Hamlet and his father

This is probably the most interesting Shakespeare play I’ve read so far. It has me really engaged in it. I like that there is a ghost in the play because it adds a creepy, mysterious darker quality to the play that doesn’t seem to appear in the other plays we’ve read so far. Hamlet mourns the loss of his father, and is utterly disgusted that his mother could move on so quickly, and especially with the brother of his father.

In 1.2.243, Hamlet says,

“If it assume my noble father’s person

I’ll speak to it though hell itself should gape

And bid me hold my peace.”

In these lines, we can see that Hamlet wants to speak with the ghost of his father at any cost. He is dedicated to his father. However, this could be interpreted as a thing a madman would do—devoting himself to an illusion, or a ghost. He does not care if he is frightened or haunted by it—he just wants to talk with it. I think this shows how Hamlet wants some sort of closure from his father about everything that has happened—his father’s death and his mother marrying his uncle.

In 1.5.29, Hamlet says to the ghost of his father,

“Haste, haste me to know it, that with wings as swift

As meditation or the thoughts of love

May sweep to my revenge.”

These lines show Hamlet’s dedication yet again. But it’s funny because he doesn’t even know any details regarding the murder just yet. He is eager to seek revenge for the murder of his father. If we were to interpret Hamlet as madman, we would clearly see that he is eagerly devoting himself to help a person who no longer exists in material flesh.

I don’t think Hamlet is crazy though. I think he is dealing with the emptiness and pain of his father’s death. Avenging his father’s killer is the only way he can give back to his father. It is his last connection with him.

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One thought on “Hamlet and his father

  1. pamsutherland

    Today many people think ghosts are creepy but in Shakespeare’s time they were thought to be real. People thought that if you could see a ghost it was because there was unsolved business the ghost had to attend or that the ghost did something wrong and its punishment was to walk the earth for a given period of time. I think Hamlet is eager to avenge his father’s death because, by seeing the ghost, Hamlet knows there has been foul play.
    I don’t think that Hamlet started out crazy but I think that his acting crazy and the guilt of murdering Polonius, plus his father’s death, and everything else that is happening to him are making him crazy. I’m not quite sure the turning point, I think it is in his mother’s bedroom either with the visit of his father again or the murder of Polonius. Somewhere around there is where I feel he actually looses it.

    Reply

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