Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Home - Studyworld Studynotes - Quotes - Reports & Essays 

 

STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES:

CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

STUDYWORLD REPORTS & ESSAYS

RESEARCH AND IDEA DATABASE




Oakwood Publishing Company:

SAT; ACT; GRE

Study Material


xx

 



Home:
:

 

amazon.gif (2962 bytes)


studyhead.gif (11688 bytes)

 

 

___________________________Hamlet by Shakespeare


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

Hamlet

Act One, Scene One

At the castle Elsinor in Denmark, the sentries have invited Horatio to join them and talk about a ghost which has appeared before them during the previous nights. For the sentries this is a sign of imminent danger, perhaps indicating an attack by Fortinbras, Prince of Norway. Horatio refuses to believe them but then the ghost suddenly appears, and he recognizes it as the King of Denmark, who has recently died. It says nothing and disappears almost immediately. It reappears shortly afterwards and seems on the point of speaking when the crowing of a cock, signaling dawn, obliges it to disappear. Horatio decides to warn Prince Hamlet.

 

Act One, Scene Two

In his castle Claudius is addressing his Council and refers to his accession to the throne, the death of Hamlet’s father, his own marriage to Gertrude, the widowed queen, and announces that he has written to the old king of Norway, charging him with the task of reining in the ambitions of his nephew, Fortinbras, who wants to reclaim land lost by his father to Hamlet's father. He then speaks to Laertes, the son of his advisor, Polonius, giving him permission to return to Paris. Turning to Hamlet he questions him as to the source of his melancholy, urging him to put an end to his sadness, which he deems excessive, and asks him not to return to the University of Wittenberg. The queen adds her own pleas to those of the king and Hamlet promises to do his best to follow their wishes.
After the departure of the king and his court Hamlet, alone, gives vent to his sadness and expresses his disgust at his mother remarrying a month after the death of his father (First soliloquy: "O that this too too sullied flesh . . . " Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo arrive. Horatio breaks the news of the ghost’s appearances and Hamlet decides to keep watch with them that evening and to speak to the ghost. For the first time Hamlet wonders about the circumstances of his father’s death and suspects a crime.

 

Act One, Scene Three

Laertes is preparing to leave for France. He warns his sister Ophelia against Hamlet’s declarations of love as, even if they are genuine, he is a prince and may not be able to marry whom he chooses. Polonius arrives and showers Laertes with advice before telling Ophelia to avoid Hamlet. Ophelia promises to obey him.

 

Act One, Scene Four

Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus are waiting for the ghost on the battlements. On hearing the sounds of merriment from the feast arranged by the new king Hamlet comments on the reputation for drunkenness acquired by the Danes, a tendency which in a people or an individual can often be ruinous: ‘The dram of evil/ Doth all the noble substance often dout/ To his own scandal’. The ghost appears and Hamlet implores it to speak. The ghost makes a sign that Hamlet should follow it and he does, against the advice of his companions.

 

Act One, Scene Five

The ghost declares itself to be the spirit of Hamlet’s father, returned to earth to spur him to wreak vengeance. He tells Hamlet he was murdered by his uncle Claudius who, taking advantage of his being asleep, poured poison into his ears. Having achieved his dark mission Claudius persuaded everybody that the king had been bitten by a snake. Hamlet’s father was killed before he had an opportunity to confess his sins, and is thus condemned to wander in Purgatory. He orders Hamlet to kill the murderous and incestuous brother but not to harm his mother who will, in any case, be subjected to remorse by her conscience. The ghost disappears.

Horatio and Marcellus arrive. Hamlet feigns a light-hearted mood and makes them swear three times to say nothing concerning the ghost. Each time the ghost, from now on invisible, cries ‘Swear!’ They finally swear to reveal nothing, even though Hamlet warns them that his subsequent behavior may seem unusual or eccentric at times.


  • Biography of Willaim Shakespeare

  • About the Play

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Character List

  • Summary of Act 1

  • Review of Act 1

  • Summary of Act 2

  • Review of Act 2

  • Summary of Act 3

  • Review of Act 3

  • Summary of Act 4

  • Review of Act 4

  • Summary of Act 5

  • Review of Act 5

  • Studyworld Essay Search on Hamlet


    Studyworld Studynotes Listed by TITLES

    Studyworld Studynotes Listed by AUTHORS


     

    Home.•. Contact Us.•. Citing This Webpage

     



     

  •  



    Teacher Ratings: See what

    others think

    of your teachers



    Copy Right