Why did the ghost appear to Hamlet in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, and what was the conversation about?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The reasons for the ghost's appearance is actually very clearly spelled out in the final scene of the first act. The ghost begins to explain his appearance to Hamlet in his first long speech starting at line 13. There are a couple of different reasons why the ghost appears.

One thing that the ghost explains is that he is "[d]oom'd for a certain term to walk the night, / And for the day confined to fast in fires" until all of the "foul crimes" he committed while alive are "purged away" (I.v.14-17). In other words, one reason why he is appearing is because it is part of his punishment to keep roaming the earth at night; although, we never actually learn what "foul crimes" King Hamlet was guilty of.

The second reason why King Hamlet 's ghost has appeared before Hamlet is explained in...

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Queen Langosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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