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Hamlet Symbolism Essay

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Symbolism in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Hamlet* is a play known worldwide and was written between 1599 and 1605 by the ingenious author and poet, William Shakespeare. The play is a drama that includes a love story, betrayal, and a tragic ending. During the time Hamlet was written, the population of England loved watching the hard ache of others and they epically loved murder and gore. Luckily for Shakespeare, todays current population loves watching and reading about the same things which kept most of his work around. The play Hamlet is the story of a young prince that lost his father to a murderer who happens to be his uncle, Claudius. Claudius then marries Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude making Claudius the new King of England. Hamlet’s deceased…show more content…
The ghost symbolizes the major factor of death and how it plays a major theme in the play. Shakespeare oriented the tragedy of Hamlet around the idea of coping and dealing with death. Professor Stanley Wells of Stratford Shakespeare Institute video states this idea and how the play's theme is death “If I had to sum up the entire play of Hamlet in one phrase, it would be reactions to death. It has the great symbol of the ghost which shows a great question mark over human existence” (Wells 4:40). What Wells is saying about “a great question mark over human existence” is that the ghost makes Hamlet constantly think about the meaning of life and how it should be spent. The second appearance of the ghost reminds Hamlet that he must kill Claudius and not worry about his mother. The ghost tells Hamlet that God will deal with his mother when she dies. This reminds not only Hamlet but also the audience about the theme of death. The ghost of Hamlet’s father is a perfect symbol that resembles this…show more content…
Throughout the play, Hamlet is a very cautious character that always has a second thought about everything. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe author of Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship and Travels describes Hamlet’s thought process while the ghost was present and after it had disappeared. “Hamlet has no firm belief either in himself or in anything else… He believes in the ghost of his father as long as he sees it, but as soon as it has disappeared, it appears to him almost in the light of deception” (Goethe 11). What Goethe is saying is, while the ghost was present, Hamlet trusted it and listened to it as if it opposed no threat. Once the ghost was out of sight, Hamlet thought twice about whether or not he should trust the ghost and get revenge because the thought that the ghost was really the devil trying to get Hamlet to sin. Hamlet second-guesses him self on the second appearance of the ghost as well. As Hamlet was harassing his mother out of built up rage, the ghost appears and tells him to focus on killing Claudius, not his mother. At this moment of the play, Hamlet’s mood completely changes and he stops harassing his mother. The ghost plays a major role in hamlets thought process and plays as a symbol for multiple
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