The Effectiveness Of The Opening To Hamlet

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The Effectiveness Of The Opening To Hamlet Essay, Research Paper Hamlet is launched extremely well because there is no long drawn out introduction to the plot. The story begins almost immediately with a brief yet concise 5-scene Act entailing the state of affairs within the Court of Denmark. Each scene contributes to the overall exposition significantly and Act 1 effectively captures the interest of the audience, introduces the key characters, establishes the conflicts and creates and maintains the dominant atmosphere of the play. In Act 1 ? Scene 1, the audience is instantly shocked into interest by the exchange of short, sharp speeches between the very nervous sentries of the castle. What follows is the audience?s discovery of the frequenting appearance of a Ghost and the

sentries? plans to have Horatio, a scholar, attempt to communicate with it. The setting for this scene is atop a castle, resting upon cliffs high above the ocean. It is midnight, creating a more sinister atmosphere, apt for following story and the medieval time period to which it is set. When the ghost finally appears to Horatio and the others, the audience discovers through their inferences that the ghost has a strong likeness to the late King Hamlet of Denmark. The conversation that follows gives the audience a brief understanding of the current situation in Denmark, involving the details of preparations for war and revelations of conflict with Fortinbras of Norway. Scene 1 therefore serves as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the interest of the audience with the

short stabs of nervous speech between the sentries, It introduces the characters of the Ghost, the sentries (Marcellus, Barnardo, Francesco) and Horatio, It establishes the situation with Fortinbras and the appearances of the mysterious Ghost as points of interest and future conflict, And it contributes through mood and setting to the dominant atmosphere of tragedy within the play. Scene 2 jumps to within the castle, where the court mourning for King Hamlet has seemingly just finished and the newly appointed King Claudius is apparently making his first address to his nobility. During this gallant speech, the audience becomes informed that Claudius has married Hamlet?s mother, Gertrude, rather hastily after King Hamlet?s death ? attention is then drawn to Hamlet, still in deep

mourning for his father. He drifts into a soliloquy where he contemplates the act of suicide rather than go on under these ?difficult? conditions. After Horatio, backed by 2 others, describe the ghost they have seen to him, Hamlet drifts into another soliloquy where he this time he briefly voices that since his father?s spirit has come in armour ? there has been some foul play. Scene 2 therefore serves as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the interest of the audience with new characters throwing light on the situation in Denmark as well as on Hamlet himself – making the audience yearn for more information about what is going on, especially at the close of the scene where Hamlet comes to the conclusion that there is something suspicious about, It introduces new and

important characters such as Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Laertes and Hamlet and provides a brief look at their outer personalities, It provides more insight into the conflict hints at the underlying conflict between Hamlet and the newly married couple as well as the conflict within Hamlet himself, And it contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere mainly due to Hamlet?s soliloquies which provide insights into the workings of his mind and hint at his imminent, tragic demise. Scene 3 brings the audience into the midst of a seemingly ?typical? family of the Court of Denmark, being Polonius? family. This scene introduces Ophelia and brings notice of the love affair between her and Hamlet to the audience. It also shows the running of this family environment, where Polonius and