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.
Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago.
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. Claudius also scolds Hamlet for continuing to grieve over his father, and forbids him to return to his schooling in Wittenberg.
Learning of the ghost from Horatio, Hamlet resolves to see it himself. Horatio, Hamlet, and the ghost Artist: 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.
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.
As he enters to do so, the king and queen finish welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildensterntwo student acquaintances of Hamlet, to Elsinore. 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.
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.
His reaction convinces Claudius that Hamlet is not mad for love. Shortly thereafter, the court assembles to watch the play Hamlet has commissioned. After seeing the Player King murdered by his rival pouring poison in his ear, Claudius abruptly rises and runs from the room: Hamlet mistakenly stabs Polonius Artist: Coke Smyth, 19th century.
Gertrude summons Hamlet to her room to demand an explanation. Meanwhile, Claudius talks to himself about the impossibility of repenting, since he still has possession of his ill-gotten goods: He sinks to his knees.
Polonius, spying on the conversation from behind a tapestrycalls for help as Gertrude, believing Hamlet wants to kill her, calls out for help herself.
Hamlet, believing it is Claudius, stabs wildly, killing Polonius, but pulls aside the curtain and sees his mistake. Claudius switches tactics, proposing a fencing match between Laertes and Hamlet to settle their differences. Laertes will be given a poison-tipped foil, and Claudius will offer Hamlet poisoned wine as a congratulation if that fails.
Gertrude interrupts to report that Ophelia has drowned, though it is unclear whether it was suicide or an accident exacerbated by her madness. Act V[ edit ] Horatio has received a letter from Hamlet, explaining that the prince escaped by negotiating with pirates who attempted to attack his England-bound ship, and the friends reunite offstage.
Hamlet picks up the skull, saying "alas, poor Yorick" as he contemplates mortality. Hamlet and Horatio initially hide, but when Hamlet realizes that Ophelia is the one being buried, he reveals himself, proclaiming his love for her.
A foppish courtier, Osricinterrupts the conversation to deliver the fencing challenge to Hamlet. Hamlet does well at first, leading the match by two hits to none, and Gertrude raises a toast to him using the poisoned glass of wine Claudius had set aside for Hamlet. Claudius tries to stop her, but is too late: Laertes slashes Hamlet with his poisoned blade.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. In short, Shakespeare has been accused of inconsistency in this and other characters, only because he has kept up the distinction which there is in nature, between the understandings and the moral habits of men, between the absurdity of their ideas and the absurdity of their motives.
About thirty years old at the start of the play, Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius. Hamlet is melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle’s scheming and disgust for his mother’s sexuality.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet (/ ˈ h æ m l ɪ t /), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between and Set in Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet's father, King Hamlet.
Hamlet emphasizes the fact that Shakespeare was truly a genius. Although the play was written in the 16th or 17th century, by observing the people of those times, it surely rings true even in this century.
The complexity of the characters make 'Hamlet' a real masterpiece. Hamlet by William Shakespeare We have essays on the following topics that may be of interest to you Character (), Hamlet (), Ophelia (), Polonius (), .