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What are the two things Hamlet makes Horatio swear?

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Quick Answer

In William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," Horatio is twice sworn to secrecy by Hamlet in Act I. In each instance, Hamlet makes Horatio swear that he will not reveal that anyone has seen the ghost of Hamlet's father.

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Full Answer

Shakespeare's play "Hamlet" is a tragic play that has been examined and interpreted in many different ways throughout the years. It continues to be a familiar read in high school and college classes since it offers students the opportunity to study various themes, use of language, multiple contexts and dramatic structure.

The play tells the story of Hamlet, who seeks revenge against his uncle for the death of his father. As the story progresses, two castle sentries, Marcellus and Horatio, stand watch together because there have been rumors of a ghost. The ghost appears and the men decide to tell Hamlet, who wants to see the ghost for himself. Hamlet decides to avenge his father and for this reason swears his friends to secrecy.

There are actually three instances at which Marcellus and Horatio are sworn to secrecy. The first is by Hamlet himself, when he asks them to keep the sighting of the king's ghost to themselves. The second is when the ghost itself makes them swear not to reveal anything they have experienced. The third is when Hamlet makes them swear they will not reveal his plans for revenge.

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