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Scene One or not Scene One? 'A' Level theatre students are considering cutting out the opening scene from their production of 'Hamlet' - What would your argument be for keeping the scene?

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Introduction

English Coursework Scene One or not Scene One? 'A' Level theatre students are considering cutting out the opening scene from their production of 'Hamlet'. What would your argument be for keeping the scene? Explain your reasons and why you consider it to be important and how it adds to the overall Dramatic impact of Act One and to the rest of the play. The first scene sets the play in motion, fills the audience in with background information, gives an exciting and chilling beginning and starts the plot. The first scene is one of the most interesting and a significant scene in the play, as it has a spooky entrance and a chilling dialogue. It starts the plot to kill the king in motion, which the play is all about. The short introductory lines add to the Dramatic tension at the beginning of the play. When Barnardo enters the castle Elsinore at the beginning of the play, he cannot find his fellow custodian, showing the audience it is dark. The bell that tolls earlier plays a significant part later on in the scene, but it also tells the audience that it is midnight, which again shows it is dark. ...read more.

Middle

Although he does not know this, but as the king is corrupt, there is ambiguity in his statement that is only seen by the audience. No outright obloquy is used here, as Marcellus does not know about king. But this act of dramatic irony suggests many interesting points. Back at the beginning of the play, when Barnardo enters, Francisco, who is on guard, is challenged by Barnardo before he has time to react. Barnardo shows fear and anxiety here, the reason being, he has seen the ghost of Hamlet's father and is frightened at the prospect of seeing it again. Francisco is not expecting a ghost and seems relatively bored and tired as he reacts last even though he is the man on guard. Barnardo says in a frightened voice, "Who's there?" He says this before Francisco notices anybody there at all. This shows he is more afraid than Francisco. At this point the audience does not know why he is afraid, creating and tense and chilling atmosphere among them. He later says after the ghost of the late king had left, "I think it mat be no other but e'en so, Well may it sort that this portentous figure Comes armed through our watch so like the king That was and is the question of these wars." ...read more.

Conclusion

The strong part that revenge plays in the lives of many of the main characters is the main reason. Revenge tragedy plays cannot be classed under that specific genre if the main character survives to the end. Usually, that same character must discover the identity of the person or persons who has upset the main character by the murder of a close friend or family member or by humiliation or betrayal. The play involves the character's desire for revenge through a careful plan to identify the perpetrator and then kill that person. The person in question is usually very difficult to kill as they are more often than not very powerful people or very well guarded. There are three main points of revenge in "Hamlet", all caused by members of Hamlet's family. The murder of the king by his brother Claudius is not known to Hamlet or the audience until the ghost tells him later in act I. Also, Laertes is grief-stricken when he finds his father murdered by Hamlet. The third main figure of revenge is Fortinbras. His father was murdered by the late king of Denmark. It is ironic to note that all of the victims (Fortinbras, Polonius, King Hamlet) were all murdered by members of Hamlets family (King Hamlet, Hamlet, Claudius) respectively. ...read more.

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