The Importance Of Ghosts In Hamlet And Macbeth

1490 Words6 Pages
Ghosts are not around when everything is going well. They are an extrusion of the supernatural world into the natural. In both Hamlet and Macbeth, their respective states are in trouble. Something has been disrupted and the supernatural comes in and affects the course of action the characters take. Hamlet feels guilty at not having saved his father from death and Macbeth feels guilt for his ambition and murdering his friends. Their guilt presents itself as ghosts. These phantasms disrupt the idea of a state and who the members owe allegiance to. If there is something more attractive offered by the supernatural world, why not take hold of it?
Or the supernatural comes to reveal the true nature of the sovereign and in order to make things right,
…show more content…
or should he “take arms” and fight for what he believes is right to “end” the “sea of troubles” caused by his uncle. This question of what is “nobler” is a question of what is “nobler in the mind.” Ham;et’s experiences are coming from what his thoughts tell him, not experiential observation. It is uncertain when the ghost returns later in the act whether it is his mind or a supernatural being telling him: “This visitations / Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose” (III.iv.110-111). King Hamlet returns to reinforce his son’s obligation to avenge him. “Whet” and “blunted” give the implication of a dull sword. Therefore, Hamlet must sharpen his sword and his mind in order to complete his task and show his loyalty to his ghostly…show more content…
His gaze is cast to a particular spot, but she finds a “vacancy,” a lack of anything there. To Gertrude, Hamlet’s mind is lacking, he has created something that does not exist and so must be “mad” (III.iv.105). However, according to the stage directions, the Ghost has entered “in his nightgown.” The audience shares this vision with Hamlet, linking them closer to him than Gertrude. Nonetheless, it is still ambiguous whether the Ghost is a production of the mind or the Ghost everyone saw previously because of Gertrude’s inability to see
Open Document