The words “Enter to him BERNARDO” (Shakespeare’s Hamlet) at the beginning of act 1, scene 1, is an example of stage direction. This excerpt is the direction to the actors added by the playwright that explains what they have to do. They refer to the actor who is not on the stage at the moment.
The term stage direction refers to the words in the play that are not spoken by actors. They are inserted in the text as the directions that indicate what is happening. These words provide instruction to the actors and explain what they have to do. It is necessary to pay attention to these phrases while reading as well. They show how the author intended the play to look. Stage directions inform about the scene’s location, mood, or the way the action is performed. The purpose of the stage direction is to give clues to the directors and actors who are setting the play.
Shakespeare’s plays have many stage directions. They are written at the beginning of each scene or even between the phrases. The reader can see when a character enters, leaves, or changes the position without words. Shakespeare’s stage directions are generally brief, revealing the place, actors, and types of actions they need to perform. For example, stage direction in Hamlet can be in a short phrase like “Enter to him BERNARDO.” It informs the actor and the reader of the action but does not provide any extensive description.