To Be or Not to Be is that an
Action, Death, or Question?
Act one of Hamlet, we easily see that Hamlet goes through many turmoil. His father dies and his uncle takes the throne. Throughout act one, we can see different themes such as obsessions with death, certainty vs. uncertainty, and action vs. inaction.
In the beginning of the play, certainty vs. uncertainty is immediately seen. Horatio, is not superstitious and does not believe in ghosts. Although, when he sees the ghost of Hamlet, he is speechless and shocked because he cannot believe this. Even though, we see that Horatio is superstitious, he explains that at dawn, evil spirits do not like the light. Would someone who isn't superstitious know of this? Then, when the ghost does not speak, Horatio tells Marcellus to strike it with his weapon. Now, would someone who is superstitious know that you cannot physically harm a spirit/ghost.
So then we bring up a question, whether or not Horatio is indeed superstitious.
" (Marcellus) Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy And will not
let belief take hole of him Touching this dreaded sight twice
seen of us. Therefore I have entreated him along With us to
watch the minutes of this night, That, if again this apparition
come, He may approve our eyes and speak to it. (Marcellus)
Shall I strike it with my partisan? (Horatio) Do, if it will not
stand. And then it started like a guilty thing Upon a fearful
summons. I have heard The cock, that is the trumpet to the
morn . . . and at his warning, Whether in sea or fire, in earth
or air, Th'extravagant and erring spirit hies To his confine,
and of the truth herein This present object made probation."...