How does Shakespeare create tension in the first scene, and how does that surprise or mislead us?

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Shakespeare creates tension in the first line of the play when Barnardo, one of the guards on watch, asks, "Who's there?" He doesn't yet know that the man he is speaking to is Francisco, who is actually a friend of the Danish kingdom and a fellow sentry. This question is pregnant with uncertainty and anxiety about the Danish people's inability to distinguish friend from foe. Currently the kingdom is preparing for war with Norway, so the threat of foreign invasion is ever-present in the mind of the citizens in Elsinore. The question "Who's there?" will become the central question of the play, so in this way, this opening line neither surprises nor misleads the reader. As Hamlet says in Act 1, scene 5, "one may smile and smile and be a villain / At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark." His kingdom is full of "seemers"—characters who wear a false face to disguise pernicious intentions. For example, King Claudius pretends to be a virtuous king when he actually won the kingdom by...

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