Saturday, November 7, 2015

Magical Realism in Hamlet

When thinking of the role of the ghost in Hamlet, I thought that the way the characters see a ghost as almost normal is very characteristic of magical realism. Like in One Hundred Years of Solitude (sorry for beating that dead horse), the characters accept magical things as a part of the universe. In Hamlet, this definitely has to do with the fact that the people in that setting believed in the Great Chain of Being, which contains magical elements (for example, natural disasters would occur when a king is killed.).

3 comments:

Cheyenne Dwyer said...

I actually thought about this as well Jack, but I didn't think about it in terms of magical realism. They only one in the group that seems to doubt the ghost is Horatio, while the rest of them are very accepting of it. It makes me wonder what other magical things they would easily accept just because their belief in the great chain of being. It also makes me wonder whether or not anyone in the crowd found the play ridiculous because they had different beliefs.

Ashley Bossier said...

I thought it was interesting you brought up the idea of what other magical things people during that time believed in. I used our handy-dandy friend Google to figure it out. The main thing they believed in that is strange to me are fairies. I think of fairies as not even possibly existing. We see their presence in Shakespearean plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream. What i read was that they were believed to be spirits left on earth when heaven and hell split. More examples of things people during this time believed in include superstition and witches.

Jac said...

As Ashley said, Shakespearean plays are chock-full of magical elements. From fairies and sprites, to witches, to ghosts, to other strange things, Shakespeare includes other interesting characters in his plays that aren't human to spice things up a bit. His addition of these non-human characters gives the audience something to look forward to that they don't experience in their daily lives so that they don't get bored while watching the production. I would love watching one of these plays as a commoner in Shakespeare's time! It would be a temporary break of a monotonous peasant lifestyle.