In Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 2), what are some questions you might ask about the scene or ask one of the characters?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Considering the mysterious appearance of the ghost in the first scene of Act I, a ghost who looks like Hamlet's dead father, one can think of many questions after reading the scene that follows and observing the behavior of the various characters. After speaking with Horatio, who had seen the ghost, Hamlet says that "all is not well," and suspects that some "foul play" has occurred. Hamlet feels deep grief over his father's death, and we can assume that he won't just "get over it," as Claudius and his mother encourage him to do. The scene suggests these questions:

  • Has some "foul play" really occurred?
  • How did Old Hamlet die?
  • Why is his ghost appearing at the castle?
  • Are Claudius and Gertrude sincere? Are they really concerned about Hamlet?
  • Why does Hamlet trust Horatio's word?
  • Does Horatio deserve Hamlet's trust?
  • Why does Horatio think the ghost will "walk again" that night?
  • Since Hamlet plans to talk to the ghost if it does appear to be his dead father, what will he say?

These questions, of course, will be answered as the play develops.



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