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Explore the ways Shakespeare creates tension in the opening two scenes of Hamlet

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Introduction

Explore the ways Shakespeare creates tension in the opening two scenes Shakespeare creates a lot of tension in the opening two scenes, by starting act one, scene one, with short sentences and questions, such as, "Who's there?" So the audience can tell that the characters are feeling edgy about something at the start. These short sentences carry on until line 20, it gets the audience involved from the start, you're straight into the play, and there is no big introduction. It begins the play at midnight when it is very cold, which it itself is very spooky and is like the witching hour "Tis now struck twelve." "Tis bitter cold." The characters start to talk about a ghost that they've seen, and you can sense fear from them "touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us" Once the ghost enters there is a lot of tension, especially as the ghost doesn't speak, which makes it even more spooky. The ghost creates mystery for the audience. The ghost says nothing despite the valiant efforts on the parts of Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo. ...read more.

Middle

In the middle of scene 2, hamlet says a soliloquy. The purpose of this soliloquy is to outline his thoughts and feelings at this point in the play. He reveals his innermost secrets and its an unbiased perspective as its just the hamlet talking to the audience (but not directly) and not to any other charcter who may cause hamlet to withold his true opinions. Therefore, it is essential to the play as it highlights his inner conflict caused by the events of the play. It reveals his true feelings and as such emphasises the difference between his public appearance, his attitude towards Claudius in the previous scene is less confrontational than here. Hamlet's despair is his mother's marriage to his uncle. His constant repetition of the time in which it took the two to get married, "But two months dead...yet within a month...A little month...Within a month...most wicked speed", suggests his disgust at the situation and that it is not necessarily the nature of their "incestuous" relationship that troubles Hamlet, more the short time in which it occurred. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is as if Hamlet cannot deal with or stand the physical side of life anymore. He needs to get rid of his body to be able to deal with the inner conflict going on in his head. The poetry of these lines and the image that is shown serve to reveal not only the tragic nature of his problem, also highlighted by his thoughts to suicide, but also create a link between him and the audience. Another good example of imagery in the soliloquy is that of the "unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank...in nature". This image represents something that used to be nice and now is "gross". The language of the description also emphasises this as it suggests images of things that are unprofitable and nasty. At the end he talks about how he cant say anything to anyone and its best to keep quiet, "but break my heart, for I must hold my tongue" this shows he is really hurt by all this, but he cant do anything about it. Rebecca Mullins ...read more.

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