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The opening scene has been said to "strike the keynote of the character of the whole...

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kylzi | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 20, 2007 at 10:49 PM via web

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The opening scene has been said to "strike the keynote of the character of the whole drama". Explain how, listing 5 salient features of suspense

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janeyb | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 21, 2007 at 12:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The opening act of Hamlet foreshadows the drama and suspense of the whole play. For instance, we know that there is impending war with Young Fortinbras, that King Hamlet is dead. We know that the Ghost has appeared more than once. THe mood of the opening scene is one of fright and confusion, something that will pervade throughout the play. THese factors set the mood, foreshadowing that this will not be a comedy, as well as letting the reader know that everything that Bernard and his friends mention will be important throughout the body of the play

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arjun | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 25, 2007 at 9:43 PM (Answer #2)

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As far as Hamlet is concerned, it comprises twenty important scenes, but the first scene is more important. Its main cause is that there is the introduction of characters and of the burning problem leading the drama to end.
The audience shows a great interest to understand the first scene and its secrets because it plays the central role. as Coleridge says, “Shakespeare `s opening scenes strike at once the key note and give the dominant spirit of the play, as in Twelfth Night and in Macbeth.
The opening scene in Hamlet not only introduces characters and the heroes’ worries or high feelings but also creates an appropriate atmosphere for the entry of the supernatural to display the action of the play. It is replete with information of king`sdeath, no success of the former king’s son to the crown and the danger of attack from Norway. The scene introduces an other character, Horatio, a fast friend of the hero and his doubt; all are creating suspense to the audience.
This scene makes ground for the action of the play and creates interest among the people to further watch strange events with distinguishing spirit attached wit hero and scholar.

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