Hamlet: Summary: Act 1, Scene 1

Marcellus and Barnardo had seen the ghost twice previously and due to Horatios disbelief; Marcellus has convinced him to stand watch with them that night.  They believe that the ghost resembles the dead King Hamlet.  Around one oclock, the ghost appears.  Horatio attempts to speak with it but the ghost will not answer and leaves.  As Marcellus, Horatio, and Barnardo begin to discuss how the late king conquered Fortinbras of Norway and seized his land, the ghost reappears.  Again, Horatio implores it to speak and again, it remains silent.  The cock crows and the ghost exits.  The three then decide that the best course of action is to inform the prince, Hamlet, of what they have seen.  They believe that the ghost will speak to the prince, as it appears to be his late father.