Hamlet. Act 1.

Essay by IRON COWCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1996

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Act one of HAMLET is an excellent introductory act. Shakespeare

establishes atmosphere, by introducing the major characters, the role of the

supernatural, the revenge plot, the love plot, and the contrast of the Fortinbras plot,

as well as Hamlet's fiegned madness. Through his unique writing style,

Shakespeare sets us up for the rest of the story, and captures the reader's attention,

making him want read more.

Shakespeare establishes the atmosphere of the play, in scene I. The

scene takes place in Elsinore, on a platform before the castle. The atmosphere is

one of dark battlements, and nervous sentries, which catches the audiences attention

right away. As the bell tolls twelve on a frosty night, a silent ghost of the late King

Hamlet apperars twice. This provides one of the high points of the scene, along

with this, Shakespeare presents the reader with information, regarding the military

preparations in Denmark.

All of this provides for a dark, mysterious atmosphere,

where the reader is wanting to know more. Shakesperare continues to establish

atmosphere in scene III. In this scene, atmosphere of a diferent kind is created.

This scene is a family scene, in which brotherly, and fatherly advice creates an

atmosphere quite different from that of the appearance of the ghost and the

problems of Hamlet and his relatives. This creates an atmosphere of love, and

betrayall, whereby Ophelia is forced to obey her father Polonious, and is told to be

careful with Hamlet, as he is a prince, and will not look to marry just anyone, such

as herself. Shakespeare continues to develop atmosphere throughout the act, and

uses the atmosphere to introduce some of the characters in the play.

Shakespeare introduces some of the major characters in the play, and

leaves lasting impressions of each...