Hamlet and Horatio come across
two gravediggers preparing Ophelias tomb. Hamlet talks to them concerning
the nature of life and death. Examining skulls uncovered by the gravediggers
he is saddened to find that of Yorick, the fool who so amused him in his childhood.
The funeral cortege arrives. Laertes curses whom he considers the assassin
of his sister and jumps into the grave. Hamlet joins him there and they fight.
They are separated and before leaving Hamlet shouts of his love for Ophelia.
Act Five, Scene Two
Hamlet tells Horatio how he was able to substitute for a letter from the
king asking the English authorities to execute him another demanding the execution
of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the bearers of the message. Next he tries
to effect a reconciliation with Laertes and offers him apologies for having
wronged him. Osric, a courtier, enters to ensure that Hamlet takes part in
the duel. Laertes had seemed ready to accept Hamlets friendship but
now insists that they fight each other; Hamlet accepts the challenge and the
duel begins. After the first exchanges and parries the king offers the poisoned
goblet to Hamlet, who puts it aside. Hamlet carries the opening exchanges
and the queen drinks to his health from the poisoned goblet.
In the following chaos both duelist are wounded by the poisoned sword, the
queen dies and Laertes reveals the plot concocted by himself and the king.
Hamlet throws himself on the king and stabs him with the poisoned sword before
finishing him by forcing him to drink from the deadly goblet. Laertes dies
after a reconciliation with Hamlet. Horatio also wants to drink from the goblet
but Hamlet dissuades him, charging him with telling the story of the tragedy.
At that moment Fortinbras arrives from Poland and Hamlet expresses his wish
that the prince of Norway should rule Denmark. He dies in his turn. The ambassadors
arrive and announce the execution of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Fortinbras
orders that Hamlet be given funeral honors.