Essay on Hamlet: Atmosphere in Act 1 Scene1

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In the opening scene, the characters consist of Barnardo, Marcellus and Francisco of which are all soldiers/sentinels, Horatio who is a friend of Prince Hamlet and last but not least, the most terrifying of all if it can be called a character, is the Ghost which is said to be the Ghost of Hamlet (lately King of Denmark).

Before the opening scene begins, it is written `Enter Francisco and Barnardo, two sentinels', we immediately get the impression that something important is about to happen which is why there are soldiers or is about to happen because a soldiers role is to serve the king and its nation, therefore if one hears of soldiers we immediately assume that something big is going to happen or are reporting something that has
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This creates suspense for the audience to see what is happening as well as creating tension.

Barnardo continues his questionings as he asks if he had a quiet watch which implies that they were waiting for something bad to happen and the continues unease they feel. He also asks if Horatio has come which insinuates that he is not meant to be there which consequently leads the audience to asking why he is there.

The first indication that we as an audience receive that there is something bad around which is not meant to be and confirms our earlier suspicions, is when Marcellus asks `What, has this thing appeared again tonight', the effect of using `thing' indicates that it is unnatural and inhumane which therefore creates an atmosphere of things to come.

Shakespeare uses Horatios role as a smart, educated and skeptic person to portray that there cannot be anything of the supernatural around because he does not believe it to be so. Horatio went to a university where superstitions do not exist therefore he himself is not superstitious and therefore the soldiers must be imagining this. This could be used as a form of reassurance for the others but it

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