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In Act I Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, what does the ghost instruct Hamlet to do?

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math2002 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:46 AM via web

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In Act I Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, what does the ghost instruct Hamlet to do?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:59 AM (Answer #1)

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The ghost of the recently murdered King Hamlet asks his son to avenge his death. He demands that Hamlet to "let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest." He goes on to stipulate that Hamlet should not carry out his revenge against his mother, however, saying that he should allow her to be judged in the next life. It is worth noting that he never explicitly tells Hamlet to kill Claudius, but it is fairly clear that this is what he has in mind. So Hamlet is sworn to revenge, but is left to his own devices when it comes to figuring out how he is to do it. 

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