Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I’ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?

– William Shakespeare

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4. On its third appearance, the Ghost holds center stage and finds its voice. Hamlet’s initial response to it is to pray for heavenly protection from a possible evil spirit. But as the ghost reminds him of his father, he then reacts with trust and feels he must speak to it. This foreshadows the influence the Ghost will have in the scenes that follow.