Term Paper: Ghosts in Two Literary Works

Pages: 8 (2201 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Without the ghost the audience and the other characters would have been taken in a completely new direction about the play's meaning. Without the ghost and the conversations between the father and the son the play would haved had to center on something else and it would not have been what it was. The fact that the ghost was a part of the play and therefore able to tell the world what had happened to the King, leads the entire story to its conclusion. Had the world not been able to eavesdrop on the ghost and his anger ther would have bveen no need for the play. Hamlet would not have had to come home from school and there would have been no plot. Had the ghost of Andrea not been invented and allowed to participate in the play many things would have gone unnoticed but the story line itself would still be able to be portrayed.

A serpent stung me. So the whole ear of Denmark

Is by a forged process of my death

Rankly abused. But know, thou noble youth,

The serpent that did sting thy father's life

Now wears his crown."(I.v.35-39)

This not only shows a difference between the two ghosts it also provides an explanation about the way ideas were alluded to at the time. This passage allows the reader to understand that this play was written in a time where romantic ways of speaking were the norm. The ghost uses hints, and clues to illustrate the point he is trying to make and the ghost of Andrea is a bit more direct. Though the two ghosts speak during their respective plays the ghost of Andrea is used throughout the play as more of a prop than a main character. The ghost of Hamlet is used as a chief element of the eventual actions that Hamlet takes. His prodding and guilt trips to his son cause Hamlet Junior to make mistakes as well as to stall for time. In the Spanish Tragedy the ghost is used to provide foundational information and while they are both out for revenge, the appearance of Andrea is given by permission of Pluto and for the sole purpose of revenge. The ghost of King Hamlet is not fully explored as to why or how he came to be in the play.

The lack of ghosts in both plays would make the plays become boring and pedestrian. The plays use of ghosts are what made them different for their time and different even today. The use of ghosts provided the most advanced theme of its time in both instances. It provided the audience with a what if scenario because they could take way from the play the themes that were developed by having a ghost in the play.

One of the things that made the ghost of Hamlet so interesting is the era in which he was invented. He was written into the play at the time because it was important to the plot, in fact he was the plot, however he was utilized during an era when society believed that evil spirits could appear as the ghost of loved ones and use the family and friends to commit the acts that they wanted committed. Ghosts could be friendly or they could be evil and deadly.


The works of the two authors share many similairites. They each revolved around the death of someone who comes back as a ghost, and they each seek revenbge for their murder. They each use a play to act out that revenge though one commits murder during the play while the other uses the play to get the new king to become nervous and obvious as to his guilt. Each pay uses ghosts in ways that were advanced for the time that they were set in. Each of them would be sadly lacking in substance and plot if the ghosts did not exist.


Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Barrons Educational Series. 1996

Kyd, Thomas. The Spanish Tragedy. Theatre Communications Group 1997 [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Ghosts in Two Literary Works."  Essaytown.com.  December 7, 2002.  Accessed July 18, 2019.