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In Act I Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, how does old King Hamlet's ghost describe his...

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maria222 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM via web

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In Act I Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, how does old King Hamlet's ghost describe his his death?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 14, 2012 at 1:24 AM (Answer #1)

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The ghost of King Hamlet says that when he was napping in his orchard, Claudius, his brother, poured a "leperous distillment," or a poison, into his ear. The poison curdled his blood and caused his skin to develop horrible sores. So he died in his garden, hideously disfigured, a victim of his brother's treachery. This contradicts the story that spread after the king's death blaiming his death on a snake bite. Even more disturbing, he died without a chance to receive forgiveness for his sins, so his spirit is condemned to walk the earth at night and spend the day in purgatory until his sins are finally purged. 

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