Ghost stories are big business in today's modern English language culture. The 6th Sense, one of the most popular ghost films of the decade, grossed about $300,000,000 in theaters in the United States alone (Box Office Mojo). The majority of those within the English speaking cultures may not realize however, the impact Hamlet had on both this movie and every ghost story made after Shakespeare's work. The way ghosts are looked at, felt about, thought about, and presented in television, movies, and books would be completely different without the influence of Hamlet's first encounter with the ghost of his father. Without Hamlet, the big business of ghost shows and movies would be drastically different today. In this analysis, I will primarily focus on Hamlet's first encounter with his father's ghost in Act 1, Scene 5. Without the influence of Hamlet, our thoughts and the way we perceive ghosts would also be different, with the enormous influence this scene has had on how we feel about ghosts. Hamlet plays a key part in generating the importance placed on the relationships made with the dead in English speaking cultures. .
Art that is widely distributed within a population, oftentimes will drive it's cultural tendencies. Hamlet happens to be one of Shakespeare's most studied and performed plays to this day. The story of Hamlet has been translated to modern day films from The Lion King to Sons of Anarchy, proving it was Hamlet specifically that influenced certain points of view of English speaking cultures, such as the relationships they make with the dead. Hamlet was the most significant influence on this, because of the way Hamlet still survives today. No other ghost story before or during Shakespeare's time is still relevant today, meaning it can not influence the thoughts people are still having about the dead. Hamlet on the other end, continues to influence and maintain English Language Culture's position on the relationships made with the dead.