The cautious detective
William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" is characterized by several elements of a detective story: A sinister murder, a murderer who lives on in society undetected and profits from his crime, and an investigator who must prove the murderer's guilt. What makes this crime story special is that the detective is the victim's son.
After Claudius poisons his brother, the king of Denmark, he manages to make his death look like an accident. He is able to convince all of Denmark that his brother died as a result of a snakebite and set himself up as the new king. His deed is well thought out, the murder seems to have been perfectly arranged. No one, not even Hamlet, thinks to question the cause of the deceased king's death and the hypocritical words of the new king.
But Claudius' infamous intrigue is shaken by the ghostly appearance of the deceased king. The old king's ghost not only tells his son Hamlet about Claudius's murderous intrigue, but also charges him with avenging his death. Hamlet, however, does not immediately take action. He becomes a cautious detective who first wants to check the circumstantial evidence presented by the ghostly figure on his own.
It is important for Hamlet to convince himself of his uncle's guilt, since he does not consider it impossible to...