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Summary

The play begins in the appearance of the ghost in the personification of the
deceased king of Denmark. Hamlet is mourning for the death of his father while feeling
disgust with his mother, Queen Gertrude marriage to his uncle, Claudius upon 2 months
of the death of his father. The ghost of his father appears to Hamlet, informs him that he
was poisoned by Claudius, and command hamlet to avenge his death. Though instantly
galvanized by the ghost’s command, Hamlet decides on further reflection to seek
evidence in corroboration of the ghostly visitation, since, he knows, the Devil can
assume a pleasing shape and can easily mislead a person whose mind is perturbed by
intense grief. Hamlet adopts a guise of melancholic and mad behaviour as a way of
deceiving Claudius and others at court. Hamlet’s dearest friend, Horatio, agrees with
him that Claudius has unambiguously confirmed his guilt. Driven by a guilty conscience,
Claudius attempts to ascertain the cause of Hamlet’s odd behaviour by hiring Hamlet’s
onetime friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on him. To the pompous old
courtier Polonius, it appears that Hamlet is lovesick over Polonius’ daughter Ophelia.
Despite Ophelia’s loyalty to him, Hamlet thinks that he can’t trust anybody in this time of
chaos, not even his love for Ophelia. He feigns madness with her also and treats her
cruelly as if she were representative, like his own mother, of her treacherous sex.
Hamlet contrives a plan to test the ghost’s accusation. With a group of visiting actors,
Hamlet arranges the performance of re-enactment of Murder of Gonzago which he
called ‘The Mousetrap’ similar to the ghost’s description under which Claudius poisoned
Hamlet’s father. When the play is presented as planned, the performance clearly
unnerves Claudius. Moving swiftly in the wake of the actors’ performance, Hamlet
confronts his mother in his chambers with her culpable loyalty to Claudius. When he
hears a man’s voice behind the curtains, Hamlet stabs the person he understandably
assumes to be Claudius. The victim, however, is Polonius, who has been
eavesdropping in an attempt to find out more about Hamlet’s erratic behaviour. This act
of violence persuades Claudius that his own life is in danger. He decided to send
Hamlet to England convincing Hamlet that it is for his protection. Hamlet was escorted
by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, with secret orders that Hamlet be executed by the
king of England. When Hamlet discovers the orders, he wrote a forge letter altering
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as the victims instead. Upon his return to Denmark,
Hamlet hears that Ophelia is dead of a suicide. Ophelia’s brother Laertes seeks to
avenge for his father and sister’s death which happened in Hamlet’s did. Claudius
convinces Laertes for a duel with Hamlet and planned to kill Hamlet with a poison
inflicted to Laertes’ word. In case of Hamlet’s triumph, he also put a poison to Hamlet’s
drink. Hamlet is wounded by Laertes sword but during the duel, their swords scuffle.
Laertes have been wounded by the poisoned sword, Gertrude accidently drinks from
the cup of poison Claudius placed. Before dying, Laertes confess his and Claudius
planned crime to kill Hamlet. Hamlet then push Claudius to drink the poisoned drink and
manages to stab him with the sword with poison. Before dying, Hamlet entrust Horatio
his honour and pick Fortinbras to be the King of Denmark.