What is the significance of the scene between Hamlet and the Ghost in Act I?

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When the guards tell Hamlet that they have seen his father's ghost, he fears that nothing good can come of the appearance of the spirit: "My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;/I doubt some foul play."

The Ghost reveals to Hamlet that Claudius murdered him and the story that a snake bit the king is a coverup for the poisoning. This information puts Hamlet in the quandary of having to seek revenge against his own uncle and his mother's new husband. The words of the Ghost set in motion the rest of the action of the play.

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