Hamlet Ghost Dad

Talk about an absent parent.

AuthorShakespeare - William Shakespeare
British LiteratureShakespeare
LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureBritish Literature
Shakespeare
ThemesArt and Culture
Family
Gender
Lies and Deceit
Madness
Religion
Revenge
Sex

Transcript

00:30

the big one…

00:30

…but that doesn’t prevent him from fitting in some quality father-son time.

00:36

Hamlet Senior returns in ghostly form…

00:40

…to bring his son into the loop on how he was bumped off by junior’s uncle.

00:44

He then urges his son to do something that… may not show up in too many parenting books.

00:49

He asks him to take revenge. i.e… finish off Claudius.

00:54

Was Ghost Dad way out of line here? Or was his request… justified?

01:02

First of all, we feel for the guy… really, we do.

01:05

Sibling rivalry is one thing, but offing your own brother in a disgusting power grab? Not

01:11

cool, dude.

01:11

So we get where he’s coming from… but involving your son… and putting him in harm’s

01:11

way… doesn’t seem like the most responsible coping method.

01:12

Instead of being able to let bygones be bygones… he was on his way to the great beyond, after

01:15

all…

01:15

…he heaps all this pressure on his son, and places him in a dangerous position.

01:19

Besides, hadn’t he ever read any other Shakespeare plays? He had to know it probably wouldn’t

01:26

turn out so well… But… members of royalty live by a code.

01:32

Just because Senior isn’t around anymore doesn’t mean there isn’t a serious wrong

01:36

that still needs to be made right.

01:38

Yeah, Hamlet might end up adding to the body count…

01:38

…but even if that should come to pass, it’s a small price to pay if it means upholding

01:38

the integrity of the post.

01:38

In the ex-King’s mind… what’s left of it, anyway… maybe he sees this final act

01:43

as a fulfillment of his legacy…

01:45

…to leave behind his nation with power in the hands of the just and upright.

01:50

Rather than in the hands of the sleazy and rotten.

01:53

Or… it could be that he was thinking only of his son.

01:57

It seems counter-intuitive… you don’t usually try to protect someone by asking them

02:01

to grapple with a known killer…

02:02

…but Senior knew what Claudius was capable of.

02:05

What was to stop him from taking a similar action against Hamlet, if he suspected the

02:10

kid might be a threat?

02:12

Maybe he was just suggesting a preemptive attack…

02:15

…so Hamlet wouldn’t constantly have to worry about joining his dad on that big fishing

02:20

trip in the sky. What was Daddy’s reasoning?

02:26

Was he just being stubborn and spiteful?

02:30

Was he trying to preserve the integrity of the throne?

02:35

Or was he looking out for… number two? Shmoop amongst yourselves.