PLOTACT I• A g h o s t r e s e m b l i n g t h e l a t e K i n g H a m l e t i s s p o tt e d o n ap l a t fo r m b e fo r e E l s i n o r e C a s t l e i n D e n m a r k . K i n g C l a u d i u s ,w h o n o w r u l e s D e n m a r k , h a s t a ke n K i n g H a m l e t s w i fe ,Q u e e n G e r t r u d e a s h i s n e w w i fe a n d Q u e e n o f D e n m a r k .• The ghost speaks to Hamlet declaring ominously that it isi n d e e d h i s fa t h e r ’s s p i r i t , a n d t h a t h e w a s m u r d e r e d b yClaudius. Ordering Hamlet to seek revenge on the manw h o u s u r p e d h i s t h ro n e a n d m a r r i e d h i s w i fe , t h e g h o s td i s a p p e a rs w i t h t h e d a w n .
ACT II Polonius has his own theory about Hamlets transformation; it is caused by Hamlets love for his daughter Ophelia. Polonius decides to tell King Claudius the reason for Hamlets recently odd behavior. ACT III A group of traveling actors comes to Elsinore, and Hamlet seizes upon an idea to test his uncle’s guilt. He will have the players perform a scene closely resembling the sequence by which Hamlet imagines his uncle to have murdered his father, so that if Claudius is guilty, he will react. Hamlet goes to kill Claudius but finds him praying. Since he believes that killing Claudius while in prayer would send Claudius’s soul to heaven, Hamlet considers that it would be an inadequate revenge and decides to wait. Hamlet goes to confront his mother, in whose bedchamber Polonius has hidden behind a tapestry. Hamlet believes the king is hiding there and kills Polonius.
ACT IV King Claudius learns of Polonius murder which shocks him and decides to sent Hamlet away to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern immediately. King Claudius reveals his plans for Hamlet to be killed in England. Ophelia goes mad from the grief of losing her father and drowns in the river. Laertes wants to take revenge for his father’s murder and King Claudius explains to him that Hamlet killed his father.ACT V Hamlet explains to Horatio how he avoided the death planned for him in England and had courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern put to death instead. Hamlet fights Laertes. Hamlet wins the first two rounds against Laertes but is stabbed and poisoned fatally in the third round. Exchanging swords whilst fighting, Hamlet wounds and poisons Laertes who explains that his sword is poison tipped. Now dying, Hamlet stabs King Claudius with this same sword, killing him. Hamlet, dying, tells Horatio to tell his story. Hamlet recommends Young Fortinbras as the next King of Denmark. Horatio promises to tell all the story we have just witnessed, ending the play.
T - The Impossibility of CertaintyH - The Mystery of DeathE - The Nation as a Diseased BodyM - Incest and Incestuous DesireE - MisogynyS
FAMOUS QUOTATION To be, or not to be: that is the question: The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay, Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The insolence of office, and the spurnsThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune That patient merit of the unworthy takes, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, When he himself might his quietus make And by opposing end them?—To die,—to With a bare bodkin? who would these sleep,— fardels bear, No more; and by a sleep to say we end To grunt and sweat under a weary life, The heartache, and the thousand natural But that the dread of something after shocks death,— That flesh is heir to,—’tis a consummation The undiscover’d country, from whose Devoutly to be wish’d. To die,—to sleep;— bourn To sleep: perchance to dream:—ay, there’s No traveller returns,—puzzles the will, the rub; And makes us rather bear those ills we haveFor in that sleep of death what dreams may Than fly to others that we know not of? come, Thus conscience does make cowards of us When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, all; Must give us pause: there’s the respect And thus the native hue of resolution That makes calamity of so long life; Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;For who would bear the whips and scorns of And enterprises of great pith and moment, time, With this regard, their currents turn awry,The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s And lose the name of action. contumely,