Understanding Hamlet

Summary Of Plot

A ghost of the recently deceased King Hamlet walks around the palace one night and orders to his son, Prince Hamlet, that he must seek revenge on his Uncle Claudius. Claudius is the murderer of King Hamlet and has also married Queen Gertrude, Prince Hamlet's mother. Claudius finds out that Prince Hamlet is avenging him, so he tries to have Prince Hamlet killed. Claudius arranges a duel between Polonius's (chief counselor of Claudius) son, Laertes and Prince Hamlet. Little does Hamlet know, Claudius had Laertes's sword dipped in poison so if drawn to blood, the wound would be poisoned To insure Hamlet's death, Claudius had a goblet of wine poisoned for Hamlet to drink. In the duel, Hamlet wins the majority of the fight, so his mother Gertrude drinks the goblet to his success. After Gertrude dies, Hamlet kills Claudius but then is killed by Laertes.

Life and times of William Shakespeare

WS was born in Stratford-Avon, England On April 23rd 1564

WS died April 23rd 1616

WS wrote 154 Sonnets and 37 plays

WS averaged 1.5 plays a year since starting plays in 1589

WS grew up around a very poor family, his father was a merchant

WS not only wrote plays but performed in them as well

Hamlet (1996) Fencing Scenes


Hamlet the ghost: Deceased King, wants Prince Hamlet to rise against Claudius

Hamlet the Prince: Son to King Hamlet, Protagonist, avenges murder of his father

Claudius: Current King of Denmark, Married Queen Gertrude, Kills King Hamlet

Gertrude: Queen of Denmark, Mother to Prince Hamlet

Ophelia: Daughter of Polonius, potential wife of Prince Hamlet

Horatio: Friend of Prince Hamlet, evidently poor

Polonius: Chief Counselor of King Claudius, wants daughter to marry Prince Hamlet

Laertes: Son of Polonius, kills Prince Hamlet, takes orders from Polonius and Claudius