THE CONTRADICTORY NATURE OF THE GHOST IN HAMLET

Sarjana 26 (1) (2011)

Abstract
This article explores the contradictory nature of the ghost in Hamlet and shows how Shakespeare seeks to manipulate the reader’s response in Hamlet by using contradictions and ambiguities. The article also explores the ways in which the reader responds to these contradictions and reconstructs a palpable world in the impalpable world of the text. These contradictions compel the reader to participate in the composition of the text and make him keep changing his own approach to the work with the result that the more he reads the play, the deeper he finds himself entrenched in contradictions. As he fails to grasp the logic of events, the reader relates his own world to the text instead of relating the events of the text to his world and recreates his own world. Therefore, he can easily detach himself from the text and let his imagination run loose as the play proves too vague for him to comprehend. In reading Hamlet, the imagination runs wild and travels far beyond the text to an extent where the reader perceives things, which stand not within but utterly outside the text. Eventually, the reality achieved by the reader in the course of reading the play is only the reality which dwells in the innermost recesses of his mind.
Keywords Shakespeare, Hamlet, reader response, Iser, contradiction, manipulation
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The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response.Wolfgang Iser - 1979 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 38 (1):88-91.

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