Analysis of Hamlet Essay

8190 Words 33 Pages
The play does not open with the protagonist, nor with the direct disclosure of the problem. It points to unanswered questions and reveals anxiety and unrest. There is said to be a ghost, but the reason and purpose for the ghost's appearance are unknown. Basically, we can say that the first scene creates an atmosphere and the basis for the disclosure of the specific problem. The first point dramatically established is that there really is a ghost, although the questions raised by its appearance are unanswered. Horatio, the scholar and the skeptic, comes to test the report given by the simple soldiers. The empirical proof that Horatio seeks is there; the ghost appears and it is seen to have a specific identity, that of the deceased King …show more content…
This account of the past, and the connection with present military preparations, seems to explain the appearance of the ghost. But Horatio sees it as a more disturbing omen, going further back to ancient history, to the death of Julius Caesar, and he refers to visitations from beyond the grave as preceding some momentous destructive event in the world. But Horatio cannot answer his own questions and gets no answers from the ghost; he doesn't know whether it's connected to upheaval in the state, personal guilt, recent events or whether it's part of some general pattern. Altogether, the effect of the opening scene is that questions are asked, anxieties are expressed, but there are no certain answers. One of the soldiers says he's "sick at heart", Horatio is troubled, and another soldier discusses spirits being abroad as something negative, contrasted to Christmastime.

What we have here is something similar to a musical overture, where thematic interests are given concerning the topics to be developed in the play: groping in the dark, revenge, questions, suspected connections to evil, etc. We also get tension in preparation for the disclosure that will come from the ghost in later acts. What the scene does not do is itself significant, and the fact that there is no disclosure of information here is doubly important. One aspect of the importance is that the disclosure will be given only to Hamlet, as Horatio guesses, and that will be the basis for the task
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