The Supernatural Element in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay

The Supernatural Element in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay

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A common motif in Shakespeare’s many plays is the supernatural element, to which Hamlet , with the presence of a ghost, is no exception. The story of Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark, is one of tragedy, revenge, deception, and ghosts. Shakespeare’s use of the supernatural element helps give a definition to the play by being the catalyst of the tragedy that brings upon Hamlet’s untimely demise. The ghost that appears at the beginning of the play could possibly be a satanic figure that causes Hamlet to engage in the terrible acts and endanger his soul. The supernatural element incorporated into the play is used as an instigator, a mentor, as well as mediation for the actions of the protagonist that ultimately end in tragedy, with the loss of multiple lives, as well as suscept Hamlet’s soul to hell. Shakespeare’s portrayal of the ghostly apparition causes a reader to question whether the ghost is a demonic force on the basis of its diction, conduct towards others as well as Hamlet, and it’s motive to kill.
The play starts out with the ghost, dressed in the late king’s war attire, walking past the guards on duty. One of the guards interprets the ghosts passage as being a bad omen of something horrendous to befall soon: “In what particular thought to work I know not,/ But in the gross and scope of mine opinion/ This bodes some strange eruption to our state.”(Shakespeare I.i). This clearly foreshadows a major tragedy since supernatural figures were associated with Satan and damnation during Shakespeare’s time. After the guards speculate about the ghost, and who the ghost is supposed to be, it suddenly disappears as the sun rises. The guards find this to also be a warning, since the ghost only came out at night, and “faded on the c...

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...zen Harris. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. 393-421. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Woodbridge Public Library NJ. 16 Dec. 2009 .

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.

Skulsky, Harold. "Revenge, Honor, and Conscience in Hamlet." PMLA. 85.1 (Jan. 1970): 78- 87. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Dana Ramel Barnes. Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. 78-87. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Woodbridge Public Library NJ. 16 Dec. 2009 .

Tiffany, Grace. "Hamlet and Nineteenth-Century Ghosts. (Review of Periodicals)." Shakespeare Newsletter. 51.3 (Fall 2001): p73. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Woodbridge Public Library NJ. 16 Dec. 2009 .

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