Monday, February 11, 2008

Act1 Scene 5 Hamlet meets his father's ghost

Mel Gibson as Hamlet - Hamlet meets his father's ghost. Many lines are cut in this version, but it acts as a good summary.


Katie S6 said...

In Act 1:4 Hamlet is about to encounter his father, King Hamlet in his ghostly form. This act foreshadowed a lot of what has occurred so far in the play but also perhaps what is going to be the outcome of Hamlet’s fate. “The air bites shrewdly, it is very cold.(1)” Hamlet states. “It is a nipping and an eager air.(2)” Horatio continues. This is ironic because it connects to the future questions of Hamlets madness. In Act 2:2 Polonious says, “Will you walk out of the air, my lord? (104)” The air back then was known to be a bad thing, and here Hamlet is standing right in it, and apparently does not come out of this bad place in future time. Its ironic too because Hamlet first meets his father outside with Marcellus and Horatio. This foreshadows the meeting with Hamlets father will only lead to despair in time. Even in the beginning Hamlet questions this moment in the play, is this a good thing or a bad thing, meeting his ghostly father? Hamlets madness could be explained because the ghost of King Hamlet ultimately posses his soul which leads to his strange behavior in the future. As seen in Act 2:2 Hamlet seeks revenge for the death of his father and is acting strange towards everyone. “And for my soul, what can it do to that, being a thing immortal as itself. (66-67)” He underestimates his will power towards his father and it consumes his better judgment. “My fate cries out and makes pretty artere in this body—As hardly as the Nemean lion’s nerve. (82-83)” The lions have no strength and neither does Hamlet who goes off with his father. Then at the very end of Act 1:4 Horatio and Marcellus make a very ironic statement that defiantly foreshadows the rest of the play. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Heaven will direct it. (91-92)”
In Act1:5 ghost Hamlet let’s the audience and Hamlet know that Claudius is his killer and that the King had arrived for revenge for his murder. As Ghost Hamlet continues, when he talks about Claudius going after Gertrude its almost as if this is between Hamlet and Ophelia. Polonius is coming between the two’s relationship they somewhat have with each other. “That it went hand in hand even with the vow I made to her in marriage, and to decline. (49-50)” Even though Hamlet did not vow marriage he did vow love, love that was declined because of outside voices who interfered with her heart. I think that also sends Hamlet into madness like Polonius said because love fills up ones heart and sooths a soul, that’s not in this case with Hamlet who is struggling with everything. Also Ophelia’s actions can be connected to that of Gertrude, she’s only doing what is best, and listening to her father in this case is the right thing to do for the moment. The rest of the act basically states that Claudius killed King Hamlet with poison and that Hamlet should not be so harsh to his mother, she has just been tricked.
These two acts revealed a lot of plot line and also informed the audience some characterization with Hamlet, Gertrude, Claudius, & King Hamlet. It also connects to future events and characters such as Polonius and Ophelia. These two acts also set up some foreshadowing of what’s to come. Perhaps if Hamlet can not pull himself out of this “madness” he may fall to someone else’s hand, just like his father.

Faedhra said...

In Act 4, we see that hamlet seek more in life as he willingly chooses to meet a ghost. Hamlet no longer wanted to be categorize as a” drunkards”(19) as someone who is enable to control himself and his emotions. As his uncle “drains his draught of Rhenish down” (10) with his mom by his side. Despite “our achievements, though perform’d at height, / the pith and marrow for our attribute” (21-22). Hamlet is lost, everyone wants to live him in the dark but he seeks his father for the light “father” hamlet cries “o, answer me! Let me not burst into ignorance” (line 45-46) by seeing the Ghost< Marcellus staed that something IS “rotten” in the state of Denmark, Harotio continues by saying “Heaven will set things right” this line foreshadow the truth of what really happens to King Hamlet. Hamlet cannot seem to wait for is “fate cries out, / and makes each artere in his body as hardy as the Nemean lion’s nerve” (line 82-84)

In Act 5 Hamlet is able to have a conversation with his father ghost. It is important to see that Hamlet is doing this alone, even though he walks in with Horatio and Marcellus, they are left behind. I quickly thought of Jesus through as his journey was about to come to an end. When he seeks for his father, the two disciples were not present. To continue the ghost let Hamlet know that “the serpent that did sting thy father’s life/ now wears his crown” ( 38-39) and it is very terrible, horrible that he was” cut off even in the blossoms of my sin/ unhous’led, disapoointed, unanel’d/ no reck’ning made, but sent to my account/ with all my imperfections on my head/ ( line 74-79)which is the reason now he is doomed for a certain time to walk in night and during the day to be held captive in fire, until his sins are burned and purged away.

