William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 26, 1564, to a farmer named John Shakespeare. No one knows the exact date he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26. Shakespeare had seven brothers and sisters. Everyone assumes he attended the grammar school in Stratford. Shakespeare didn’t attend a university but at the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway. Six months after their marriage they had their first daughter, Susanna, and in 1585 they had twins, Hamnet and Judith.
He is considered the world’s greatest dramatist. He wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets. William Shakespeare was an actor, a playwright, and a poet. William Shakespeare first started his career in the theatre. During the year 1594 Shakespeare career took a turning point, he joined The Lord Chamberlain’s Company (formerly known as ‘Lord Strange’s Men’). The Lord Chamberlain’s Company was a theatrical company that Shakespeare was with for most of his professional career.
He was known to play many roles, it’s also assumed that he played small roles in his own plays, including Hamlet (as Hamlet father). His first biographer, Nicholas Rowe, referred to him as “the ghost of his own Hamlet”. Even Though William Shakespeare reputation is based on his plays, he actually got famous first as a poet. His first publication was Venus and Adonis in 1593. It was dedicated to 18 years old Henry Wriothesley, the third Earl of Southampton.
The dedication received patronage, after receiving it Shakespeare dedicated his next dramatic poem, Lucrece, to the young lord as well.Today Shakespeare is known as the greatest playwright. By 1596 Shakespeare was very successful as a playwright. At this time Shakespeare was already a well-established actor with a great reputation. His plays were attracting a lot of interest, he had theaters fullback in the 16th century. It’s impossible to know the exact date that Shakespeare started writing Hamlet, but he finished it in 1601.
Hamlet is the most widely performed play, its estimated that it’s being performed every minute of every day somewhere around the world. Its Shakespeare’s longest play at 4,042 lines, its said that the character Hamlet has about 1530 lines, which is the most of any character that Shakespeare made. Hamlet is considered a tragedy/revenge tragedy. It was written in London, England and first published in 1603 in a pirated quarto edition titled The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet and then it was published again in 1604 in a superior quarto edition.
In the play, Hamlet feels a responsibility to avenge his father’s murder. Claudius, who is Hamlet uncle, is the main suspect for Hamlet’s father murder but since Claudius became the king after marrying Hamlet’s mother, Claudius is very protected. Making it very difficult for Hamlet to find the truth about his father murder. After becoming depressed and summoned home to attend his father’s funeral, he is shocked to hear that his mother Gertrude is already remarried.
Hamlet’s father then comes to him as a ghost and tells him he wants him to avenge his death. The Ghost triangular relationship between Hamlet, Gertrude and Claudius is very much strong and makes the whole play.As we know the Ghost has come to Hamlet as “Hamlet’s father”. In the starting of the play when Hamlet is introduce to this ghost he is very wary and doesn’t trust anything he says. “GHOST: My hour is almost come. When I to sulfurous and tormenting flames. Must render up myself.
HAMLET: Alas, poor ghost! GHOST: Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing. To what I shall unfold.
HAMLET: Speak. I am bound to hear. GHOST: So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear.
HAMLET: What? GHOST: I am thy father’s spirit” (Act 1 Scene 5). Some literary critics would say Hamlet relationship with this ghost is just a pigment of his imagination but regardless young Hamlet just lost a person who meant a great amount to him. His mother Gertrude, keeps telling him to move on, “GERTRUDE: Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailèd lids. Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know’st ’tis common. All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.
HAMLET: Ay, madam, it is common.
GERTRUDE: If it be, Why seems it so particular with thee?
HAMLET: “Seems,” madam? Nay, it is. I know not “seems.” ‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage, Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, That can denote me truly. These indeed “seem,” For they are actions that a man might play. But I have that within which passeth show, These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” (Act 1 Scene 1).
This is a conversation Hamlet and his mother had before he met the ghost, he didn’t want his mother to just tell him to stop moping about the death of his father. In fact, as the play goes along he asks his mother why isn’t she moping around. In the play, Hamlet mentions, several times on different occasions that his mother committed a sin by marrying his uncle. He has a very deep angry towards his mother for doing it and he mentioned to her that he didn’t want her to be his mother.
Hamlet angry towards his mother wasn’t created by the ghost, the ghost tells Hamlet to respect his mother at some point of the play but it doesn’t stop the ghost from igniting Hamlets angry. The ghost, or better known as Hamlet father, also mentions Gertrude sins. “GHOST: Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power. So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust. The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
O Hamlet, what a falling off was there! From me, whose love was of that dignity. That it went hand in hand even with the vow I made to her in marriage, and to decline Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor To those of mine. But virtue, as it never will be moved, Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,So lust, though to a radiant angel linked, Will sate itself in a celestial bed And prey on garbage.” ( Act 1 Scene 5).
Hamlet’s relationship with the ghost was created by the angry he felt towards Gertrude and Claudius, before the ghost mentioned ‘murder’ Hamlet knew something was up not only about his mother marrying her dead husband’s brother but also the fact that Claudius took the crown from him.The ghost didn’t really have a relationship with Gertrude and Claudius. In fact, the only people who seem to see or conversate with the ghost is Hamlet.
The ghost relationship with Gertrude is merely just the betray Hamlet father feels towards her. The ghost doesn’t ask Hamlet to avenge his mother, the ghost actually tells hamlet to let God deal with her. “GHOST: Let not the royal bed of Denmark be A couch for luxury and damnèd incest. But howsoever thou pursuest this act, Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge To prick and sting her.
” Hamlet’s father wasn’t really focused on his wife. His angry was more for his brother, the one that seduced his wife, poisoned him and took his crown. Claudius gained Gertrude trust, where she would go to him about a problem rather than anybody else, for example when Hamlet kills Polonius, Gertrude confided in Claudius. She is also always defending him, some would say she loved Claudius more than she loved her own son. In act 3 scene 3, Shakespeare introduced a play within Hamlet, Claudius who was on the sidelines watching the play begun to feel remorse for killing his brother. This gave Hamlet confirmation that the ghost was telling the truth about his murder, and also the opportunity to kill Claudius.
“CLAUDIUS: Thanks, dear my lord. Oh, my offense is rank. It smells to heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon ‘t, A brother’s murder. Pray, can I not. Though inclination be as sharp as will, My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent, And, like a man to double business bound, I stand in pause where I shall first begin, And both neglect. What if this cursèd hand. Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood? Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens, To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy But to confront the visage of offence? And what’s in prayer but this twofold force, To be forestallèd ere we come to fall Or pardoned being down?
Then I’ll look up. My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer Can serve my turn, “Forgive me my foul murder”? (Act 3 Scene 3). This scene made Hamlet’s anger towards Claudius grow and his relationship with the ghost strong. Claudius has no clue that Hamlet knows about his sins, and although Claudius can’t physically see the ghost, as he’s praying he can somehow feel the ghost presences. The ghost somehow creates the main conflicts within the play without really being in the play.
In conclusion, Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of all time, has left us with many mysteries in Hamlet. But one thing that we all know is that, if there wasn’t a ghost the play would have no meaning. The ghost came back to the kingdom to ask Hamlet to avenge his murder, and because of this, it creates the main points of the play. In some opinion, Hamlet’s madness was caused by the ghost. Some think Hamlet’s madness was caused by the betrayal he felt towards his mother and uncle. Shakespeare has given us a play that leaves us wondering and looking for answers.
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