Enter Barnardo and Francisco. Barnardo is the first to speak and he says, Who’s there? Francisco is reluctant to speak and insists that Barnardo makes himself known first. Francisco says, Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself. There appears to be some hostility between the two since they don’t exactly know whom they are speaking to. Barnardo then replies, Long live the King! I assumed that this was some kind of secret password that the guards used to identify other guards at night. Francisco knows that it is Barnardo that he is speaking to. Francisco says, You come most carefully upon your hour.
Barnardo replies, Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco. Francisco says, For this relief much thanks. ‘Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart. Francisco is saying that he is happy to go home to bed because he is afraid that the ghost will appear. There seems to be still some hostility between them. Barnardo then says, Have you had quiet guard? Francisco replies, Not a mouse stirring. At this point I think that both of them are getting a little nervous because they are wondering if the ghost is going to appear. Barnardo then decides he is going to leave and he says, Well, good night. If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, the rivals of my watch, bid them make haste. Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Francisco is alert and he believes that he can hear them coming. He says, I think I hear them.–Stand! Who’s there? Horatio answers, Friends to this ground. Marcellus pipes in, And liegemen to the Dane. They start to feel safer knowing that it isn’t just the two of them there anymore. Francisco says, Give you good night. Marcellus says, O farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved you? Francisco replies, Barnardo has my place. Give you good night. Exit.
Marcellus then says, Holla, Barnardo! Barnardo says, Say–what, is Horatio there? Horatio answers, A piece of him. Horatio really doesn’t want to be there because he is scared. Barnardo welcomes them both. Marcellus asks, What, has this thing appeared again tonight? Barnardo replies, I have seen nothing. Marcellus says, Horatio says ’tis but our fantasy, and will not let belief take hold of him touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us. Therefore…he may approve our eyes and speak to it. Horatio then says, Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.
Marcellus and Barnardo want nothing to do with the ghost, they think that Horatio should speak to the ghost since he doesn’t believe that it exists. Barnardo says, Sit down a while, and let us once again assail your ears, that are so fortified against our story, what we two nights have seen.
Horatio says, Well, sit we down, and let us hear Barnardo speak of this. Barnardo begins to speak, Last night of all, when yon same star that’s westward from the pole had made his course t’illume that part of heaven where now it burns, Marcellus and myself, the bell then beating one– Enter the Ghost. Marcellus says, Peace, break thee off. Look where it comes again. Barnardo says, In the same figure like the King that’s dead. Marcellus says to Horatio, Thou art a scholar–speak to it, Horatio. Marcellus is clearly afraid. He is kind of pushing Horatio towards the ghost and stepping back himself.
Barnardo agrees with Marcellus, Looks it not like the King?–Mark it, Horatio. He too, is helping Marcellus in pushing Horatio towards the ghost. Horatio admits that he is scared, Most like. It harrows me with fear and wonder. Barnardo keeps pushing Horatio to speak to it, It would be spoke to. Marcellus pipes in, Question it, Horatio. Marcellus and Barnardo are practically hiding behind rocks to protect themselves because they are so scared of the ghost. Horatio puts on a brave, manly face and steps out of the shadows and says, What art thou that usurp’st this time of night, together with that fair and warlike form in which the majesty of buried Denmark did sometimes march? By heaven, I charge thee speak. The ghost turns around and begins walking the other way as if he were offended. Marcellus peaks over the rock and says, It is offended. Horatio spoke of heaven and the ghost was offended because his soul is trapped in purgatory. Barnardo says, See, it stalks away. Horatio tries to get it to come back, Stay, speak, speak, I charge thee speak. Horatio tried to act all manly like he wasn’t afraid of the ghost. Exit Ghost.