Is Hamlet the only Shakespeare play where a verified ghost drives the story?
In others, spirits are more apparitions of the imagination than bona fide ghosts. Except for those damn weird sisters...
Sure, Caesar, Macbeth, Richard III encounter spirits, but these are more manifestations of guilt/ fear/ denial than active walking dead.
That damn ghost actually initiates the action of the play...weird.
Hell. Heaven. Protestants. Catholics. Ghosts. Devils. God. The occult.
Here in Hamlet we have a profound intellectual in crisis who lives in a world where ghosts wander the earth and tell us what to do, and it s Catholic ghost, too. ( Purgatory).At the same time, ethical philosophy and the impulse for revenge wrestle each other.
What the hell....
Why is it that only the soldiers and Hamlet see the ghost?
Why does it only speak to him? Why did it bother wandering around out there at all?
Not even Horatio gets a response.
Shakespeare really creates a mystery here, and goes to great pains with Bernardo, Francisco, etc. but then dispenses with them.
Like the characters that he uses at the top of other plays to set up the action.
But this time the set up is distinct. It is waiting for the main character.
They say Will played the ghost...
Later its under the damn stage: "old mole"....
Then in the bedroom.
Why not at the end? All that blood and death is for you, and you don't even show up?
Christ on the cross. Sacrifice of the son for the father. Flights if angels. And that terrible silence. Yes, the rest is silence. And being at rest means being silenced. Unless you are a ghost. And from now on, God will be silent...
There is something powerful at work here in Will's use of christianity, the occult, existential philosophy, clinical psychology that is terribly difficult to extract in our cynical, post Freudian world.
Shakespeare predicts Freud and manifests Jung. But his genius is that he tantalizes but won't commit.
Hey Will: does Hamlet go to heaven, purgatory or hell at the end?
Or does he become a ghost?