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Detailed commentary between Hamlet and the Ghost

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Introduction

Detailed commentary between Hamlet and the Ghost The play 'Hamlet' was written in politically tempestuous times in London. Much importance surrounded the outward support of the monarch, Elizabeth. During her reign, religion caused divisions and factions of the Protestant church considered the theatre as sinful, amoral perhaps. In his plays, Shakespeare uses his understanding of humanity to entertain by addressing love, power, loyalty, honour and friendship. These values address unchanging aspects that touch us even today. At the time of this play, Shakespeare was experimenting and developing new theatrical techniques in an attempt to impress his audiences. 'Hamlet', a timeless tale of murder, is intended to portray the importance of the monarchy, family dynamics, friendships and betrayals. This then is the underlying setting of the theme for 'Hamlet' - opening on a dark winter night, creating an ethos of suspense and intrigue while providing entertainment to an otherwise deprived audience. The conversation between Hamlet and the Ghost can be interpreted and understood in many different ways. ...read more.

Middle

for his father and clearly wants to seek revenge, but it is clearly against his religion and nature as a person to commit murder. The Ghost's intention - in providing such vivid detail about his death - is to stimulate and provoke action from Hamlet. Hamlet's reaction to the Ghost is surprisingly courageous. 'As meditation or the thoughts of love may sweep to my revenge'. This statement is bursting with courage and bravery and it seems Hamlet will act. 'O my prophetic soul,' Hamlet claims he had, (in hindsight) always suspected, that it was Claudius who was responsible for the death of his father, although he has not mentioned it previously. This is a display of youthful assertiveness. 'O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?' This statement shows just how distraught Hamlet is by the convergence of having lost his father; his mother perceivably, to Claudius; his throne to Claudius and receiving instruction from a Ghost! This apparition is telling him to seek revenge on Claudius - despite the fact that it may contradict his religious beliefs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hamlet is in a conundrum. The longer he waits, the situation intensifies. He is a well - read scholar, familiar with the melodramatic manifestations of the genre of a revenge-tragedy and therefore he plays the role of the typical tragic protagonist well. The Ghost acts and talks as though he still is was the King, 'My most seeming virtuous queen.' Here the Ghost reiterates to Hamlet that the Queen had nothing to do with his death and he should not think ill of her. However, the Ghost categorically proclaims that Claudius is guilty, 'And in the porches of my ears did pour the leperous distilment' and as a consequence of this he should suffer at Hamlet's hand. The Ghost has already decided who is to blame; who should suffer and who must die. What gives him the authority to do so? It appears that the Ghost's main purpose is to thicken the texture of the plot and to add to the theme of revenge. The supernatural serves to add a flavour of suspense, energy and tension to the play. ...read more.

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