The play opens on a cold winter midnight on "a platform before the castle" of Elsinore, the Danish royal castle. The sentries Bernardo and Marcellus and Hamlet's friend Horatio encounter a ghost that looks like the late King Hamlet. When it declines to talk to them they attack it with daggers, but it escapes. Marcellus admits: "We do it wrong... to offer it the show of violence / For it is... invulnerable." They vow to tell Prince Hamlet that his father's ghost has been seen.
The scene shifts to a "room of state in the castle." Various royal figures come in. Claudius and Gertrude talk with Laertes about his upcoming journey to France. Laertes's father Polonius admits that he has agreed to his son's trip. The King and Queen then turn to Hamlet. Perturbed by Hamlet's continuing deep mourning for his father and his increasingly erratic behaviour, Claudius and Gertrude try to persuade him to be more cheerful. Claudius tells him that it is normal for fathers to die, but the prince is not comforted by this.
When they leave, Hamlet complains in his first soliloquy ("O that this too too solid flesh would melt") that his mother has jumped into "incestuous sheets" with her brother-in-law too quickly after the death of Hamlet's father. Horatio and the sentries come in and Hamlet warmly greets his friend, who has recently returned to court from the university at Wittenberg. The three tell Hamlet about the ghost they have seen at the castle and the prince resolves to see the apparition himself.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)|
About the Author
Widely esteemed as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an actor and theatrical producer in addition to writing plays and sonnets. Dubbed "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare oversaw the building of the Globe Theatre in London, where a number of his plays were staged, the best-known of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The First Folio, a printed book of 36 of his comedies, tragedies, and history plays, was published in 1623.
Date of Death:2018
Place of Birth:Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Place of Death:Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom