Hamlet feigns madness, contemplates life and death, and seeks revenge.
Claudius hastily married King Hamlet's widow, GertrudeHamlet's mother, and took the throne for himself. Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago.
Although Denmark defeated Norway, and the Norwegian throne fell to King Fortinbras's infirm brother, Denmark fears that an invasion led by the dead Norwegian king's son, Prince Fortinbrasis imminent. On a cold night on the ramparts of Elsinorethe Danish royal castle, the sentries Bernardo and Marcellus discuss a ghost resembling the late King Hamlet which they have recently seen, and bring Prince Hamlet's friend Horatio as a witness.
After the ghost appears again, the three vow to tell Prince Hamlet what they have witnessed. As the court gathers the next day, while King Claudius and Queen Gertrude discuss affairs of state with their elderly adviser PoloniusHamlet looks on glumly.
During the court, Claudius grants permission for Polonius's son Laertes to return to school in France, and sends envoys to inform the King of Norway about Fortinbras.
Claudius also scolds Hamlet for continuing to grieve over his father, and forbids him to return to his schooling in Wittenberg. After the court exits, Hamlet despairs of his father's death and his mother's hasty remarriage. Learning of the ghost from Horatio, Hamlet resolves to see it himself.
Horatio, Hamlet, and the ghost Artist: Henry Fuseli As Polonius's son Laertes prepares to depart for a visit to France, Polonius gives him contradictory advice that culminates in the ironic maxim "to thine own self be true. That night on the rampart, the ghost appears to Hamlet, telling the prince that he was murdered by Claudius and demanding that Hamlet avenge him.
Hamlet agrees and the ghost vanishes.
The prince confides to Horatio and the sentries that from now on he plans to "put an antic disposition on", or act as though he has gone mad, and forces them to swear to keep his plans for revenge secret. Privately, however, he remains uncertain of the ghost's reliability. Act II[ edit ] Soon thereafter, Ophelia rushes to her father, telling him that Hamlet arrived at her door the prior night half-undressed and behaving erratically.
Polonius blames love for Hamlet's madness and resolves to inform Claudius and Gertrude. As he enters to do so, the king and queen finish welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildensterntwo student acquaintances of Hamlet, to Elsinore.
The royal couple has requested that the students investigate the cause of Hamlet's mood and behaviour. Additional news requires that Polonius wait to be heard: The forces that Fortinbras had conscripted to march against Denmark will instead be sent against Poland, though they will pass through Danish territory to get there.
Polonius tells Claudius and Gertrude his theory regarding Hamlet's behaviour, and speaks to Hamlet in a hall of the castle to try to uncover more information. Hamlet feigns madness but subtly insults Polonius all the while. When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive, Hamlet greets his "friends" warmly, but quickly discerns that they are spies.
Hamlet becomes bitter, admitting that he is upset at his situation but refusing to give the true reason why, instead commenting on " what a piece of work " humanity is. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tell Hamlet that they have brought along a troupe of actors that they met while traveling to Elsinore.
Hamlet, after welcoming the actors and dismissing his friends-turned-spies, asks them to deliver a soliloquy about the death of King Priam and Queen Hecuba at the climax of the Trojan War.
Impressed by their delivery of the speech, he plots to stage The Murder of Gonzago, a play featuring a death in the style of his father's murder, and to determine the truth of the ghost's story, as well as Claudius's guilt or innocence, by studying Claudius's reaction.
Act III[ edit ] Polonius forces Ophelia to return Hamlet's love letters and tokens of affection to the prince while he and Claudius watch from afar to evaluate Hamlet's reaction. Hamlet is walking alone in the hall as the King and Polonius await Ophelia's entrance, musing whether " to be or not to be ".The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark ASCII text placed in the public domain by Moby Lexical Tools, SGML markup by Jon Bosak, HAMLET, son to the late, and nephew to the present king.
POLONIUS, lord chamberlain. HORATIO, friend to Hamlet. LAERTES, son to Polonius. Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Hamlet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes.
William Shakespeare's Hamlet follows the young prince Hamlet home to Denmark to attend his father's funeral. Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a Tragedy.
- Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Shakespeare's Hamlet is a tale of mortal revenge, lost souls, love and infidelity, and murder in the royal family. Hamlet, his father having recently died, is mourning the marriage of his mother to his uncle. William Shakespeare 's Hamlet: A Critical Analysis of Act V Regarded widely as an immutable element of classical literature, Shakespeare 's Hamlet broke the proverbial bindings of dramatic convention in its time and hitherto continues to provoke careful consideration of the dramatic issues explored therein. Hamlet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It is a story about revenge and the growing pains of life. Learn more about the story of Hamlet and explore an analysis of his character before.
Hamlet, the story of a young prince who seeks to revenge his father’s death by killing his uncle, Claudius, is one of the most favorite and complex Shakespearean tragedies. A complete summary of William Shakespeare's Play, Hamlet. Find out more about the tragedy set in Denmark and the revenge of Prince Hamlet upon Uncle Claudius Summary of William Shakespeare's Hamlet: Hamlet sees his dead dad's ghost, pretends to go crazy with revenge, actually goes crazy with revenge (debatable), and everyone dies.
The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare takes place in Elsinore Castle, the home of Denmark’s royal family.
A ghost resembling the recently dead King Hamlet, has been spotted walking throughout the Castle. The sword-fighting begins. Hamlet scores the first hit, but declines to drink from the king’s proffered goblet. Instead, Gertrude takes a drink from it and is swiftly killed by the poison.
Laertes succeeds in wounding Hamlet, though Hamlet does not die of the poison immediately.