On a dark winter night in Denmark, an officer named Bernardo comes to set free the watchman Francisco. They can't see each other so they ask each other who they are and they relax afterwards. So Francisco decides to go home and go to bed.
Bernardo and Marcellus tries to convince Horatio to stand watch with them because they want to show him something shocking. They talk about how they seen a ghost for the past two days.
Horatio is confused but then the ghost appears and then disappears. He doesn't think that is the dead king. He thinks that it is a warning about an attack.
The ghost occurs for a second time and Horatio speaks to it but it doesn't say anything. Afterwards, it disappears again. He thinks that they should tell Prince Hamlet about the appearance.
The next morning, King Claudius gives a speech to his guest. Claudius says that he feels sorry about his brother. Laertes talks about how he wants to go back to France.
Claudius says that all fathers die and sons must lose their father. Claudius wants Hamlet to think of him as a father. Hamlet wishes he would die and wishes that God didn't make suicide a sin.