The knowledge and the motivation to avenge his father’s death come from a ghost. The ghost has served has an intriguing dramatic device in the play. A dramatic device is an element of the play that helps build the story and affect the reactions of the audience and the delivery of dialogues and the character of the leading figures in the play.
At the time Shakespeare wrote this play, ghosts were used in plays and stories commonly. Ghosts were often used to haunt the characters, or to be harbinger of omens. In the Elizabethan era, ghosts were in fact regarded by audience with a positive response and increased the appeal of the play. Using a ghost in the play as a dramatic device helped accrue the appeal of the play since people at that time were looking for such entertainment. A play is dramatic if it involves its audience. Shakespeare’s use of the ghost in the play elicits feelings of fear and dread in the spectator. It serves to perform many functions in the play, contributing to the overall impact of the tragedy. There were superstitions and fear rife in the Elizabethan audience about death and what follows later on. Their fears and apprehension has been used by Shakespeare to build a plot that influences the audience considerably; the plot feeds upon the perceptions of the people on purgatory and afterlife and assists in involving the audience in to the play. At the time the play was construed by Shakespeare, although there were many Protestants, there were people who did not belief upon the existence of ghosts and any afterlife.
In the play, Shakespeare does not give any indication if the ghost was from hell or from purgatory. This leaves the audience ambiguous about the fate of Hamlet and how his actions were placed in the afterlife: that is, if he was condemned to hell or his given redemption for killing his uncle. The lack on knowledge on this matter leaves the audience embroiled in