Esther 4:2 (ESV)

2 He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth.

Sadness and mourning did not belong in the palace of a Persian king (see also Nehemiah 2:1). After Mordecai’s walk in the city, he returned and stopped at the king’s gate. Why did he stand there, if he knew that he could not enter in his mourning clothes? Most probably he wished to draw the attention of Esther. A plan had already begun forming in his mind, and this plan centred on her.