TL;DR: Hamlet look at his dead dad"s ghost, pretends to walk crazy v revenge, actually goes crazy with revenge (debatable), and everyone dies.

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Hamlet Summary

The ghost that the King of Denmark tells his kid Hamlet to avenge his murder by death the brand-new king, Hamlet"s uncle. Hamlet feigns madness, contemplates life and death, and also seeks revenge. His uncle, fearing because that his life, additionally devises plots to death Hamlet. The beat ends with a duel, throughout which the King, Queen, Hamlet"s opponent and also Hamlet himself are all killed. 

More detail: 2.5 minute read

Act I

Late at night, safety on the battlements of Denmark"s Elsinore castle are met by Horatio, Prince Hamlet"s girlfriend from school. The guards define a ghost they have seen that resembles Hamlet"s father, the recently-deceased king. At the moment, the Ghost reappears, and the guards and also Horatio decide to tell Hamlet.

Claudius, Hamlet"s uncle, married Hamlet"s recently-widowed mother, coming to be the brand-new King of Denmark. Hamlet continues to mourn for his father"s death and laments his mother"s lack of loyalty. As soon as Hamlet hears the the Ghost from Horatio, he wants to check out it because that himself. 

Elsewhere, the royal attendant Polonius says farewell to his son Laertes, that is departing for France. Laertes warns his sister, Ophelia, away from Hamlet and thinking too much of his attentions in the direction of her. 

This above all: to thine own self be true.

— Hamlet, action 1 step 3

The Ghost shows up to Hamlet, claiming undoubtedly to it is in the ghost of his father. He tells Hamlet about how Claudius, the present King and Hamlet"s uncle, murdered him, and also Hamlet swears vengeance for his father. Hamlet decides come feign wildly while the tests the fact of the Ghost"s allegations (always a good idea in together situations). 

imperial Theatre, 1984

Act II

According to his plan, Hamlet begins to action strangely. The rejects Ophelia, while Claudius and also Polonius, the royal attendant, spy on him. They had actually hoped to discover the factor for Hamlet"s sudden readjust in behaviour yet could not. Claudius summons Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, old friend of Hamlet to discover out what"s obtained into him. Your arrival corresponds with a team of travelling actors that Hamlet happens to understand well. Hamlet to write a play which has scenes that mimic the killing of Hamlet"s father. During rehearsal, Hamlet and also the gibbs plot to present Hamlet"s play before the King and also Queen.


At the performance, Hamlet the town hall Claudius carefully to see just how he reacts. The beat provokes Claudius, and also he interrupts the action by storming out. He automatically resolves to send Hamlet away. Hamlet is summoned through his distressed mother, Gertrude, and on the way, he happens upon Claudius kneeling and attempting come pray. Hamlet reasons that to death the King now would only send his heart to heaven rather than hell. Hamlet decides to preventive his life for the moment being.

imperial Company, Courtyard Theatre, 2008

Polonius hides in Gertrude"s room to protect her from she unpredicatable son. When Hamlet arrives to scold his mother, she hears Polonius relocating behind the arras (a kind of tapestry). He stabs the tapestry and, in therefore doing, death Polonius. The ghost of Hamlet"s father reappears and also warns his child not to delay revenge or upset his mother. 

What a piece of work is man!

— Hamlet, plot 2 scene 2

Act IV

Hamlet is sent to England, supposedly as an ambassador, simply as King Fortinbras that Norway crosses Denmark through an army to attack Poland. Throughout his journey, Hamlet discovers Claudius has a setup to have actually him eliminated once he arrives. He returns to Denmark alone, sending out his companions Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to your deaths in his place. 

Rejected by Hamlet, Ophelia is now desolate at the ns of her father. She go mad and also drowns. 

imperial Company, Swan Theatre, 2006

What desires may come when we have actually shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.

See more: What Is The Definition Of Supple Definition & Meaning, Supple Meaning

— Hamlet, plot 3 step 1

Act V

On the means back come Denmark, Hamlet meets Horatio in the graveyard (along through a gravedigger), whereby they speak of the possibilities of life and also death. Ophelia"s funeral procession arrives at the an extremely same graveyard (what luck!). Hamlet confronts Laertes, Ophelia"s brother, who has taken his father"s place at the court. 

A duel is arranged between Hamlet and also Laertes. Throughout the match, Claudius conspires through Laertes to kill Hamlet. They plan that Hamlet will die one of two people on a poisoned rapier or through poisoned wine. The plans walk awry once Gertrude unwittingly drink from the poisoned cup and dies. Climate both Laertes and Hamlet room wounded through the poisoned blade, and Laertes dies. 

Hamlet, in his fatality throes, death Claudius. Hamlet dies, leaving only his girlfriend Horatio to describe the fact to the new king, Fortinbras, together he return in win from the polishing wars.

Learn much more of what needs to say ~ above the subject of life in Hamlet and also other plays: quotes on Life