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SparkNotes: Hamlet: Key Facts

Date of publication: 2017-07-09 12:10

rising action · The ghost appears to Hamlet and tells Hamlet to revenge his murder Hamlet feigns madness to his intentions Hamlet stages the mousetrap play Hamlet passes up the opportunity to kill Claudius while he is praying.

Hamlet--Shmoop Guide

Revenge, ambition, lust and conspiracy return to the heads of those that conjured them in Hamlet, completely annihilating two families--the innocent with the guilty. Check out my blog on the play (includes current link to PBS Great Performance video of production of play): http:///t5bmb

No Fear Shakespeare – Hamlet

The plan's in motion, and Hamlet delivers the big "to be or not to be" speech about suicide. Instead, he decides to act all creepy and gross with Ophelia before watching Claudius all but stand up and shout that he's guilty. Hamlet decides to kill him, obviously, but then … doesn't. Instead, he ends up accidentally killing Polonius, Ophelia's dad. In front of his mom. Claudius sends Hamlet off to England, but on the way, Hamlet sees Prince Fortinbras of Norway marching across the land to fight for some lost territories. That's all the inspiration he needs to head back to Denmark to kill Claudius.

Hamlet Summary - Shmoop

In other words, Hamlet is just like us. Sure, he's got bigger problems. (And ghosts.) But his mysterious inner life, his roller coaster of emotions, his struggle to figure out what to do with his life, his conflicted feelings about his parents—this is the stuff that every coming-of-age novel (and movie) is made of.

The story didn't end with Shakespeare, either. Other people followed in Shakespeare's footsteps and further adapted the story, including legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (in The Bad Sleep Well ), Disney (in The Lion King ), The Simpsons , and tons of English students on YouTube. And who knows? Maybe your adaptation will be next.

No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare's language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

falling action · Hamlet is sent to England to be killed Hamlet returns to Denmark and confronts Laertes at Ophelia&rsquo s funeral the fencing match the deaths of the royal family

date of first publication · 6658, in a pirated quarto edition titled The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet 6659 in a superior quarto edition

Well, except that Horatio's feeling left out and wants to kill himself too but Hamlet says that it's his job to tell Hamlet's story. Just then, Fortinbras of Norway walks in, steps over the blood and guts and bodies strewn out all over the floor, and then helps himself to the Danish throne. At least someone gets a happy ending!

climax · When Hamlet stabs Polonius through the arras in Act III, scene iv, he commits himself to overtly violent action and brings himself into unavoidable conflict with the king. Another possible climax comes at the end of Act IV, scene iv, when Hamlet resolves to commit himself fully to violent revenge.

A rationalist, by definition, is logical. And if he--not his friend, not his mother, not his pastor--sees a ghost, he will acknowledge as such. That's why Horatio freely admitted upon seeing the evidence. So I'm not sure what "blind rationalist" means.

major conflict · Hamlet feels a responsibility to avenge his father&rsquo s murder by his uncle Claudius , but Claudius is now the king and thus well protected. Moreover, Hamlet struggles with his doubts about whether he can trust the ghost and whether killing Claudius is the appropriate thing to do.

The play tells the story of Prince Hamlet. But Hamlet's no party-boy prince. When the action begins, we discover that his dad (the King of Denmark) has been murdered by his own brother and Hamlet's uncle, Claudius. Ouch. Talk about sibling rivalry. And it gets worse: not too long after the murder, Claudius married Hamlet's mom, Gertrude. So, what's a prince to do?

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two childhood pals of Hamlet and Horatio. The King and Queen have called them to Elsinore to spy on Hamlet and find out why he's gone mad. While the duo fails to do this, some players (actors) come into town. Hamlet commissions them to perform a play in which a king is murdered in the same way Claudius murdered Hamlet's father. Hamlet plans to watch Claudius' reaction to see if the ghost is telling the truth.

If you're Hamlet, not much of anything. He's got a big to-do list (and only five acts to complete it ), but he just can't figure out how to get himself moving. Honestly, we understand. It's hard enough to make it through our to-do list, and our biggest item is "Laundry." In comparison, Hamlet's to-do list is epic. For starters, there are the obvious things: hang out with Dad's ghost, feign madness, dump girlfriend, accuse Mom of treachery, plot the convoluted details of your elaborate revenge. Then, of course, there's the big item: kill Uncle/Stepdad/King.

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