Blog: Shakespeare’s Hamlet - The Ghost Scene (B)
By Evan Papamichael
Manuscript Master Evan
Source: Hamlet – New Swan Shakespeare Advanced Series
General Editor: Bernard Lott M.A. Ph.D.
Twelfth Impression 1979
Longman Group Limited London
Kyodo-Shing Loong Printing Industries Pty Ltd, Singapore
Act 1 Scene V page 41
Lines 43-46 Ghost: “Ay, that incestuous, that adulterous beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts –
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.”
Claudius, who is Denmark’s King, is personified by the Ghost; as engaging in, incest by: having sex with the late King’s wife - in an animalistic manner. Adultery is experienced; between, Claudius and Gertrude. She is spell bound by: his charms as he offers her; his favours of his: masculinity, strength and sexual desire.
He seduces her with his: calculated advances; without, embarrassment. The Queen has fallen victim; to the conniving advances - of the late King’s brother; who was a, traitor to the Royal Throne.
Act 1 Scene V page 43
Ghost: “But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
So lust, though to a radiant angel linked,
Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage.”
Bernard Lott (1968: p.42) explains that: …“This passage speaks of virtue, vice and other abstractions as if they were each a person characterized by that particular quality; the abstract terms are personified”…
…”Hamlet’s father [The Ghost] is generalizing on the way virtues and vices are unchanged by contact with one another; so the present King is unmoved and unchanged by the purity of nature formerly shown by the Queen.”…(Ibid)
Virtue was thought to be pure and untouched. But this was not the case. It was moved. The purity of heaven; was tarnished by, lewd behaviour. Sexual desire was: juxtaposed with, a shining angel. The result was: a celestial bed; which a predator, (Claudius) - deteriorated to the point of - rubbish.