The Ghost: Bona fide or Bogus?
In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the ghost of Hamlet’s father is intended to be seen as a real ghost. Around 1600, when the play Hamlet was written, many people believed in mystical creatures like witches, monsters, and most importantly: ghosts. With so many people believing in these characters, it makes sense that Shakespeare portrays the ghost of Hamlet’s father as a real figure. Many examples support this, such as when the guards in Act I scene i see the ghost, which proves it’s not just in Hamlet’s imagination. But some people can not see the ghost, such as Hamlet’s mother in Act III scene iiiii. Hamlet sees the ghost but she can not. This could be used as evidence to say the ghost is not real though. Shakespeare shows us though this information, the high complications oh having ghosts in a story.
In Act 1 scene I, several guards and Horatio, a well educated close friend of Hamlet, see a ghost dressed in full armor. The ghost being in full armor resembles the tense mood of the scene, because many people are scared Denmark will go to war with Norway. The soldiers tell Horatio to question the ghost. He says: “What art thou that usurp’st this time of night, together with that fair and war-like form in which the majesty of buried Denmark did sometimes March? By heaven I charge thee, speak!” (pg. 33, l. 46). The ghost does not reply to his request and the guards think he has offended it. Later in the scene the ghost disappears into the mist. In a later scene Horatio tells Hamlet about seeing the ghost in the middle of the night. This leads to Hamlet meeting with in ghost in Act I, scene iiiii.
Hamlet is ecstatic when he finds out he might be able to talk to his father’s ghost. He becomes determined to find him. He finally sees him in the middle of the night and follows him. The ghost stops walking and talks: “I am thy father’s spirit; Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night, and for the day confin’d to fast in fires, till the foul crimes done in my days of nature are burnt are plurg’d away.” (pg. 60, l. 10). His father is telling him that until his death is avenged, he will be suffering in hell by day and walking he earth by night. He also tells Hamlet his murderer “now wears his crown.” He continues on page 62: “But, soft! Methinks I scent the mourning air.” (pg. 62, l. 58) This line is very ironic because it has two meaning that only the reader could pick up on. The literal meaning is saying that the morning is coming so he has to leave. But the second meaning could be thought of as: Methinks I sent the mourning heir. In...