promotion image of download ymail app
Promoted
Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPerforming Arts · 3 months ago

Why doesnt the Ghost return in Shakespeare's Hamlet? What is it doing for the remaining 80% of the play?

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 3 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    sit there because he needed to use the bathroom

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Athena
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Hamlet's father is there to move the plot forward.

    He has no other function besides that so he is not needed.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 3 months ago

    If I remember correctly, the Ghost's last appearance is 11 scenes into the play, after which there are 9 scenes left, so the "remainder" is roughly half.  Beyond that, the timing of his last appearance thematically marks a shift in Hamlet himself.

    If you notice, Hamlet is very much "in his own head" for most of the play's first 3 acts, which also contain his most-famous soliloquies.  The Ghost's final appearance in Act 3 begins with him chiding Hamlet for being so slow to act and questioning his character.  The scene ends with Hamlet killing Polonius in error, thinking he was the king in hiding.

    In effect, the Ghost's function was to spur Hamlet to action.  Once Hamlet acted, the Ghost's function was done (as an aside, notice that the directions indicate the Ghost is wearing "night clothes" in this scene as opposed to the suit of armor in his previous appearances, foreshadowing his "retirement").

    From a thematic standpoint, you will also notice that Hamlet is more about action in the remaining acts and less paralyzed by "the pale cast of thought."  Even his remaining monologues reflect more insight than insecurity, and by the end of Act IV he understands that his duty for vengeance outweighs his concerns over the consequences ("..from this time forth my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth" - IV/4).

    In short, the Ghost's exit marks the point in the play when focus on the spiritual, philosophical and moral shifts to the worldly, pragmatic and Hamlet's own personal notion of justice.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Verity
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    It's a good question.

    But in that it is generally accepted that playwright/actor/theatre manager

    William Shakespeare himself played the ghost, he as probably very busy

    backstage.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.