What is established in Act 1?
Hamlet, composed in the 1600s is one of William Shakespeare’s most remarkable and memorable plays. Hamlet was said to be based on the death of one his twin sons Hamnet and the death of his father. Hamlet’s grief for the sudden death of his father is key component in the play following the questions of monarchy, murder, madness and suicide. Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1, outlines the current state of Denmark and supernatural events that unravel leading to Hamlet’s plot for revenge. The opening scenes foreshadow an unnatural event stirring with a cold and silent night epitomizing a mood of suspense. At father first, Hamlet’s trusting friend Horatio is wary about the truth of a ghost appearing but to his horror to the truth is apparent through the change of his tone. “It harrows me with fear and wonder” (Page 5). Horatio and Marcellus debacle about the figure concluding it may be the late King Hamlet, ruler of Demark. The ghost itself is a motif that foreshadows trouble for Denmark. The confronting image of the ghost was shocking to the audience as it was believed within the Elizabethan era to be consequential. Marcellus and Horatio discuss the events of Denmark’s preparation for war as a result of invasion by Fortinbras of Norway. It was said to be that King Hamlet killed Fortinbras’ father attaining land that Fortinbras now desires to retrieve. The natural order was disrupted with King Hamlet’s sudden death impacting the Danish society that was evident in the Elizabethan era. It was important to have a structured society and have a strict hierarchy of class whom Shakespeare had incorporated into his paly. Act 1, Scene 2, introduces the prominent character Hamlet and the flaws of his troublesome family. The scene begins with Claudius – brother of King Hamlet – addressing the grief of Denmark with the sudden death followed by his marriage to Gertrude – King Hamlet’s wife. “Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen” (Page 15) was...
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