Discuss the Ideas and Themes Indicated in the First Three Scenes of Hamlet that you Find Particularly Interesting.

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Discuss the Ideas and Themes Indicated in the First Three Scenes of Hamlet that you Find Particularly Interesting.

        The first three scenes of Hamlet, gives you an extremely dramatic and interesting insight into most of the themes continued throughout the play.  Shakespeare manages to create the suspense and drama necessary to keep the audience enthralled and expectant.  He does this through the use of imagery, mystery and language, some unusual, unifying themes, and memorable relationships.

        The relationship between Hamlet and Horatio is particularly provocative, and is often overlooked by those studying Hamlet in depth.  Shakespeare cleverly devised the character of Horatio to portray the true character of Hamlet.  Horatio acts as an antithesis to Hamlet, enhancing his distinctive characteristics.  As a fellow student of Wittenberg University, he is Hamlet’s intellectual, and to a certain extent social equal.  Hamlet therefore, values the loyal friendship they share, and confides in Horatio, thus revealing glimpses of the former prince.  Hamlet also regards Horatio’s moral integrity and fortitude with great admiration.  Horatio, being understanding and sympathetic to Hamlet’s situation, does therefore not perceive Hamlet’s melancholy behaviour as being intolerable or, “unmanly” and, “unschooled”.  This emphasises the mutual friendship they entrust to each other.

Through the rational conversations held between the two friends, the audience is able to identify the melancholy Hamlet is suffering is genuine rather than a state of madness.  Through Horatio many truths are revealed about the young prince and what is to come in later in the play.  The same rational line of thinking is also evident in the character of Horatio.  He is perceptive enough to realise the Ghost’s appearance spells disaster for Denmark,

“A mote it is trouble the mind’s eye.”

Almost immediately after the visitation from the Ghost, Horatio decides it would be in everyone’s interest to, “…impart what (they) have seen tonight

Unto young Hamlet;” thus confirming the friendship even further.

        Horatio shows Hamlet a respect and compassion no other character yields to.  Hamlet is blatantly in the minority by mourning for his father.  Other courtiers have swiftly moved on from their ‘grief’ stricken period, and engaged in the celebrations of the incestuous marriage of Claudius and Gertrude.  This enrages and furies the young prince who is still in a deep state of mourning.  The asinine courtiers, desperate to please their new king, Claudius, readily allow their mournful state to be taken over by that of celebration and ‘joy’.  Horatio and Hamlet share the belief that the wedding followed too soon on from the funeral,

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“Indeed my Lord it followed hard upon”  

This binds their relationship further, due to the fact they hold something in common against the rest of the land.  The fact Horatio refers to Hamlet as,

“My dear Lord” suggests a deep respect for the prince who has endured so much over the past few months.  In turn Hamlet is genuinely pleased to see an old friend and ally, “Sir, my good friend, I’ll change that name with you…

I am very glad to see you”

In fact when his close friends surround Hamlet, his mood positively changes to that ...

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