The Importance Of Reality In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

978 Words 4 Pages
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are many uncertainties that are presented throughout the play. Is the ghost Hamlet confides in real or a figment of his imagination? Does Hamlet truly turn mad? Does Hamlet love Ophelia? These questions and many more are wondered by the audience and even by the characters inside of the play. Hamlet is a play about indecisiveness, and thus about Prince Hamlet’s failure to act appropriately. Many instances in Hamlet lead the reader to wonder if the ghost confiding in Hamlet is real. This uncertainty is often argued. If this “ghost” was not real, how can Hamlet know about certain details of his father’s death if nobody was there to witness it? In the play, the audience first meets the ghost when he visits …show more content…
In the play, Hamlet creates a plan to feign madness so others might accidentally give him information regarding his father’s death. Was imagining the ghost the beginning of his decent to madness? In the beginning of the play, Hamlet is deeply troubled because his father has died and his mother has married his uncle; as any sane person should be. Once the “ghost” of his father comes to visit him, Hamlet begins to wonder if what the ghost tells him (Claudius killing King Hamlet) is true. Promising to avenge his father’s death, Hamlet creates his plan. Is it possible that while faking madness he actually became mad? The ghost and Hamlet make a promise that Hamlet will avenge his father. This dangerous plan is carefully thought through and quickly put to action. While his plan was being implemented the relationship between the ghost and Hamlet began to shift. Instead of kindly helping him take revenge on Claudius he began taunting him and even called him “weak” (3.4.114-115). Given the sudden change of personality the reader being to gather the thought that maybe the ghost was not there to help Hamlet but to hurt him. We see many instances where both can be proved. The ghost helps him find his father’s killer, he helps Hamlet seek revenge on Claudius, and he helps him find out answers to questions that are taunting him in his mind. Yet, he also destroys Hamlet’s happiness by taking away everyone …show more content…
Hamlet’s love is wondered by all of the characters in the play. Polonius even advises Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet; “Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers” (1.3.127). Polonius is telling Ophelia that Hamlet must be using her love; that this relationship could never actually happen because they are not of the same social rank. “Affection! Pooh! You speak like a green girl,” (1.2.101). This begins to upset Ophelia and makes her wonder Hamlet’s true intentions. When in reality, Hamlet does in fact love Ophelia. While Polonius is warning his daughter, Hamlet is beginning to devise a plan to avenge his father; the first part of his plan being to feign madness. Hamlet, trying to fool everyone, acts crazy beginning to scare even Ophelia. Some, not believing Hamlet’s madness, decide to spy on a conversation between Ophelia and Hamlet. During this interaction, Hamlet purposely insults Ophelia telling her “I loved you not” (3.1.116), and “If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry” (3.1.129). Here is when the audience begins to wonder if Hamlet truly loves Ophelia. If he does, why would he say these terrible things to her? It seems to me that if you truly love someone you would not deliberately hurt them. This is also when Ophelia, at first a believer of Hamlet’s love, begins to doubt her judgments as well. Feeling unloved and used by Hamlet, Ophelia commits suicide and is found drowning in a river nearby. When hearing of

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