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Shakespeare uses symbols to describe the setting as well as give insight into what is going on behind the scenes.Uponfirst sighting, Horatio dismisses the ghost as "fantasy."The King's ghost symbolizes betrayal and injustice, which Hamlet must rectify in order to put his father at peace.The King's ghost symbolizes a form of Catholic purgatory and a Protestant daemon (1).Horatio's companion Bernardo exclaims, "Though art a scholar speak to it, Horatio."In the time of Shakespeare, it was customary for the educated to speak with the dead as well as make the dead reply.This symbolism gives the audience a greater understanding of the setting of time in which Shakespeare creates.The death of the King contains another symbol important when mentioning the setting.Normally when a king dies, hisfirst-born son inherits the kingdom; Hamlet did not inherit his father's kingdom.One reason why Shakespeare did not mention the details is that the Nobles, of whom the play was writ for, of the Shakespearean period, knew the current political processes.The pre-Shakespearean period dictated if the King were to die the survivingfirst born would inherit the kingdom; the current practice in Denmark was to have the noble council vote who would take over the kingdom.Yet, another symbol was the Queens's hasty marriage to Claudius, the dead King's brother, and Hamlets uncle.The mourning Queen, who has influence over the nobles, would undoubtedly have some say when the noble council would vote for the superceding King.Without the existence of a previous relationship between Claudius and the Queen, the audience would be led to believe that the Queen fell in love almost instantaneously following the King's passing.
Shakespeare exhibits many themes in Hamlet; love and hate the fear of death, and a play within a play.Hamlet is a man who detects corruption and tries to set h

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