Examples of Dramatic Irony from Act I & II
| Characters Involved
| Reason your sympathies lean as they do
| Evidence- Lines & Explanation of Effect
| Act 1 scene 1
| Hamlet, Claudius, Marcellus, Horatio, Barnardo
| This is where the ghost is first seen by Horatio, Marcellus and Barnardo, representing that the King’s spirit is still alive as he is not yet at peace. I feel sympathetic for Hamlet as in the next scene everyone is mourning over the King’s death and Hamlet is devastated by the events of his father.
| However, the audience knows that Hamlet will still yet see his father as a spirit. Therefore Hamlet does not need to feel the way he does at that moment as he mourns his father’s death, but at that moment, seeing him in such path makes me sympathetic over him.
| Horatio: “…Let us impart what we have seen to-nightUnto you Hamlet, for upon my lifeThis spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him:…” (1. 1. 170-173)
| Act II scene II
| Claudius, & Voltimand
| I feel antipathy for the King due to the news he had received from the two courtiers with a letter saying that the King of Fortinbras had been misinterpreted and mistakenly were going to send the war over to Denmark. Now they have asked Claudius to simply just pass through Denmark to get to Poland.
| However, the audience knows that passing through Denmark to Poland seems suspicious
| Voltimand: “ That it might please you to give quiet passThrough your dominions for this enterprise, On such regards of safety and allowanceAs therein are set down” (II. II. 78-80)
| Act II scene II
| Polonius, Gertrude, & Claudius
| I feel sympathy for Polonius as he riotously believes that Hamlet has gone insane due to Ophelia rejecting his love for her. However what the characters don’t know is that the audience knows that Hamlet is going crazy since he has seen the spirit of his father and is overwhelmed by the knowledge of his uncle poisoning the king.
| Polonius I think by this...
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