Act1

  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Words: 269
  • Grade: 12
Francisco, a soldier standing watch outside the gates of Elsinore Castle in Denmark, is met by Barnardo who has arrived to replace him. They are soon joined by Marcellus, another guard, and Horatio. Horatio is a scholar who speaks Latin, and he has been brought along because Barnardo and Marcellus claim they have seen a ghost. While Barnardo describes to Horatio exactly what he has seen, the ghost appears in front of them. Horatio tries to speak with the ghost in Latin, saying, "Stay, speak, speak, I charge thee speak" (1.1.49), but the ghost remains silent and then leaves.

Horatio tells Barnardo that the ghost looks like the deceased King Hamlet, also known as Old Hamlet. Horatio sees that the ghost was dressed the same way as King Hamlet was when he defeated King Fortinbras of Norway. The story is that King Hamlet went to Norway and fought Fortinbras in single combat. The loser agreed to yield all his land to the other king. However, in the time since King Hamlet died, the son of King Fortinbras, known as young Fortinbras, has been gathering together troops and is threatening to attack Denmark.

The ghost enters a second time and Horatio again begs it to speak to him. Just as it seems the ghost is about to say something, a cock crows and the ghost disappears. Horatio tells Marcellus that he will inform young Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark and the son of King Hamlet, that a ghost keeps appearing in the shape of his father. Marcellus knows where young Hamlet is and leaves with Horatio to find him.
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