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In any play, the opening act is essential to the purpose of outlining the main themes and characters of the piece. It also reveals the plot and the mood of the play to the audience. Act I of Hamlet is very successful in outlining these aspects and yet is also successful in highlighting the atmosphere of the play and in doing so, suggesting aspects of the play as a whole. Shakespeare communicates this using a …

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…of the text; Hamlet's inner struggle id the epitome of the conflict in the play and it is this that is the central theme of the play. With regards to the theme of appearance versus reality, one must consider Hamlet and how he is communicated in the first Act. It was Shakespeare's aim to communicate the inner conflict within Hamlet in this act and therefore, establish empathy between the audience and the character of Hamlet.