After the ghost as exit, and Hamlet rejoin Horatio and Marcellus, Hamlet made them swear to never talk about the ghost. Hamlet behavior is foreshadow here as he tells his servant if he ever act in any fantastic manner, they are to pronounce some doubtful phrase like “well, well, we know.” Or “we could and if we could “(line 175) Hamlet is happy to be in the light, to have learned things even philosophy could not cover which show that he must have seek answers anywhere he could find it. “There are more things in heaven and earth… than are dreamt in your philosophy “(166-167) which is why at this time of disorder and how “cursed spit that ever I was born to set it right!” (Line 188-189)

Shaun N 5 said...

Act 1:4-5
[Pg. 47-56]

Characters Present:

Scene 4 Summary of Events:
Horatio and Marcellus have brought Hamlet in hopes that the Ghost of King Hamlet will reappear.
Before the Ghost makes itself seen, Hamlet goes into detail about how his uncle Claudius, the new King of Denmark, is currently “carousing,” and in which Hamlet expresses a disgust for the custom and how it tarnishes the reputation of Denmark against other kingdoms.
When the Ghost appears, it “beckons Hamlet” to follow it alone. Hamlet follows much to the dismay of Horatio and Marcellus, but they decide to follow.

Scene 5 Summary of Events:
The Ghost speaks to Hamlet of its punishment to walk the Earth for a limited time and of its intention of revenge upon the current King, Claudius, for his murder and stealing and marriage of his love, the Queen. It tells Hamlet not to go after his mother and “leave her to heaven;” to remember it, and with three “adieu’s” it fades into the morning air. At this point, Horatio and Marcellus catch up with him and ask him what the Ghost has said. Hamlet makes them swear never to speak of what they had seen of the Ghost, and that he will from that point on pretend to be crazy, but that they should never let on to know this as well.

Addressing Hamlet’s Sanity:
As far as I can tell, Hamlet is completely sane (in the beginning anyway). It says this within the text even, at the end of Act 1:5, on page 56.

HAMLET: ...[starting on line 167] But come --
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd some’er I bear myself --
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on [Behave in some fantastic manner, act like a madman.] --

After reading this, there’s not really much else to say on that topic. He’s sane in the beginning...

On The Ghost of King Hamlet
Though I am completely sure that Hamlet is sane (in the beginning), I question the actuality of the Ghost that appears before him. There is one specific piece that doesn't fit: If King Hamlet was poisoned while "asleep in his orchid", why does he appear a Ghost dressed as he was rumored to have been killed? I have to trail back a couple scenes ere my assigned Act for an example of this, but bear with me.

Act 1:1 - pg. 30 - line 58
MARCELLUS: Is it not like the King?
HORATIO: As thou art to thyself.
Such was the very armor he had on
When he the ambitious Norway [King of Norway.] combated.

I’m sure the argument to this would be as follows: “Where in the text does it say a Ghost must appear as it was upon death?” And the counter-argument: It’s the assumption of a general public (myself anyway) that an apparition appears due to agitation or an incompleteness upon the death of the body it represents. Ghosts don’t change clothes, and to say that clothes are irrelevant would mean it would have to appear naked. I’ve never heard a ghost story in which the phantom appeared in the nude. That would just be odd.

Elina R 6 said...

In act one scene five, Lord Hamlet encounters the ghost of his father, who reveals the secret of his death. Throughout this scene, Shakespeare repeats different words three times at different instances, as a form of emphasis. By choosing to repeat the words three times precisely, Shakespeare also creates allusions to different historical and mythological triads that allow the reader to find a deeper meaning in various phrases.

