Why is the cock's crow important in the opening scene of the play?

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lyndaa's profile pic

lyndaa | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Yes, the cock crowing does reveal the scene.  It also lets the audience know that (at various points in the play) that the ghost (and ghosts in general) roamed the earth at night only - they disappeared/ were not seen during daylight.  This idea also adds a musters tone to the play.

lmillerm's profile pic

lmillerm | College Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Roosters (cocks) announce the beginning of a new day; therefore, the simplest reason for the rooster is to set the scene.
On a deeper level, the rooster was (and still is) extremely significant in the history of developing cultures around the world.
The Greeks, for example, believed that the rooster guided souls to the under-world (the "kingdom of deaths"). This exlaination is pertinant to "Hamlet," because the ghost exits almost immediately after the sound of the crow.

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