• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the effect of the opening scenes of the text (Act one scenes one and two) of Hamlet.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the effect of the opening scenes of the text (Act one scenes one and two) The opening scenes of Hamlet tell us a lot about the play. This is done through the use of language, literary devices, pace, structure and historical, social and cultural references. I will be discussing how scenes one and two of act 1 affect the audience and their preconception of the rest of play. The first scene of many Shakespeare plays sets the scene. In "Romeo and Juliet" there was a monolog that described some of the background story behind the contents of the play, and in Hamlet the first scene sets the audience up for seconds scene, were the story actually starts. This scene, instead of supplying us with a lot of background information, gives the audience narrative elements that makes us more want to read on. ...read more.

Middle

This scene also shows us that the dead Kings son is Hamlet. "Let us impart what we have seen tonight Unto young Hamlet" This tells us that Hamlet at the moment should be the King. The second scene also does a lot for the setting, but also develops the plot and the characters. The King plays a major part in the second scene, and we get a big incite into his character. He opens the scene with a speech to those present at his court. It shows us that the present King was the old Kings brother, not his son. "Through yet of Hamlet our brother's death" This shows us that the Kings death is known, and Hamlet is aware of it. This now begs the question why isn't Hamlet the King. ...read more.

Conclusion

The King describes her: Th' imperial jointress to this warlike state". This declares to his court that the Queens influence, is as greatly valued as the Kings advisors, she has joint power. This can draw instant comparisons with Lady Macbeth form "Macbeth". Both desire power and both hold a considerable sway over there husbands. Scene two is where are protagonist first speaks. From what he says, he still feels the loss of his father. When he refers to Hamlet as "my cousin" and my "son" (another side of an incestuous relationship), Hamlet reacts. "A little more than kin, and less than kind." This response tells the audience that Hamlet sees himself as nothing like his uncle (father in law) and this may create tension between the two later in the play. Hamlets feelings at this time are greater explored later in the scene, in his soliloquy. This also shows the audience the full extent of Hamlets 'melon collie'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Hamlet essays

  1. Portrayal of women in 'Hamlet'

    Some productions of the play choose to merely hint at the incestuous desires in a much subtler manner. Attitudes towards women have altered dramatically since Elizabethan times. The treatment of women in 'Hamlet' may seem sexist now, but was nothing extraordinary in the 16th and 17th century.

  2. The Portrayal of Shakespeare's Hamlet in Cinema

    Technological developments came later to provide lighter more mobile equipment, but in this 1900 picture, there are more elements of stagecraft than cinematography apparent. The fact that such a widely renowned stage actress was prepared to participate in a filmed piece was a coup for the embryonic film industry and was used to publicise the cultural possibilities of cinema.

  1. Examine the presentation of fathers in "Hamlet" with close reference to three key scenes.

    It is easier to understand why Hamlet reacts to him as he does. An older more principled order is being replaced by a corrupt one which must be removed if Denmark is to survive.

  2. Contrast an Elizabethan and a modern audience's understanding of Hamlet's views".

    asks 'What shall I do?', suggesting she has repented and has changed allegiance. T.S. Eliot sides completely with Hamlet in saying that, 'Hamlet's tone is that of one who has suffered tortures on the score of his mother's degradation', which is certainly a rather harsh view, as Gertrude does try to make up for her wantonness.

  1. In conclusion the attitudes towards women in the plays Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida and ...

    as critics they are not dangerous because they have no power.40 This shows the lack of power women have and their inferiority to men. Women and fools can be seen as similar because 'Both stand on the periphery of the serious world of men, assessing its wisdom from the perspective

  2. Can we write about the tragedy of Hamlet in any meaningful fashion

    Here he elaborates on man's tendency to lean towards one particular emotional state at the exclusion of others. Any sense that he is perhaps a youth, who, having had the luxury of receiving it, is merely parroting pompous wisdom, evaporates when one acknowledges that his highly philosophical nature is equally evident when he is alone, it defines self-analysis.

  1. Do you find Aristotle's notion of the tragic error or flaw helpful in understanding ...

    largely what happened in the beginning and Aristotle's words were self-fulfilling prophesies on account of his influence. For example, Diomedes remarks that "tragedy is a narrative about the fortunes of a heroic or semi-divine character" (4th c. AD). Philip Sydney says that it stirs "the affects of admiration and commiseration,

  2. Many of the plays revolve around the central question of 'killing the King.' ...

    ( Mack: Killing the King; pg 308 ) The thinking behind this came from an idea that had been around for many centuries but which had become more and more prevalent in Elizabethan times, actually setting a legal precedent as a defence then, often when the monarchy wished to reclaim lands sold by a usually young, inexperienced sovereign.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work