I've always been confused, and fascinated, by the ghost. Why would a ghost in purgatory, who wants to go to heaven by sending his murderer to hell, ask his son to commit revenge, a pagan act, thereby sending him to hell as well?
And why does it appear to Hamlet? Most revenge ghosts appear to those that have murdered them. Banquo appears to Macbeth. Caesar appears to Brutus. Why, then, does the ghost appear to Hamlet and not Claudius?
And the ghost exhibits double standards. We are also forgetting that the ghost makes a deal with Hamlet: take revenge upon Claudius but leave Gertrude to heaven. Surely, the ghost would want Hamlet to take revenge on Gertrude too, if not for accessory to murder, then surely for incest.
And the ghost appears twice to Hamlet. Later in the closet scene, as Hamlet is getting rough with his mother, the Ghost appears again and tells him to back off. Freudian (psycho-analytic) critics have had a field day with this reprise of the Oedipal Complex.
I tend to...
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