Hamlet is a tragic play written by William Shakespeare. It is Shakespeare’s longest play with endless retelling and adaptation throughout the history of English literature. The play details the revenge of Prince Hamlet called for by the ghost of his father, King Hamlet, upon his uncle, Claudius.
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Shakespeare is one among the greatest dramatist, playwright, and the English national poet. His writing style includes elaborate metaphors and rhetorical phrases. His collections include histories, tragedies, tragicomedies, and also Shakespearean romance. Some of his notable works are As You like it, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, and Twelfth Night.
The protagonist of the play, Prince Hamlet of Denmark, is the son of the deceased King Hamlet. His uncle King Claudius has become his father’s successor to Denmark. He had also hastily married Gertrude, King Hamlet’s widow to take the throne. King Hamlet returns to the castle as a ghost to meet his son and tells about his murder and who caused it.
Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are the friends of Hamlet. Ophelia is Hamlet’s lover and daughter of Polonius, the courtier. Laertes is her brother and he warns her against her love for Hamlet’s attention. When Claudius and Polonius spy on him, he rejects the advances of Ophelia. Prince Hamlet organizes a troop of stage actors to perform the killing of Hamlet in front of Claudius. On seeing the enactment, Claudius goes crazy, making Prince Hamlet confirm him guilty. The Prince is sent to England by Claudius for his crazy mannerisms. When his mother becomes depressed, he speaks to her. Polonius overhears the conversation behind the curtain. Hamlet, mistaking him to be Claudius stabs and kills him.
Ophelia becomes mad after her father’s death and drowns in a river. Sickened by his sister’s death, Laertes blames Hamlet for the suicide and challenges him for a sword fight. On the day of the fight, Claudius plans to kill Hamlet by poisoning his wine. On the other hand, Laertes poisons the tip of his sword to kill Hamlet in the fight.
The duel ends with Laertes scratching Hamlet with the poisoned sword. However, Hamlet picks up the sword and stabs Laertes to counteract his plan. Meanwhile, the queen unknowingly drinks the poisoned wine. When the plans go wrong, Claudius gets furious. Hamlet, on seeing the death of his mother kills Claudius. The play ends with Horatio announcing the return of the new king Fortinbras.