One Crazy Story: Hamlet

Small sampling of Hamlet & knowledge of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare Common Facts

  • · Date of Birth (April 23rd, 1564)
  • · Place of Birth (Stratford-On-Avon)
  • · John Shakespeare and Mary Arden(Parents)
  • · Married young to Anne Hathaway who was older than him(Had 3 kids of which one died very young)
  • · Died on April, 23rd 1616 "Second best-bed " is interesting for final resting place

What to Know

The story of Hamlet takes place in Helsingor, Denmark and is categorized as a Revenge Tragedy. Hamlet's father returns to him as a ghost and seeks vengeance for his death of which it is revealed that Claudius poisoned the dead king. To make matters more complicated Claudius has married Gertrude, (Hamlet's mom) and taken the throne of Denmark from the dead king. Hamlet has no idea what to make of any of this news from his supposedly dead father and he also has to deal with a crazy girlfriend???? Ophelia or psycho chick who is being forced to spy on the prince by her father, Polonius.

So Hamlet expertly plays a little game that fools everyone by acting like nitwit and buys himself some time to figure out how to kill Claudius. Hamlet wants to make sure Claudius is the true culprit before killing the king. Hamlets plan works as "Spygate" commences and Claudius deems Hamlet mentally unstable. Hamlet's not done with his tricks and organizes a play for Claudius to watch in which the king is killed in a similar fashion in which Claudius killed Hamlet's dad. Claudius freaks out and Hamlet starts his rampage by killing Polonius. Hamlet is punished by being forced to go to England but on the way there he encountered Fortinbras who is about to invade Denmark so Hamlet turns around and decides to carry on his killing.

Ophelia goes insane and dies and we meet Laertes who is now the only member left of his family as his dad and sister are dead. Hamlet and Laertes fight but Laertes has an unfair advantage with poison that is to kill Hamlet provided by Claudius. But Claudius' plan backfires as Gertrude drinks the poisonous wine and Laertes is killed. Hamlet is wounded and poisoned and in his last moments is able to attack Claudius and force him to drink the poisonous wine.


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Video summary of Hamlet Provided by Shmoop

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Shakespeare Fun Facts and Helpful Reading Tips

  • Shakespeare was part of a group of investors that operated the Globe Theatre which many consider one of the greatest theatres of all time.
  • Shakespeare created his own mini-dictionary by creating tons of words for his plays
  • Wrote tons of different styles of plays (tragedies,comedies, etc.)


  • · look up words unrecognizable as Shakespeare crafted his own mini-language to some extent
  • · Shakespeare plays were not meant to be read in a classroom. So if it sounds odd just think this is supposed to be acted out on a stage in front of tons of people.
  • · Shakespeare does things backwards. Run I did I did run stuff like that