Act 1, scene 1 of Hamlet, sets the tone for the entire play. The sense of suspense and fear is created through the ghost. It’s a character that looks like the deceased King of Denmark.
Act 1, scene 1 of Hamlet introduces the characters and sets up fear, tension, and suspense. The night guards are frightened to perform their duties because they have seen a ghost for the previous two nights. They ask Hamlet’s friend Horatio to watch on the third night, and the ghost appears again, bearing a striking resemblance to the deceased King of Denmark. The guards perceive it as a sign that something is threatening the country and confront the ghost asking it to communicate its warning.
The suspense is created both by the ghost’s appearance and the characters’ reaction to it. In Hamlet, ghosts are not a product of imagination. All can see them, and, therefore, they should be taken seriously. The spirit looks like the recently deceased Kind of Denmark. It symbolizes the threat to the country’s well-being. In the scene, the ghost appears twice, emphasizing some unfinished business that it cannot communicate. The prosperity of the country and its’ citizens is tied to the well-being of the king. The undead monarch appearance is perceived to be a sign of upcoming decay and disorder. The scene foreshadows the spiritual and political unrest in the country.