Hamlet And The Ghost Of King Hamlet Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Death and Dying  (general) Type: Term Paper Paper: #82418367 Related Topics: Hamlet Laertes, Hamlet, Afterlife, Gifted Students
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Ghost of Hamlet and the Sanctity of Death

The play Hamlet occupies such an important and fascinating place in public consciousness and in all of world literature for good reason: it explores some of the most eternal themes that the human condition has ever encountered. The themes presented throughout Hamlet tough upon some of the most timeless issues the human race has ever encountered -- these are themes like love and honor, along with death and eternality, obligation and duty, and most of all, vengeance. While the major characters of the play often visibly struggle with these themes, the minor characters of the play work towards the plays resolution, also not only moving the plot forward, but shedding light on issues that also must be given a longer look. The ghost of King Hamlet functions precisely in this regard and works to remind the spectator and the reader of the sanctity of death: death is a precious final event in the human experience and to die an unjustly death will forever be a problem for both the living and the dead. It is a problem which becomes the burden of the living to rectify. By demonstrating the sanctity of death, Shakespeare meditates also on the sanctity of life, and with it the sanctity among the bond of the living and how the duty of a son to his father transcends even death.

The speech given by the ghost of King Hamlet reminds...


The ghost of King Hamlet describes his death as foul, strange and unnatural (I.v) -- a description which makes the act of death itself -- murder -- even worse. All human beings are aware of the fact that death is an unavoidable fact of human existence. However, it is so unpalatable to the human brain and soul to fathom that one's death might be the result of an act of treachery and scheming, as this makes one's death seem unnatural, seem to be against the plan of the universe, and seem like it could have been avoided. One's death should not seem like it was the result of man's scheming and conspiracy, as it suggests that it might only result in a tormented afterlife. This is made apparent from the start of the dead king's speech: "My hour is almost come,/When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames/Must render up myself" (I.v). The ghost of King Hamlet continues to pay for the injustices of his death: this is an unmistakable message that the reader cannot overlook. A wrongful death carries with it a burden that the individual cannot escape even after life.

With the progression of the King's speech it becomes clear that he was indeed conspired against and a plotted against, and was but an innocent victim in the entire escapade. However, the consequences of that evil are his: he is the one paying the price for the evils of those who went against him. The king is doomed, as he says: "Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,/And for the day confined to fast in fires,/Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature/Are burnt and purged away" (I.v). This description gives the spectator an unmistakable perspective of the veritable hell his soul is in: he is paying for the sins of those who conspired against him. Without a doubt, Shakespeare is making a strong argument regarding how precious the act of one's death is and how eternal and inescapable the results of such a death, colored by injustice, actually is. By demonstrating the sanctity of death, Shakespeare uses the ghost of King Hamlet to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Shakespeare, W. Hamlet. Retrieved from mit.edu:


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"Hamlet And The Ghost Of King Hamlet" (2014, September 14) Retrieved December 4, 2022, from

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"Hamlet And The Ghost Of King Hamlet", 14 September 2014, Accessed.4 December. 2022,

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