like without the character of the Ghost? The drama simply wouldn’t BE! The Ghost, though not a human character in most senses of the word, is crucial for the development of the play. This essay will analyze this interesting character. The ghost’s apparition has deep significance. It touches the very spiritual underpinnings of the Denmark state. Frank Kermode in “Hamlet” explores the spiritual dimension of this spectral visit: But meanwhile the ghost – “this thing” – has appeared. (Horatio as skeptic raises questions as to its status which could have been avoided.) There has been speculation as to its purpose, but one thing seems sure: it has to do with the state of the nation – it “bodes some strange eruption to our state” – and with the armaments drive now in progress under the threat from Norway. That it genuinely has to do with the state of the nation – its spiritual rather than its merely political state – we shall learn; and to give us a “musical’ sense that this is so, there is the unexpected speech about Christmas (1138). Let it be said that the Ghost makes his appearance even before the drama has begun. Marchette Chute in “The Story Told in Hamlet” describes the ghost’s activity prior to the opening scene of Shakespeare’s tragedy: The story opens in the cold and dark of a winter night in Denmark, while the guard is being changed on the battlements of the royal castle of Elsinore. For two nights in succession, just as the bell strikes the hour of one, a ghost has appeared on the battlements, a figure dressed in complete armor and with a face like that of the dead king of Denmark, Hamlet’s father. A... ... middle of paper ... ...: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Excerpted from Stories from Shakespeare. N. p.: E. P. Dutton, 1956. Edwards, Philip. “The Ghost: Messenger from a Higher Court of Values?” Readings on Hamlet. Ed. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Rpt. from Introduction to Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Philip Edwards. N. P.: Cambridge University P., 1985. Kermode, Frank. “Hamlet.” The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974. Mack, Maynard. “The World of Hamlet.” Yale Review. vol. 41 (1952) p. 502-23. Rpt. in Shakespeare: Modern Essays in Criticism. Rev. ed. Ed. Leonard F. Dean. New York: Oxford University P., 1967. Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. http://www.chemicool.com/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html No line nos.

More about The Ghost Of Hamlet’s Father

Open Document