Here’s my problem with Hamlet, and it feels like a big one: I don’t believe in ghosts.
(I also don’t understand why anyone believes in ghosts, but that’s another problem entirely.)
See, if Hamlet was the only one who saw the ghost (as with the sighting of Banquo in Macbeth), I could treat it as a metaphor: he’s haunted psychologically. But he’s not the only one who sees it. Hell, we even see it, sitting in the audience. We hear it, for that matter. It’s treated like a real thing.
That really bums me out. Because I can’t seem to get past it. It flits into my peripheral vision for the next two acts, minimum, every time I see the play. It feels as if the whole great castle of a story was built on a cloud: there’s no firm foundation holding it up. I keep waiting for its huge, heavy beautiful edifice to collapse, which in turn makes it impossible for me to fully enter the story.
I wonder whether any other rationally-minded, evidence-based theater practitioners have struggled with the same thing. How do you reconcile it? Or do you?