The nature of the ghost (Hamlet)

Book Report/Review
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The nature of the ghost in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare has always been a question of debate among the Shakespearean critics and the textual evidences on the reality concerning the ghost enhance the bewilderment about the true nature of the ghost.


.. a questionable shape" (Shakespeare, I: ii) and the nature of the ghost has always been questioned. In other words, the variations of interpretations and criticisms regarding the play have dealt also with the nature of the ghost who takes the form of the protagonist's dead father. In a careful reading of the text which looks deeper into the realities and evidences in the text, one comes to identify several instances that question the acceptance of the ghost as Hamlet's dead father. Therefore, one of the most illumining discussions on the various major themes of the play would focus on an investigation of the nature of the ghost and to answer what is the ghost in the play. "On one point all critics have agreed. It is not a mere folk ghost: a graveyard spook of popular imagination, returned from the charnel house, wandering among tombs, guarding treasure, haunting its earthly abodes. It is not a mere pagan ghost: a forlorn soul seeking proper burial, an errant soul still stained with the lusts of the world, hovering over the grave, the spirit of a murdered man pursuing his murderer or wandering until the day when he would have died naturally. The first scene of Hamlet puts the Ghost into Christian perspective. ...
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