Connecting Themes, Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 1

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  • Themes in Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 1
    • Fear
      • Marcellus, Horatio and Barnado experience fear when the king's apparition appears to them
        • "it harrows me with fear and wonder
    • Corruption of Denmark
      • The people are suffering under the rule of King Clauius
        • "'tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart"
    • Mystery
      • First describing the ghost as an unspecific thing adds an element of mystery. The audience is given no information as to what it could be
      • "What, has this thing appeared again tonight"
    • supernatural
      • The ghost of the dead king appears
      • "dreaded sight" "apparition" "enter the ghost, clad in complete armour"
    • Death
      • see life after death, discuss to what extent it is just a fantasy
        • "'tis but our fantasy" "has made his course t'illume that part of heaven"
    • Political tension
      • There is political tension between Norway and Denmark when lands were awarded to Hamlet
      • "in which our valiant Hamlet- For so this side of our known world esteemed him
  • Fear and mystery link together as a mystery tends to provoke fear- the unknown scares people
  • The supernatural and death link together as the supernatural is an insight into life after death
  • It could be argued that the supernatural and mystery link together because it is a mystery how the supernatural exists.
  • Political tension will just add to the public's burdens whilst they mourn the king. They fear what the tension could lead to.


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