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___________________________Hamlet by Shakespeare

 

STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

Hamlet

Quick/Fast Review

The play opens with Prince Hamlet being depressed over his father's death and his mother's decision to marry the new king, Claudius, after only two months. Hamlet goes to the ramparts after Horatio, his confidant, tells him he saw a ghost. That evening, the ghost of King Hamlet tells Hamlet that his brother, Claudius, killed him. Hamlet swears to avenge the murder.

Hamlet pretends to have seizures of madness. Polonius discloses to King Claudius and Queen Gertrude that he suspects Hamlet's madness stems from his love for Ophelia, Polonius' daughter.

Hamlet wants to ascertain for himself the truth of what the ghost has told him. He arranges for a play in which the actors perform a scene similar to the actual murder of King Hamlet. Upon seeing the scene,Claudius calls for lights and storms out of the room.

Claudius prays and Hamlet hears him confessing to the murder and attempting to absolve himself of sin. Hamlet resolves to kill him but does not want to do it at the moment while Claudius is praying for fear that his soul might go to heaven.

Hamlet speaks with Gertrude, his mother in an attempt to understand her actions. Polonius hides and listens to the conversation from behind a curtain. Hamlet hears noises and kills him. Claudius sends Hamlet to England because of the murder. He also instructs Hamlet's friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to to sell out Hamlet to the English king for execution. Hamlet discovers the plot and returns to Denmark. Laertes returns to Elsinore after hearing of his father's death, and Claudius tells him to blame Hamlet. Ophelia, unable to deal with any of the events that have happened to her father and to Hamlet, looses her sanity and commits suicide.

Hamlet returns, and Claudius advises Laertes to duel with Hamlet. Claudius plans to have Laertes kill Hamlet with a poisoned tip sword. To ensure Hamlet's death, Claudius intends to present Hamlet with a poisoned goblet of wine. Gertrude tells Claudius and Laertes that Ophelia drowned in a creek.

The duel begins and Hamlet scores two hits. Gertrude grabs the poisoned goblet and drinks to Hamlet's fortune. Laertes manages to wound Hamlet, but in the scuffle they exchange swords and Hamlet injures Laertes. Gertrude falls and says Claudius poisoned her. Laertes tells Hamlet he will die as well, and that Claudius planned everything. Hamlet stabs Claudius and kills him.


  • 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


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