He causes Hamlet to get revenge for his father. He implants the whole idea of revenge in his head. After meeting with the ghost and learning the truth about the death of his father, he states, “O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain! my tables!—Meet it is I set it down that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain. At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark” (I,v,106-109) meaning how he is extremely shocked to hear how his uncle murdered his father, and wants to take revenge. It is because of the encounter with the ghost that sparks his ambition for revenge, which ultimately leads him to go down the route of his vengeance, resulting in his death. Furthermore, the vengeance ignites the action of the play. After realizing his objective from the encounter with the ghost, he tells his men,
“How strange or odd soe 'er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on),That you, at such times seeing me, never shall—With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake, or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, as ‘Well, well, we know,’ or ‘We could an if we would,’ or “If we list to speak,’ or ‘There be an if they might,’ or such ambiguous giving out—to note” (I,v,170-178)
Hamlet is telling his men that no matter how strangely he acts, especially in the king’s presence, do not say anything. This is the moment when the rising action of the play b...
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...ord. Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool farewell!”(III,iv,32), showing how he is calling Polonius a “intruding fool”, and is not shocked that he killed someone unrelated to his revenge; he just ignores the body for a while as he talks to his mother. This shows that he has gone mad because he does not feel guilty after killing Polonius. His madness eventually results in his tragic death because he becomes mad for revenge, but he fails to do so.
Overall, in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, although the ghost seems to be a rather pointless, flat character as it appears only twice during the play, the ghost is a character that is very significant to the play because it influences Hamlet negatively, changing his personality, which ultimately leads to his tragedy. The ghost sparks Hamlet’s hatred for revenge, causes him to realize his tragic flaw, and leads to his madness.
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