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Word Count: 712
In William Shakespeares Hamlet the ghost of Hamlets father appears very briefly However he provides the basis for the development and eventual downfall of Hamlets character The play begins with a dismal Hamlet mourning his fathers death Recognizing this gloom Queen Gertrude urges Hamlet to cast thy nighted color off and let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark I ii 68-69 Soon after the ghost appears insisting If thou didst ever thy father love revenge his foul and most unnatural murder I v 24-25 As Hamlet decides to scourge the past and present evils in Denmark the ghost unleashes death and malice onto the stage The first and most obvious change which the ghost instills into Hamlet is a vengeful spirit Not only must Hamlet destroy Claudius but he must also stop Fortinbras from invading Denmark Although less obvious the second task can be inferred from the fact that the ghost appears wearing the very armor he had on when he the ambitious Norway combated I i 60-61 Hamlet spends the entire play trying to carry out these orders eventually causing the downfall of his spirit Partly because he feels reserve and guilt for his task Hamlet delays taking action throughout the play However this paradoxical delay only makes Hamlet feel more guilty He questions his self-worth and even considers suicide pondering To die -- to sleep -- no more and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to III i 60-63 He cannot accept the goodness of life or destroy its evils Because of the ghosts words Hamlet also becomes increasingly concerned with his mothers sexual relations with his uncle In his first appearance to Hamlet the ghost insults his brother saying Ay that incestuous that adulterate beast O wicked wit and gifts that have the power so to seduce--won to his shameful lust the will of my most seeming-virtuous queen
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