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How is the ghost presented in Act One ofShakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’? What impact would it have had on its original audience?

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Introduction

How is the ghost presented in Act One of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'? What impact would it have had on its original audience? Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet' is a tragic story about love, death and hatred. In order to see what impact the ghost would have had on its original audience we have to look at a number of aspects such as, the language, the physical appearance of the ghost, the structure of the act and an understanding of the ghost's own words. The play 'Hamlet' is a 19th century tale. It's about the King of Denmark who dies and comes back as a spirit. During this time his wife, Gertrude (who is queen of Denmark), goes and gets married to the King's brother Claudius. Hamlet, who is their son, reacts badly to their marriage because he still hasn't got over his father's death. This leads to tension and ends in a tragic way. If this play was to be shown to a modern audience today, then they would or might have a completely different reaction to the original audience depending on their beliefs. The original audience seeing a ghost seeing a ghost would have made them think that there might be a secret to be revealed or the ghost might have unfinished business. ...read more.

Middle

When he says, "angels," this shows the audience that he is religious and then when he says, "ministers of grace defend us," this shows the audience how scared Hamlet is. Another place where the audience can see that Hamlet is religious is when he says "spirit of health," which shows he is asking protection from God. He describes the ghost as "King, father, royal Dane." All of these things are related to fit his father. This shows the audience that the relationship between Hamlet and the King might have been a strong relationship. Hamlet also describes the ghost's physical appearance as "ponderous and marble jaws." Here the ghost is being personified meaning that the ghost is been given human qualities to make the audience have a threatening or powerful image of the ghost in their minds. While Hamlet is saying this, the impression that the audience get from him at this moment in time is that, he is out of control. This is because he flicks from one topic to another and is still shocked from seeing the ghost. This is shown when Hamlet says, "Say, why is this? ...read more.

Conclusion

The ghost then goes on to tell about how the murder happened and what he wants Hamlet to do. When the ghost leaves, the impact on the audience goes down. Maybe because the tension part of the scene is over and they are a tiny bit relaxed but still have to think about what the ghost has said. From this the audience know that there is going to be conflict between Hamlet and his uncle. When he is able to he is going to do things that remind his uncle of what he has done. The relationship between the ghost and Hamlet seem to be a close relationship because the ghost hasn't spoken to anyone except Hamlet. This shows that Hamlet is the only one he can trust and depend on doing his work for him. The relationship between the ghost and his brother, Claudius, doesn't seem to be a good relationship because he describes him as a "serpent," and also because he killed him. This raises the question as to why Claudius killed his brother. Shakespeare uses different ways to reach the original audience to see what impact it has on them. Throughout the play tension is always rising. ...read more.

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