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In the opening scene of Hamlet, what is Horatio's attitude towards the ghost before it...

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malot | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted October 9, 2012 at 1:31 AM via web

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In the opening scene of Hamlet, what is Horatio's attitude towards the ghost before it appears and after he sees it?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 9, 2012 at 1:56 AM (Answer #1)

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At first mention of the ghost, Horatio is not a believer. He says:

Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.

As the ghost appears, Horatio claims:

It harrows me with fear and wonder.

So while it is right in front of him, his curiosity grows and his senses appropriately tell him he is indeed looking at a ghost.

As the ghost leaves, Horatio admits that he would not have believed this unless he saw it with his own two eyes:

Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.

Horatio's attitude has to do with a belief in the afterlife. He was known as a scholar and would have likely been a skeptic. The above quotes demonstrate this skeptical attitude in him consistently.

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