Hamlet first appears on stage in the second scene; he does not learn of his father’s murder until the fifth. That he is presented to us before learning of that murder is a most important element in the play’s structure, for Shakespeare employs that second scene to bring out that Hamlet, even before learning of his father’s murder and of the need to avenge it, already has another purpose to which he is passionately dedicated. This other purpose remains of primary importance to him throughout the play. His pursuit of it is what impedes his pursuit of the purpose of revenge. His other purpose is to prove that his love, unlike his mother's, really is and does not merely seem.