Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play consisting of numerous
deaths. The deaths that took place played a very important role in the
unfolding of the play. In reading this play the reader can almost guess who was
going to die.
A prince named Hamlet is the main character. Hamlet is a college
student who one day planned to take over the throne in Denmark, but treachery
would spoil all of Hamlet's plans. The King, Hamlet's father, was found dead in
an orchard where he spent much of his time. All of the King's subjects,
including Hamlet, thought his majesty died because of a snake bite. Hamlet was
devastated when he learned of his father's death, but what made him more uneasy
was the fact that Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, remarried so quickly to the brother
of the dead King. The brother would be the one who would betray Hamlet.
Horatio, a loyal friend to Hamlet, was on night watch outside the castle,
he told the prince of an incident when they saw an apparition who resembled
King Hamlet. Hamlet came out the next night hoping to see the ghost. Sure
enough, the ghost appeared and called to Hamlet, wanting to speak with him. The
spirit talked about how Claudius poisoned the King while he was sleeping, "Tis
given out that, sleeping in my orchard,/ a serpent stung me² (1.5, 36) but it
was not a snake that the ghost is referring to. The spirit wanted the prince to
avenge his murder.
All was quiet in the kingdom until the start of Hamlet's supposed
insanity. The Prince was with his mother talking when the prince noticed
someone in the room. Hamlet thought it was Claudius, "How now? A rat? Dead
for a ducat, dead! " (3.4,25) Indeed Hamlet killed someone; but it was not
Claudius, twas Polonius who was slain.
Time had gone by and supposedly Hamlet was getting worse, so Claudius
decided to send Hamlet to an asylum in England. Hamlet escaped and returned to
Denmark and hid. While Hamlet was away, Ophelia, Hamlet's girlfriend, was
Although it was never admitted, Ophelia had become insane. It was her
As Hamlet was hiding in the graveyard, a funeral procession approached
him, but he did not know whose funeral it was. Hamlet finally found that it was
Ophelia who had died. Even though Hamlet was hurt emotionally, Laertes was the
one who was hurt the worst. Laertes had these worlds to say, "O treble woe/
Fall ten times treble on that cursed head/ Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious
sense/ Deprived thee of.²(5.1, 246-248) Laertes blamed Hamlet for the deaths of
Polonius and Ophelia and challenged Hamlet to a fencing dual which would be
rigged by Claudius and Laertes. The end of Laerte's sword would be poisoned; as
a backup plan, if Hamlet would happen to win, the King would toast Hamlet's
victory. Hamlet's drink would be poisoned, though.
During the fight, the queen drank the poisoned wine and fell to her
death. Laertes landed a deadly blow to Hamlet; but in a scuffle, the swords
exchanged hands and Hamlet also landed a vital blow. Laertes died there after a
moment, but just before Hamlet died with Laertes, he stabbed the King with the
cursed sword. Hamlet also made Claudius drink the poisoned wine. Before Hamlet
spoke his last word, he asked Horatio to tell people what happened and give the
throne to Fortinbras, a neighboring leader.
Just after Hamlet died, Horatio had these words to say of Hamlet, "Now
cracks a noble heart, good night sweet prince,/ And flights of angels sing thee
to thy rest.² (5.2, 361-362) These famous words will be remembered for a long
Even though Hamlet dies he still accomplishes his mission of bringing
down Claudius. Denmark now, will have a good King who will not commit any
conspiracy against the people.
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