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Analysis of Scene 1 - Hamlet

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1. The setting of the beginning of Hamlet, which is actually in the middle of a series of unfortunate events such as the King Dying, a usurper taking the thrown, a child/man lost and hurt and an unseen war on the horizon all lend to the foreboding feeling that something catastrophic is going to occur beyond the war that the audience is clued in on. In Act I Scene I we almost immediately meet the dead King Hamlet's ghost in "warlike form" , or clad in his battle gear. This is the same gear that the dead king presumably wore when he murdered the late king Fortinbras and all of these elements are used as a forewarning of the battle that is surely to come over the same piece of land that the late king of both Denmark and Norway fought over. Fortibras is said to have gathered together a band of "lawless resolutes" to further the point that the King's return as a ghost was to warn them, but these aren't the only reasons the audience is left feeling this sort of resonating uneasiness. In the time period in which Shakespeare is writing for a ghost to come back to earth is has to be doing one of three things, one of which is giving a warning, all of these add up as to why the dead King Hamlet has shown up within the story.

Several motifs are brought in to light just in the first act of the first scene of Hamlet. The first one is encountered in the second line of scene I where Francisco tells Barnardo to "unfold" himself, meaning to reveal himself. This sets up the motif of identity throughout the play. This identity issues is said to be one of Hamlet's fatal flaws, in that he has an identity issue with wanting to stay a puer for as long as he can, but struggling with the manliness that he feels while mourning his father and presumably fighting the war. This identity theme is further stressed when Francisco asks "Who's there?" when Horatio enters the scene. Horatio's entrance sets up the beginning of another motif of strangeness. It would be strange that a scholarly man like Horatio would be up with the guards of Elsinore at 12 o'clock am. The next motif is found in the word 'ears'. The motif exactly is one not quite pinned down, but the repetition of sort of disembodied body parts is worth marking and mentioning. It may add to the disarray of the issue of Claudius as king now, but as of Scene I, the motif has yet to be completely revealed.

2. Stichomythia is short jabbing banter and it is used in the beginning of the opening of the play in Scene I to show the unrest of the guards of Elsinore, Bernardo and Francisco. The uneasiness of the guards is projected in to the audience as sort of foreshadowing of the events that are about to unfold with the dead king's ghost appearing and disappearing without giving any answers as to why he appeared at all. It also reveals its own motif in a way, the motif of urgency. It causes the audience to sense



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