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What does the appearance of the Ghost suggest to Horatio?

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sripley3 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2008 at 9:08 AM via web

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What does the appearance of the Ghost suggest to Horatio?

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dreamday | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2008 at 5:03 PM (Answer #1)

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The appearance of Ghost suggests to Horatio that something is wrong with the state of Denmark. Horatio is surprised by the resemblance of the ghost to the late king. It is an ill – omen which signifies that something bad is going to happen in the near future. This is corroborated by the fact that he also refers to the strange things that happened before the death of Julius Caesar. Warlike preparations are going on in Denmark and Horatio senses some danger in the form of young Fortinbras.The ghost produces fear in the heart of Horatio, the sceptical scholar who doesn't believe in the existence of the Ghosts. An atmosphere of mystery is produced when Marcellus asks “what, has this thing appeared again tonight" (Act 1 sc. 1, 24). The sense of mystery deepens when the ghost moves with an offended look without answering Horatio’s question. The fact that even Horatio sees the Ghost lends a sort of credibility to the supernatural which helps us to suspend our disbelief for the moment.The appearance of the Ghost also brings in an immediate change in Horatio. This is significant in the larger context of the play.  Horatio, the sceptic who disbelieved in the existence of the ghost, after witnessing its appearance believes in its foreboding. The Ghost according to Horatio is “privy to the country’s fate” (Act 1 sc 1, 136) and suggest a future danger to the state.

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