What feeling permeates the first part of  Hamlet Act 1, Scene 1?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first part of Scene I in Hamlet is permeated with a sense of mystery and foreboding. First, the play begins at midnight, a very symbolic time for mystery stories. The first line of the play portends some kind of fear when Bernardo asks, "Who's there?" He is afraid because he has seen the ghost of Prince Hamlet's father the night before plus Denmark seems to be preparing for war. The rest of Scene 1 is taken up with a discussion of what the ghost might be and the appearance of the ghost. The guards assume “'that this portentous figure / Comes armed through our watch so like the King / That was and is the question of these wars' with young Fortinbras" ( I.i. 109-111.) However, once Hamlet sees the ghost of his father he learns the ghost wants Hamlet to "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I. v. 23-25)

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