The first instance where repetition is encountered is at the beginning of the scene when Hamlet begins to follow the Ghost. He begs the Ghost to speak and threatens him with leaving if he does not reply. In an anxious tone, the Ghost confesses that he is in fact Hamlet’s father and that he is trapped in hell for his unforgivable and untold sins. Although the Ghost is not allowed to tell Hamlet the secrets of the purgatory, he begs Hamlet to “List, list, O, list!” (22). In this occasion, the repetition of the word “list,” emphasizes how important it is for Hamlet listens to his father’s story. This triad may also be alluding to Cerberus, a guard in Greek mythology. Cerberus is a three-headed dog with a snake tail that guards the gates of Hades; he makes sure that people’s souls enter, but never leave. Shakespeare repeats the word “list” three times to remind the reader of this three headed beast. By doing so, he is suggesting the perhaps if the Ghost does tell Hamlet of his secrets and Cerberus finds out that he escaped Hades, the ghost will never again be able to return to the mortal world and seek revenge. Hence, it is extremely important that Hamlet listens carefully to his father’s ghost. The fact that Cerberus has a snake tail and three heads also foreshadows the murderer of the Ghost. The three heads represent Claudius’ different personalities when among different people. And the snake tail, which is very subtle and discrete in movement, represents the way in which Claudius was able to remove his brother from the throne.

As the scene continues, the Ghost reveals the way in which he was murdered. He tells Hamlet Claudius poisoned him before he could confess his sins. Claudius did this on purpose so that his brother would go straight to the purgatory. As a response to his brother’s actions, the Ghost says, “O, horrible, O horrible, most horrible!” (80). He cannot believe what his brother was capable of doing and confesses Claudius’ evilness. Here, Shakespeare makes an allusion to the Catholic triune, “father, son, and holy spirit” or the idea of being three in one. The Ghost describes Claudius as “horrible” and repeats it three times in order to refer to his three different states of being. Claudius is forced to appear as Hamlet’s “father” because of his marriage to Gertrude, but in reality, he is nothing but Hamlets’ selfish uncle. Furthermore, Claudius appears as a royal “son”, therefore the brother of Hamlet’s father, who envied and cursed his older sibling. Finally, Claudius appears as the “Holy Spirit”, someone who was kind enough, in the eyes of the people of Denmark, to marry poor Gertrude and save the nation after the king’s death.

Towards the end of his speech, the Ghost asks Hamlet not to judge his mother. Suddenly, he realizes that the sun will soon be rising, signaling his need for departure. As he exists on line 90, the Ghost says, “Adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.” Once again, Shakespeare repeats the same word three times. For Pythagoras, triad is the number three. Triad became very important to him because it is the only number that equals the sum of its previous numbers. In this final section of the Ghost’s speech, Shakespeare uses repetition to crate a parallel between the Pythagoras’ triad and the information the Ghost just revealed. Since the actual whole number three is the sum of the digits below it, the Ghost repeats “adieu” three times so that all of the information he has just told Hamlet “sums” up and becomes a whole. The “whole” information and the whole number three become parallels to each other, resulting from information prior to their existence.

CasieS P5 said...

In act one scene four, King Hamlet’s ghost arrives and Hamlet has an encounter with him. After the ghost arrives, and shortly after ghost waves to Hamlet to follow him. “HORATIO: It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.” (57-58)
Marcellus and Horatio strongly suggest that Hamlet does not follow the ghost even though Hamlet believes that the reason the ghost does not speak is because he wants Hamlet to follow him into a
“MARCELLUS: more removed ground” (61)
However Horatio and Marcellus do not want Hamlet to follow King Hamlets Ghost into the dark because they are afraid that Hamlet will become insane, unwell, mad. This may be the proof that is needed to indicate whether or not Hamlet is sane or insane. Does he see his father’s ghost? Does he make it up?
“HORATIO: What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles o’er his base into the sea…
And draw you into madness?...
That looks so many fadoms to the sea.”
The ghost “Waves” to Hamlet to follow him. Wave could also symbolize the ocean and the waves that role over the sea. This also show the waves of Hamlets personality at this moment in the play, and may foreshadow his emotions throughout the play.

