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Whos there asks Bernardo Shakespeare in the first two words of probably his most famous play already makes the audience feel uncertain about the events that shall later unfold In Hamlet Shakespeare seems to pit reason against faith using the Ghost supposedly King Hamlets spirit as a tool to master this However Shakespeare portrays this inner struggle of reason against faith as Hamlets insanity Does Hamlet become insane in the play or is Shakespeare trying too hard to once again make the audience uncertain There is a lot of evidence that Hamlet does indeed go insane however it seems that the audience sees Hamlets insanity as their uncertainty throughout the play which has been originally brought on by the Ghost Indeed Hamlet is not insane rather the audience thinks him insane because of their uncertainty and uneasiness regarding Hamlets actions Many factors contribute to the uncertainty of Hamlets sanity The source of some of these factors is the Ghost Hamlet encounters in the beginning of the play Hamlet is Shakespeares most realistic most modern tragedy It is in Hamlet that Shakespeare seems to give his audience the closest interpretation of the spirit and life of his time Shakespeare indeed does an excellent job of making the spiritualism and superstition accurate throughout the play The Ghost in Hamlet raises problems of Elizabethan spiritualism To understand fully the scenes in which the Ghost appears one must understand the superstitions regarding ghosts in Shakespeares day and also current philosophical and theological opinions concerning them Generally there were three schools of thought in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on the question of ghosts Before the Reformation the belief in their existence had offered little intellectual difficulty to the ordinary man since the Catholic doctrine or Purgatory afforded a complete explanation of it in theological terms In fact doctrine and popular belief in this case found mutual support Thus most Catholics of Shakespeares day believed that ghosts might be spirits
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