Short Summary of Hamlet, a play by William Shakespeare



While Hamlet, the price of Denmark, is away from his country, his father dies and within a few months his mother marries his uncle. When Hamlet returns to his country, his uncle is wearing the crown though he has nominated Hamlet as crown prince. Hamlet is gloomy while Horatio informs him of the visitation of his father's ghost in Elsinore. Hamlet decides to see the ghost himself. The ghost tells Hamlet that:

"The serpent that did sting thy father's life
Now wears his crown"

Hamlet decides to take revenge from his uncle. But soon, the soldierly Hamlet is overcome with the scholastic Hamlet. He begins to think if it is the devil assuming the shape of his father to mislead him or the true spirit of his father which is restless.

"The spirit that I have seen
May be a devil; and the devil hath power T' assume a pleasing shape"

Hamlet decides to pose as if he were mad. He behaves strangely with people. Nearly all are convinced of the madness which Hamlet shows. Under his feigned madness, Hamlet stages a play depicting the original scene of his father's mother as told by the ghost. The king and queen get annoyed and show their conscience on their faces. This assures Hamlet that his father was really killed by his uncle.

Hamlet moves to the king's chamber to kill him but he spares the king because he is praying to God. Hamlet moves to the chamber of his mother to talk to her and ask her to repent over her sinful deed of murdering her husband. While Hamlet is talking to his mother, Polonius, a statesman, is hiding behind the curtains. Hamlet doubts somebody behind the curtains and slays it with his sword but later discovers that it was Polonius.

The king realizes that Hamlet is the deadliest risk to his life; therefore, he decides to send Hamlet to England. When Hamlet is away, the Laertes, the son of Polonius comes and seeks revenge from the king. The king convinces him to take revenge from the one that did him harm. He agrees and becomes a statesman in the court of the king.

Ophelia, the beloved of Hamlet, is the daughter of Polonius. She has lost her mind since the death of her father. Under one such fits of her madness she is drowned in the pond. Now Hamlet has also returned. He meets the queen and the king in the graveyard. When Hamlet returns to the palace, he come across Laertes and apologizes him for the death of Polonius but at the same time he asks Laertes that he is the basic reason of his lost love i.e. Ophelia.

Hamlet and Laertes seem to be reconciled by the king but he also asks them to be ready for a friendly fight. Underhand, the king has poisoned the weapons of Laertes so that Hamlet may die of the wounds he would get. Laertes knows this. The king also poisons the juice prepared for Hamlet. But to the bad luck of Laertes the poison dipped weapons go in the hands of Hamlet. He wounds Laertes and the poisonous drink prepared for Hamlet is drunk by the queen. Both the queen and Laertes die. But Laertes reveals the truth of poison and names the king for the murders. Hamlet kills the king and ends him life by drinking the poisonous drink.




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