Hamlet's Ghost/ Influencing Obsessions

In: English and Literature

Submitted By britt725
Words 1731
Pages 7
In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the ghost of the late King Hamlet has influenced his son to become obsessed with the idea of death. When young Hamlet is informed of the ghost’s sighting, he is anxious and curious to find out who this ghost is and what news it has to deliver. After the ghost reveals himself as Hamlet’s deceased father, Hamlet’s curiosity increases. The ghost divulges to Hamlet that his brother, Claudius, poisoned him to take his life as well as his throne, which infuriates young Hamlet. After this shocking revelation, Hamlet becomes obsessed with thoughts of death and avenging his father’s murder, which contributes to his insanity. When Hamlet speaks to his father’s ghost, his father insists that Hamlet avenge his death by killing Claudius. The ghost explains to his son that King Claudius has corrupted the nation of Denmark, has robbed him of his own life, and therefore, achieving revenge is crucial. After conversing with the ghost, Hamlet vows to seek vengeance on Claudius. This “seeking” of vengeance very quickly turns into an obsession. Hamlet’s every thought seems to revolve around his plot to kill Claudius, causing friends and family to express concern over his strange behaviors. Rumors begin to travel around Denmark that Hamlet has “gone mad,” while Hamlet claims to only be feigning his insanity. Hamlet’s soliloquy where he contemplates suicide is one example of his obsession with death. Amidst the stresses of planning Claudius’ murder, Hamlet even considers ending his own life: “To be, or not to be: that is the question” (III.i.58). In this well-known soliloquy, Hamlet brings up the point that why would someone go through the “whips and scorns of life,” grunting and sweating, when one could escape these trials and end it at any moment. Clearly, Hamlet believes that the easiest way out of his misery here on earth is by suicide. However, he…...

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