In act one scene five, the ghost of King Hamlet is now interacting with Hamlet and he is explaining that he is in fact not his father, but his father’s spirit.
“GHOST: I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night”(10-23)
The ghost confesses that he only descends in the night time. The ghost continues to describe his feelings to Hamlet and also confesses that he is unable to tell Hamlet too much information about hell because he is “burning”. Burning in hell until his sins are purged. The ghost only descends at nighttime and this implies that he is light coming out in the dark; this light is the fire of hell. The ghost also describes that the one who killed him is also the one who took his crown from him. “GHOST: The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crow” (38-39) This draws the conclusion that Claudius is the serpent who h as taken the life of King Hamlet. In the Garden of Eden a serpent had tricked Eve.

Kevin Ta 5 said...

The last two scenes of Act 1 in Shakespeare’s Hamlet begin development of the central plot of the play. In doing so, Shakespeare reveals more of Hamlet’s character as the prince witnesses an extraordinary event, feels retributive desire surge through him, and plots revenge.

Act 1, Scene 4 of Hamlet begins with Prince Hamlet entering the stage with his friend, Horatio, and an officer, Marcellus. While waiting in the cold night for the ghost to appear, they hear “a flourish of trumpets, and two pieces [go] off”(page 47). Horatio inquires as to what the flourish and cannons mean. Hamlet responds that it is a sign that the new king, Claudius, is starting a frivolous night of partying and drinking. It is ironic enough that Hamlet and company wait in the “nipping”(2) cold while the king “doth wake to-night and [take] his rouse”(8) in the warm castle within. However, Shakespeare also uses the king’s night of drinking as an allusion to the state of Denmark. The country falls into a corrupted state when Claudius takes the crown, and his “draughts of Rhenish”(10), Rhine wine, signify how alcohol can ruin good qualities and reputations: “the dram of evil / Doth all the noble substance of a doubt / To his own scandal”(36-38). Revolted by the carousing, Hamlet mentions how other nations now look down upon Denmark’s bad attributes by “clip[ping] [them] drunkards”(line 19) and “soil[ing] [their] addition”(line 20). Hamlet is indeed frustrated with the situation, “not set[ting] [his] life at a pin’s fee”. Feeling his life is of no worth, he decides to follow the ghost to Horatio and Marcellus’s dismay.

In Act 1, Scene 5, Hamlet and the ghost enter alone. Revealing itself as the spirit of Hamlet’s deceased father, the ghost explains the truth about King Hamlet’s death. Hamlet’s grudge against his new “daddy”, Claudius, is justified when he learns that it was he who had robbed King Hamlet “of life, of crown, of queen”(75). Disappearing in a hurry due to the fast approaching morning, the ghost departs, leaving behind a terribly shaken Hamlet (as seen in the video above at 5:20 onwards). Hamlet’s encounter with such an unknown and supernatural force unsurprisingly disturbs him, especially since the ghost has commanded Hamlet to “revenge [King Hamlet’s] foul and most unnatural murther”(25) “if [Hamlet] didst ever [his] dear father love”(23). Seeing how his uncle had corrupted his house and state, Hamlet feels obliged to fulfill his father’s request out of love and retribution. Nonetheless, having observed such an astonishing apparition, Hamlet is perhaps very emotionally and mentally stunned. As he makes his way back, he repeats the words of his father, “Remember thee!”(95, 97), suggesting the psychological toll the ghost’s words has had on him. Even as he makes his men swear they have seen and heard nothing that night, Hamlet calls out to the ghost as it echoes “swear”: “Art thou there, truepenny?”(150) and “Well said, old mole, canst work i’ th’ earth so fast?”(162). By calling the ghost petty names, Hamlet may already be losing it.

Throughout Scenes 4 and 5 of Act 1, Hamlet’s character is fleshed out and explored. Although it is only the beginning of the play, Shakespeare hints that Hamlet’s sanity might already be deteriorating. But the prince is in a dire situation, with the world on his shoulders, and as the scene and the act ends, he laments his predicament: “O cursèd spite / That ever I was born to set it right!”(188-189).

Steve T 5 said...

