The Ghost's Role in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Tragedy, Ghost Pages: 4 (1350 words) Published: September 29, 2011
Summary: This is a 4 page paper on the perception of the reality of the Ghost and the significance of its role in the play Hamlet. Thesis
This paper will contend that the significance of the ghost emerges from his ability to influence the character of Hamlet. Thus, the ghost is important in emphasizing Hamlets character and thus developing the plot of the story. Introduction

Most critics tend to believe that the role of the ghost in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is more related to the supernatural and the importance of religion in the times. This paper suggests that the ghost has an even greater significance which is related to the development of the character and theme of the play. If we study the different Acts of the play and analyze the circumstances in which the ghost plays a role we realize that after Hamlet meets the ghost he is influenced to act in a certain manner. This influence then helps take the play further. Analysis

On studying the play we realize that the significance of the ghost emerges in Hamlet's self-portraiture which is drawn through the Ghost's presence in the play. Consider first the nunnery scene, which takes place between Ophelia and Hamlet. In this scene we see that Hamlet repeats the words which the ghost said to him in the first meeting. The self-accusatory attitude that Hamlet adapts and the description of his being "proud, revengeful, ambitious"; and his having untold "offenses at his beck" (3.1.123-24) are a reflection of the Ghost's unspecified self-accusations - its expressions of pride, vengeance, and ambition and its incommunicative sorrow. Hamlet's baring his soul makes him feel heavy and he is unable to come to a decision regarding Ophelia like the Ghost itself. Thus, we hear Hamlet's question "What should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven?" places him, physically helpless, in an undefined realm like that of his father's spirit (1.5.151). Hamlets presentation of the self in front of Ophelia is similar to the...
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