유재덕, "[햄릿]에 나타난 유령의 극적인 의미"
Jae-Deog Yoo, “The Dramatic Significance of the Ghost in Hamlet”
The ghost in Hamlet, the meaning of which many critics have investigated
and explained, is the one of the greatest achievements in Shakespeare’s works.
However, the ghost in Hamlet is not a Shakespeare’s invention. As like in other
works, Shakespeare made much of traditional heritage but have transformed the
tradition into his work in a unique and profound way. The convention of the
ghost on the stage, i.e. revenge-ghost or prologue-ghost, was found in the classic
and Senecan tragedies. Shakespeare interpolated this conventional features of the
ghost into Hamlet while there was no ghost who commanded his revenge in the
source of Hamlet. But the dramatic significance of the ghost in Hamlet is not
limited to the interpolation of the ghost into Hamlet. Although Shakespeare
followed the main characteristics of the classical ghost, he gave it the more
complex and richer meanings.
The ghost is integral to the movement that drives the main plot in Hamlet.
But the ghost is not there at the end of the play to tell the ultimate reality like
The Spanish Tragedy. The ghost disappears silently in the middle of the play.
The ghost commands the revenge but don’t give the principle of life by which
the revenge is justifiable. Hamlet, who is critical of the revenge and the honour
which forms the basis of it, also cannot discover another perspective which may
get over the problems of court society. In this respect, Hamlet is not about the
story in which the hero is in agony after the ghost’s command of revenge but
about the tragic uncertainties of Hamlet’s obligations. And although Hamlet
does not succeed in resolving his problems and fears in Hamlet, his conflicts
and effort that he has tried to find the way out of his maze do serve to illumine
Hamlet, ghost, court sociey, revenge, honour, death, the body