In the very beginning of Act 1 Scene 5, Hamlet approaches the ghost which has been haunting the nearby area of Denmark. Seeing how Hamlet chases after the ghost for so long and sees the ghost to have the his father's figure, Hamlet is without a doubt, obsessed with the ghost and interested with it. Hamlet speaks, "Speak, I am bound to hear!" (6). Now, it is apparent that the ghost complies, and decides to speak with Hamlet, "So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear" (7), but it isn't apparent that the ghost makes any body movement or action other than speaking (for example, turning to show its ghostly face). So, when the ghost goes on to say, "I am thy father's spirit," (9) it would be the only time in which Hamlet would fully know that the ghost as his father. Though by that point, he had already been intrigued by the existence of a ghost; Hamlet was interested enough to go into a cold night to accommodate Horatio and Marcellus with searching for the ghost in Scene 4 of Act 1. So regardless of the form being of his father or not, he would chase after the ghost, and make conversation with it. That brings the question of why ghosts are so mysterious to Hamlet, and humans in general. Obviously they are foreign, but to the point of which Hamlet believes everything the ghost says is similiar to well-made propaganda. In the mind of Hamlet, these ghosts, whom of which humans know nothing about, figure not that the ghost could play tricks on him, but is divine and all-knowing. Thus, the ghost symbolizes something high above his own ranking on earth in Hamlet's mind. This manipulation of the ghost to Hamlet is to the point of where Hamlet takes the ghost's order of revenging his father's death, even if it includes murder. In addition, the manipulation is so strong that even if the ghost didn't have the figure of Hamlet's father, the ghost would be able to convince Hamlet either way. This shows that Hamlet is not only interested in his father's ordeals, but something more. Hamlet is driven by this ghost, which is viewed as divine, and decides to take on the quest, but not by the exact words of the ghost's request. The ghost says, "Against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven," (86), but it is apparent that Hamlet skipped over thinking why the ghost may have wanted Hamlet's mother spared. Hamlet ends up showing much disgust with his mother, "O most pernicious woman!" (105). So, Hamlet is also on his own agenda, other than what the ghost has requested. In other words, Hamlet is not only doing this because it is his father speaking, it is because he wants to hear what he wants to hear from this divine form, and change the world around him in some action he hadn't thought up of, before the ghost came into the play.

-On a side note: In Denmark, is and "eye for an eye" acceptable? Apparently for Hamlet it is, or is it he's just that willing to follow the ghost's request?

Chris O5 said...

Shakespeare uses many allusions to describe his uncle and the conversation that was being given between Hamlet and the ghost of his father.
Hamlet in Act 1 scene 4 seems like a man who would like to see his father as the story’s being circulating that the image of an apparition of what seem to be his father was appearing in the graveyard. As the guards Marcellus and Horatio are telling of the image that they have seen the ghost of the king appears. I thought of the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens because it was that the ghost wanted for scrooge to hear of the truths that were being cause by him from the past, present, and future. When the ghost beckoned for Hamlet to follow him to tell him of the truth. When Hamlet finally gets the attention of his father the ghost reveals who he really is and he also reveled the past of to how he died. He then tells of the present and how he is not to judge his mother because it is not her fault that a snake was swaying her. He also tells of his future and how he must try and seek the revenge of that of his father and try to save his dear mother. He told him of how his untimely death came upon him and how it was a snake was that killed him. In fact the snake is more of an allusion to that of Hamlets uncle, a snake tends to kill something with its poison and it was some kind of venom that kill Hamlets father. When his uncle was being referred as being the snake I thought of the story of Adam and Eve and how it was a snake who deceive both Adam and Eve into eating the fruits from the orchard. Hamlets uncle was deceiving both Hamlets father and mother into a form of security and when the moment they let their guard down he overthrew the king and had him killed. Then he made a move on Hamlets mother and gave her many praised and riches that made her fall into a love that is based on pure deception.
I thought that it was interesting the idea that Elina was giving of Cladeus and how he could have been portrayed as the father, the son and the Holy Ghost. He was being sought out as being this person that was everything to these people and in the Catholic church everything was being based on the three words that Jesus was this all powerful person and that without any of the three symbols then a person would be damn for eternity in Purgatory.