Hamlet act 1

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To Be or Not to Be is that an

Action, Death, or Question?

L'Antoinette Lemond

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."...