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Reports & Essays: Literature - Shakespeare

"AND""OR"

Hamlet
ACT I Scene I At the beginning of this scene, two guards come out and attempt to get the audience's attention. They basically inform us that it is night time, and then they exit. Heratio and Marcellus then enter. They see a ghost which looks like the late King who had just died. To get the audience's attention once again, the two men repeat "Doesn't that look like the King!" five times. Morning comes, and Heratio and Marcellus decide to tell Hamlet of the incident. Scene ][ This scene informs us that the present king (Claudius) had killed the late King Hamlet. Claudius is now married to Queen Gertrude who was formerly King Hamlet's wife. King Claudius informs us Norway is preparing to war against Denmark (they even work on Sundays) for land that the late King Hamlet had obtained. Heratio and Marcellus then come to inform Hamlet of the "ghost" experience they had the previous night. Hamlet is shocked and suspects something peculiar is amongst the king- dom. Scene ]I[ Laertes tells her sister, Ophelia, to be cautious of marrying Hamlet. Polonious then enters and demands Ophelia to stop the relationship with Hamlet. Scene ]V Hamlet, Heratio, and Marcellus are talking when the ghost of King Hamlet appears. Hamlet follows, but his friends warn him that he may be in danger. Regardless,
Hamlet
follows the ghost. Scene V In this scene, King Hamlet's ghost appears once again, but this time in front of Hamlet. Hamlet questions the ghost and finds that King Hamlet was killed by Claudius. The ghost then asks Hamlet to seek revenge. ACT ][ Scene I In this scene, Ophelia and Hamlet and alone together in a room. Ophelia tells Hamlet that she can no longer see him, but Hamlet is raged. Ophelia tells her father, Polonious. Polonious thinks that Hamlet may be mad with love sickness since he cannot take the rejection. Therefore, Polonious tells King Claudius of the situation. Scene ][ Claudius sends Rosancrantz and Guildenstern (who were Hamlet's friends from childhood) to see what is the matter with Hamlet. Hamlet explains to his friends that he is very sad and has no interest of world. In a soliloquy,
Hamlet
then analyzes his situation. ACT ]I[ Scene I Hamlet's friend return to tell the Claudius of their findings. Claudius is pleased with the results (that
Hamlet
wants to perform for the majesties). Then, Claudius and Polonious plan to hide behind a curtain while Ophelia and Hamlet are talking. Hamlet in his famous To be, or not be speech questions his motives for living. He attempts to analyze his position and see whether he should live or commit suicide. Later, Claudius decides to send Hamlet to England to have him killed. Scene ][ At first, Hamlet walks around making ludicrous remarks and acting mad. Then Hamlet shows the play he has created to the court. Surprisingly, the play is an exact replica of what happened to the late King Hamlet. It shows a man putting poison in a King's ear while he is sleeping.
Hamlet
then explains that the man will soon become the new King. Both Claudius and Gertrude and a strange reaction. Gertrude requests to speak with Hamlet privately. Hamlet attempts to retain his anger so he does not harm the Queen (as the ghost of King Hamlet had asked). Scene ]I[ Claudius is frightened about the murder he has done. He prays and asks forgiveness. At that moment, Hamlet comes and sees Claudius. Hamlet thought about killing Claudius at that point, but did not. Hamlet thought that if he killed Claudius while he was in prayer, Claudius would go to heaven; thus his killing would be useless. Scene ]V Hamlet and Gertrude start conversation. Hamlet becomes very angry and starts making nasty remarks about Gertrude's marriage. Gertrude screams for help and Polonious (behind the tapestry) echoes the calls. Assuming that Claudius is behind the tapestry, Hamlet shoves a dagger in it. Polonious, unfortunately, dies. Hamlet apologizes for the murder. Then Hamlet tells Gertrude that he is being sent to England and bids her good- night. ACT ]V Scene I Claudius questions what he should do to explain Polonious' death to the courts. He tells Gertrude that they must reveal the murder to their closest friends and avoid being blamed themselves. Scene ][ Hamlet does not tell his friends where Polonious' body is. Hamlet then goes off to see the King. Scene ]I[ Hamlet finally notifies Claudius of Polonious' whereabouts is. Claudius then tells Hamlet's friends to take him to England. Claudius feels that when Hamlet is dead, he won't have any more worries or fears on his mind. Scene ]V Hamlet overhears Fortinbras asking he may cross Denmark on his way to Poland. In a soliloquy, Hamlet analyzes the situation. Hamlet learns that Fortinbras is sending his men to fight for a worthless piece of land, and that all the men can die in the process. He sees how Fortinbras and his man are risking their lives for honour. Hamlet realizes that he has not been honourable, but rather a coward. He vows that his thoughts will be bloody, or nothing worth . This is where Hamlet makes a conscience decision to kill Claudius. Scene V Both Ophelia and Laertes act mad due to their father's sudden death. They both blame Claudius, but Claudius insists otherwise. Claudius tells Laertes that if he can prove Claudius was the murderer, then Claudius would hand over the kingdom to him. Claudius, nevertheless, vows to find out who the real killer is. Scene V[ On his way to England, Hamlet got captured by pirated. They promised to return him to Denmark for the exchange of a favour. Scene VI[ Claudius uses Laertes as a tool to kill Hamlet. Claudius lies and tricks Laertes so that Laertes would establish great anger and frustration towards Hamlet. Then they both plan to kill Hamlet my means of a sword fight (poison at the end of Laertes' sword) and a poisoned drink. Laertes is then informed that Ophelia died and is enraged once again. ACT V Scene I In Ophelia's funeral, Laertes and Hamlet again break into rage. Both men jump into the grave and start fighting. Hamlet explains that he loves Ophelia more than forty thousand brothers can and vows to fight Laertes despite their previous friendship. Scene ][ After all preparation is done, Hamlet and Laertes begin their battle. Unfortunately, Gertrude (unaware of the poison) takes a drink from Hamlet's cup and soon after dies. Then, both Laertes and Hamlet get hit with the poisoned sword. Hamlet becomes aware of the evil plans and forces Claudius to drink from his cup. Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet shortly die. And so ends this play a tragedy!

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