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Supernatural Used To Present Morality In "Hamlet".

1192 words - 5 pages

Supernatural beings were used many times throughout Shakespeare's writing career. In that time era, the supernatural was embraced as truth and fact. Shakespeare often used the supernatural as a means to enhance interest or help create certain moods for his writings. Ghosts are used to structure the plot and lead into later actions. They are used to appeal to the reader and help maintain interest in the story line. Ghosts are used to appeal to many audiences to help hold curiosity in the plot ("Supernatural" 1). In Shakespeare's "Hamlet", ghosts are used to provide action and serve as an important role in the play. Shakespeare used a ghost to test the audience's morality. "Hamlet" told a story that sets up an argument for good or bad. Hamlet listened to a ghost that guided him into a series of events that ultimately lead to his death. Whether the ghost was real or a product of his imagination really does not matter. Was this ghost a demon or was the ghost an angel sent from above? Should Hamlet have followed the directions from a supernatural entity that guided him toward vengeance and revenge? In that time era, Hamlet should have known better than to follow the advice of a ghost rather than the advice of his family and loved ones. I believe the story of Hamlet was written to show how an individual can allow vengeance to blind their moral judgment.In "Hamlet", Shakespeare used a ghost as a means to set a morale dilemma. He used a supernatural being to test Hamlet's character. He placed an evil spirit with a familiar face with a message filled with curiosity, jealousy, and revenge. Hamlet's obsession with vengeance stayed with him until the end. He allowed this sense of revenge to destroy his personal relationships with all that he holds dear to himself. The ghost lured Hamlet closer and closer by feeding his need for information about his father's death. There was never a true statement about the identity of the ghost. Hamlet trusted the ghost and allowed the ghost to direct his actions. He allowed his conscious to listen to the advice of the dead.One would argue that this is just a play written for entertainment and not a message to society. The writings and actions in this play went against the beliefs and values of the era that it was created. According to Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, the Bible prohibits any consultation with the dead (Bair 3). An example of this teaching comes from the Bible in the book of Deuteronomy "Let none among you that...asketh counsel of the dead...because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth cast them out before thee (Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 18.10-12). Another example comes from the Book of Corinthians where it states the revenge belongs only to God (Bair 2). Shakespeare would have been aware of these teachings. He used these teachings and the actions of the ghosts to set up the plot of the play. He allowed the ghost to direct the play to show the audience how life can test our character. Hamlet gave in to...

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