Hamlet Essay

Submitted By tspmachina
Words: 929
Pages: 4

Boo! There are many characters that actually appear frequently in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. However, the character of the ghost, which has the appearance of Hamlet’s father, appears only a few times, but its existence cannot be ignored since it takes a huge part in the subsequent progression of the plot. It commands Hamlet to get revenge on Claudius by telling Hamlet the truth behind his father’s death. The existence of the ghost provides the cause of Hamlet’s action, which is basically the main purpose of the play, and also it affects Hamlet’s relationships with characters such as Claudius, Gertrude, Horatio, and Ophelia. Therefore, the ghost not only drives the general plot, but also takes an important part in the relationships. The play begins with the ghost’s appearance in Act 1, Scene 5. The ghost provides the major cause of Hamlet’s action throughout the story. The ghost tells Hamlet to “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I.v.25). The ghost is commanding Hamlet to get revenge on Claudius for his father’s murder, which becomes the main plot of the play. After Hamlet gets to know the truth behind his father’s death from the ghost, he seems crazy since his entire mind and behavior is focused on getting revenge against Claudius, the current king who killed the previous king. Later on, Hamlet wants to get proof to confirm what the ghost said. In Act 2, Scene 2, Hamlet plans to use a play which has the same story as how Claudius killed the previous king to find out if he feels guilty or not. Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (II.ii.561). Without the ghost, Hamlet wouldn’t have taken any action. The ghost motivates him to get revenge and make a plan of action. In an analysis of the characters in the play, William Hazlitt explains that “His habitual principles of action are unhinged and out of joint with the time” (Hazlitt 167). Hamlet gets more angry and crazy after the ghost tells him the truth, so his behavior changes from the normal way he was. The ghost influences Hamlet’s behavior, which changes not only the plot, but also the relationships with other characters. The ghost influences the relationship between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude. Hamlet was angry at Gertrude because of her fast marriage with his uncle Claudius right after his father’s death, which he thinks is incestuous and unnatural. At the end of Act 3, Scene 2, Hamlet says, “I will speak daggers to her, but use none” (III.ii.359). He plans to verbally attack her but not physically since he considers her marriage to have offended his father. However, the ghost appears and reminds Hamlet of the main goal by saying, “Do not forget. This visitation is to whet thy almost blunted purpose” (III.iv.112-113). The ghost is guiding Hamlet and reminding him of the main purpose, which is to get revenge on Claudius, and that Gertrude is innocent. As a result of the ghost’s intervention, Hamlet tells her why he is acting crazy and she agrees to keep his secret. This adds trust to their relationship, and this would not have happened without the ghost. The ghost also influences the relationship between Hamlet and his friend Horatio. Hamlet finds out the existence of the ghost through Horatio. After speaking with the ghost, Hamlet shares the secret about the truth that the ghost told him with Horatio. Hamlet trusts Horatio, and throughout out the play Horatio helps Hamlet. When Hamlet dies, he tells Horatio to tell the truth about what happened. Hamlet says “Horatio, I am dead: thou livest;…