Essay, Research Paper: Hamlet Aspects

Shakespeare: Hamlet

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In the play, "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, many aspects contribute
to the tale of tragedy, but of these there is one thing that is purely essential
to this famous story : the ghost of King Hamlet. The ghost of King Hamlet is so
important to "Hamlet" on so many levels, accounting for most issues,
directly or indirectly, that are involved in the drama. The intrigue of the pale
specter creates many things such as Hamlet's procrastination, it also projects
the image of Hamlet's madness, and most importantly, it provides the plot of the
story: Hamlet seeking revenge for King Hamlet's murder. The mystery that was set
at the beginning of the play, with the appearance of the king's ghost, was
resolved when his son Hamlet went to the battlements after a quick game of
follow the leader. This is where King Hamlet's visage speaks to Hamlet, saying
not the most famous words of the play, but the words with the most meaning. At
this time King Hamlet tells his son the truth of his death. Here it is revealed
that King Hamlet did not die of a tragic accident, but of a treacherous betrayal
by his own dear brother. With this event revealed the story is set in motion
with Hamlet seeking to avenge his father's untimely demise and with Hamlet also
seeking the death of Claudius. With Hamlet's new found knowledge about the
murderous Claudius, another aspect of Hamlet is shed light upon. Hamlet's so
called "procrastination" is brought forth with the apparition's
information. Because the prince was unknowing of his father's true identity,
whether he was truly his father, King Hamlet, or a devious imposter sent by the
devil himself to make Hamlet commit a deed of unrepentable evil. To make sure
the accusations of the spirit were true, Hamlet set out on a quest to test the
validity of the statements made. So, through half the play, Hamlet goes forth
looking for clues, finding no hard evidence but plenty of suspicion. It wasn't
until the actors came that he pondered on an idea that would test the truth of
the words that were circulating in his mind. Here Hamlet decided "the play
is the thing, to catch the conscience of the King". That he did, proving
that Claudius was indeed responsible for killing his father, therefore proving
the identity of the ghost being actually his father. In most of Shakespeare's
plays, madness plays a major role and Hamlet is no exception. In Romeo &
Juliet mad love played an important part in the tragedy. In even closer ties,
Macbeth's run in with the ghost of Banquo also proved to be an important
additive. The appearance of Banquo to only the eyes of Macbeth displayed to his
guests a visage of madness. This case is also true in Hamlet, but in a slightly
different manner. In Hamlet, the coming of the apparition did not totally create
the image of Hamlet being mad. To begin with he was not the first and only
person to see this ghost of King Hamlet. Only with the testimony of Horatio,
Marcellus, and Barnardo did Hamlet even know that this apparition existed. The
impression of Hamlet being crazy was not present in his first encounter with the
ghost, but in another. After the first meeting with the specter, Hamlet made his
three accomplices swear not to tell anyone about what they saw. So instead of
sweeping through Denmark that the King was present in a less substantial manner,
no body knew of the ghost's existence. So comes the ghost's second encounter
with Hamlet. This time it occurs in the "closet" of Queen Gertrude
while Hamlet is pleading with his mother to lay off of Claudius because of
Claudius's dark deed. Right before Hamlet was to totally sell his speech to
Gertrude, his ranting got out of hand and his father's form appeared again,
warning Hamlet not to harm his mother for a second time. While Hamlet was
conversing with his father, the Queen stood in dismay not knowing who Hamlet was
talking to because of her lack of ability to see her ex-husband. This convinced
Queen Gertrude that Hamlet was truly mad and she totally dismissed the ideas
that were recently programmed in her mind. With out the mad appearance of Hamlet
and his noted procrastination, "Hamlet" would not be as popular as it
is today. Certainly without its detailed plot the story would have little
meaning and little effect. Therefore, where would the play be without King
Hamlet's insubstantial visit.
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