the ghost

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					MALICIOUS INTENT
“Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!” (Line 43)
Diction
• Shakespeare chooses to use “angels” and “minister”- words with religious
  connotation
   • Suggests that the Ghost is sacrilegious and evil


Relation to other characters
• The Ghost catches Hamlet and the watchmen off guard
   • Marcellus and Horatio are sentinels – their job is to defend the country
   • The Ghost is able to slip past their defenses by engaging Hamlet
MALICIOUS INTENT
“What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,   Symbolism
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff             •Flood is a symbol for
                                                   Hamlet’s plot for revenge
That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
                                                   •Horatio warns that the Ghost
And there assume some other horrible form,         is leading Hamlet towards
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason     something he will not be able
And draw you into madness? Think of it.            to escape
                                                   Use of water
The very place puts toys of desperation,
                                                   •Water is normally a symbol of
Without more motive, into every brain              rebirth, but the flood is
That looks so many fathoms to the sea              dangerous
And hears it roar beneath.” (77-86)                •The Ghost has been “reborn”
                                                   from the dead
MALICIOUS INTENT
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous and we fools of nature,
So horridly to shake our disposition” (Lines 57-60)
•   Diction
   • Steel: cold/heartless connotation
   • Hideous: frightening/evil connotation
   • Horridly: frightening/evil connotation
• Suggests that the Ghost influences the plot to send the characters into chaos
RIGHTEOUS INTENT
“Look, with what courteous action    That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
                                     Revisits thus the glimpses of the moon,
It waves you to a more removèd
                                     Making night hideous and we fools of nature,
    ground.” (66-67)
                                     So horridly to shake our disposition” (Lines 57-
                                     60)
Diction
                                     •Suggests the the Ghost disrupts the status
•   Courteous: the ghost does not    quo, and disruption is good
    use force, it allows Hamlet to             •The status quo is the King
    make a choice                              celebrating/Denmark royalty acting
•   Waves: gentle connotation                  irresponsibly
INTENT DOES NOT MATTER
“Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned
Bring with thee airs from Heaven or blasts from
Hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable” (Lines 44-47)
•Antithesis- Juxtaposed opposite ideas
   • Spirit of health and goblin damned
   • wicked and charitable
•One cannot simultaneously be two opposite qualities
 • Shakespeare suggests that the ghost is neither, creating mystery for the
   characters and reader
INTENT DOES NOT MATTER
“Thou com’st in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee” (Line 48-49)
•    Prince Hamlet does not immediately recognize the ghost as his father
•    Hamlet still desires to speak to the ghost, even though he has doubts


•    Mirror’s the dramatic structure of the play
    • The initial tragedy of the King’s death loses value over time, as the play centers
      on the fallout
    • The intent of the ghost is meaningless, its message/fallout is important
SUMMARY OF INTERPRETATION
   The evidence in the scene suggests the the Ghost has a malicious intent. This
   makes sense in the context of the play because its dialogue with Hamlet
   initiates Hamlet’s self-destructive quest for revenge. Moreover, it brings the
   entire plot into question, as the reader asks “Why did Hamlet trust the Ghost
   and devote his life to its words?”

				
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posted:12/2/2011
language:English
pages:8