BERNARDO: Who’s there?
FRANCISCO: Nay, answer me: stand and unfold yourself.
– William Shakespeare
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1. In the opening lines of Hamlet, on duty sentinel Francisco asks the sentinel coming to relieve him Bernardo to identify himself. The guards have been seeing apparitions of the dead king Hamlet on Elsinore Castle’s ramparts in Denmark. It is midnight and there is an atmosphere of tension and uncertainty. The lines speak to the theme of appearance vs reality. They also foreshadow the transfer of power after the death of a king and themes of deception and corruption found throughout the play.