Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does Hamlet's father manipulate Hamlet even when he is dead?

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Joel Seligmann eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Manipulation is a word that has negative connotations and implications, and so I wouldn't call Hamlet's father's influence on his son manipulation.

Hamlet's father, who was killed by his brother, is a tortured ghost.

Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,

And for the day confined to fast in fires,

The relief this armored spirit can obtain is available only from his son, Prince Hamlet. The ghost speaks a simple, yet heavy request... Hamlet is asked by his farther to "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."

No manipulation is sought, no adjustment in thinking, no need to plan, no guile or trickery or plan of action is suggested by the ghost, for nothing of the sort is necessary.

If there is any manipulation, it is done by young Hamlet upon himself... to reorganize his thinking so that he, who is prone to thinking rather than acting, can see his way clear to act without thinking.

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lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The fact that Prince Hamlet's father returns from the dead as a ghost to tell his son what happened to him is...

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