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"the Ghost in Shakespeare's play Hamlet" - Need Critique On An Opening Paragraph


ryanWilkinson 1 / 2  
Feb 16, 2010   #1
I have been assigned the task of creating a 5 page essay, reflecting the importance of the Ghost in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. This is the opening paragraph I have begun; I feel like it is strong, yet lacking in some area that I cannot discover! Your feedback and criticism would be appreciated! Thanks.

OPENING PARAGRAPH:

The Ghost of King Hamlet: an ingenious literary entity, crafted in the great mind of Shakespeare, played perhaps the great, sinister duty in the mind of the young Hamlet, in a way tangible to readers. Revenge and murder, the writs of Hamlet's duty and demise, abound directly from the will and imploration of the Ghost, whose presence deeply enriches the play, whose absence is taboo. Much like 16th century Elizabethans, Hamlet's view towards spirits, and things unnatural, is not one of contempt or dismissal, but of acceptance and curiosity. But whether this Ghost signifies spirit or demon, Hamlet does not know, and neither the reader, but he acknowledges the fact of its existence, attempts to discern its intentions. And so the question arises, what purpose does this 'Ghost' serve? The role it plays instills the thoughts of murder and revenge, hastens the demise of the King and Queen, and foreshadows, and finalizes, the destiny of Hamlet. Which raises perhaps the greater question, why does Hamlet the Ghost's demands?
AnnAsburY 1 / 12  
Feb 16, 2010   #2
Your 1st sentence reword it, the way it is now, is confusing.
In your last sentence, you shouldn't end with a question, and the question doesn't make sense.

I just finished this in my College English class. : )
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 17, 2010   #3
This is what you say the ghost does: plays perhaps the great, sinister duty ...(in the mind of the young Hamlet, in a way tangible to readers.) But I think it needs to be revised! It does not seem to make sense.

but he acknowledges the fact of its existence, attempting to discern its intentions.
or
but he acknowledges the fact of its existence and attempts to discern its intentions.

you are missing a word here:
Which raises perhaps the greater question, why does Hamlet the Ghost's demands?

when you start a sentence with "Which" it can't be like this. This way, it has to be part of the previous sentence:

...and foreshadows and finalizes, the destiny of Hamlet -- which raises perhaps the greater question, why does Hamlet the Ghost's demands?

It is very complicated! What will your focus be for the essay? Will it be on supporting the assertion that the ghost is influential? I don't know if anyone would disagree, so it might not be a powerful thesis statement. If you define it more, it will be better. You can make an argument about WHY it is able to be so influential (i.e. the answer to this question you pose about why Hamlet obeys.

:-)
OP ryanWilkinson 1 / 2  
Feb 18, 2010   #4
thanks guys! I realized that writing this in half an hour, rushing to meet a deadline, was disastrous... I am re-writing the paragraph right now!
msdenna 2 / 6  
Feb 19, 2010   #5
I don't feel like it's choppy. You do have some long sentences in there, but they are not run-ons. I would try varying your sentence type, it might make a big difference in how the paragraph flows. I didn't see any obvious glaring mistakes. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.


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