Sc. 5, Lines 1–24

1. Sc. 5, Lines 1–24: What mood is created by the words of the Ghost? What does the ghost say is his ultimate destination? Why? How does the information that the Ghost reveals influence the audience’s impression of Hamlet’s father?

Scene 5 Another part of the fortifications.

[Enter Ghost and Hamlet.]

Hamlet. Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak. I’ll go no further.

Ghost. Mark me.

Hamlet.I will.

Ghost. My hour is almost come When I to sulf ’rous and tormenting f lames Must render up myself.

Hamlet.Alas, poor ghost!

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold.

Hamlet. Speak. I am bound to hear.

Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.

Hamlet. What?

Ghost. I am thy father’s spirit. Doomed for a certain term to walk the night And for the day confined to fast in fires

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This scene is meant to be full of wonder and danger. The atmosphere is ominous. Elizabethans really believes in the afterlife and ghosts. They also believed that it is a bad sign if a ghost is walking the Earth instead of being in Heaven. The Ghost is in a sort of fiery purgatory during the day. At night he must find some way to atone for his sins. Hamlet Sr. is portrayed as a once kingly and majestic man who had his life cut short by his brother's hand with his sins still upon his head (he had not yet said his prayers during his afternoon nap)