During the play, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the late king Hamlet appeared to his son, young Hamlet, as a ghost bearing terrible news. The ghost tells Hamlet that he was killed by Claudius, his brother and Hamlet’s uncle. Then when he was out of the way, Claudius seduced the queen. Throughout the passage, Shakespeare uses diction and imagery to help readers understand and connect with the ghost and Hamlet’s feelings of “contempt” towards the new King Claudius and Queen Gertrude.
The passage begins with the ghost. He tells that everyone was told that he was “stung” by a snake and that was the cause of his death yet that this was a lie and he says that “The serpent that did sting they father’s life now wears his crown (lines 9-10). ” In this quote, the ghost has told Hamlet that the snake was really his uncle and that the truth was covered up. Shakespeare uses this choice of words to express Claudius’s manner of how he slithered to the king and killed him.
This gives an image of a methodical creature that who hung in the shadows in wait of his prey. In lines 31-33, the ghost explains that it was a habit of his to go to the orchard and when he was asleep and unaware of the danger lurking, “Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d (line 47). ” In one moment, Claudius took everything from him and like that his life on earth was over. The ghost was angry that Claudius had the nerve to violate his trust and what he held most sacred and close to his heart, his life and queen.
Hamlet began realizing that his uncle was just what he had imagined, untrustworthy and evil. In lines 15 -16, the ghost talks of Claudius and how he seduced the queen. He uses words like “witchcraft”, “traitorous”, and “wicked, to describe Claudius. The ghost believes he used these traits to win “the will of my most seeming virtuous queen (Line 18). ” The phrase, “seeming virtuous queen”, is used because he feels betrayed by the one he loved the most. He believed that the queen had loved him but in giving in to
Bustos 2 Claudius, he questions whether she really loved him or cared for him at all. When she accepted Claudius as her husband, she lost the late king’s loyalty. As the passage progresses, the late king has asked Hamlet to restore Denmark to what it before his death, honorable and dignified. Now that Claudius has come to power, Denmark has become a laughingstock. Other countries look down upon them for their actions, like all the drinking and celebrating they do.
The ghost asks also that Hamlet “Let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest (lines 54-55). ” The ghost wants Hamlet to make sure that the dignity of Denmark is not overpowered by the need for the unnecessary and the image of Claudius lying with the widowed queen in the bed she once laid in with the late king. Hamlet must be aware that he “taint not thy mind (line 57). ” He needs to make sure that what he has just heard and what he will see will not hurt him and must keep himself sane for the sake of Denmark.
With this said, the ghost closes with the request that in his revenge, Hamlet leave his mother “to those thorns that in her bosom lodge to prick and stick her (Lines 59-60). ” The thorns would be the guilt that the queen should feel for the betrayal and deception and he wants s heaven to decide her fate. The ghost and Hamlet are not happy with what has occurred. Hamlets uncle, Claudius killed his brother, Hamlet’s father and has taken the throne which Hamlet, from the beginning felt, he did not deserve.
No one could truly take the place of his father and when he found out that his father was murdered, Hamlet knows what he must do to rid Denmark of its impurities. Shakespeare uses diction and imagery so these feelings. The ghost wants the Claudius to pay for his violations of the most sacred things in his life and also for the queen to realize that she was wrong and be cursed to live her life with this guilt on her shoulders. Hamlet realizes that he cannot trust anyone anymore and vows to avenge his father’s death. Claudius took his father’s life and Hamlet will repay him by taking his.