'Hamlet' Storyboard

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  • Act I, Scene I
  • Exposition
  • "I swear to God, if I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes I’d never believe it." (Shakespeare 1.1.54-55)
  • Act 3, Scene I
  • Conflict
  • "To be, or not to be? That is the question— Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them?" (Shakespeare 3.1.57-62)
  • Act 3, Scene 2
  • Rising Action/Complications
  • "You see, he poisons the king in his own garden to get the kingdom for himself." (Shakespeare 3.2.247-248)
  • Act 3, Scene 3
  • King Hamlet has died from unknown causes and a group of people and soldiers encounter a ghost that resembles the deceased king. These people inform the king’s son, Hamlet, of the occurrence.  Hamlet meets the ghost himself and is told of how his father was apparently killed by being poisoned in the ear his own brother, Claudius, who has now married Hamlet’s mother and has assumed kingship.
  • Climax
  • "Now might I do it pat. Now he is a-praying. And now I’ll do ’t. And so he goes to heaven. And so am I revenged.—That would be scanned." (Shakespeare 3.3.74-76)
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Hamlet mulls over what he must do next and his family thinks he is slowly devolving into madness. Hamlet wonders if the ghost was real and the spirit of his father, or if the devil trying to tempt him.  Hamlet was mad that his mother remarried his uncle and stole his rightful place on the throne so quickly after his father’s death and wonders if the ghost was a creation of his subconscious or not.
  • Falling Action/Reversal
  • "I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers Could not with all their quantity of love Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?" (Shakespeare 5.1.246-249)
  • Act 5, Scene 1
  • Hamlet decides to hold a play that displays the events that the ghost told him of his father's death.  Hamlet sees if the play, “The Murder of Gonzago,” will cause Claudius to react because of any guilt from his own actions.  If Claudius reacts, then Hamlet knows that Claudius definitely murdered his father and will seek revenge as a result.  The play is shown to the people of the kingdom and Claudius reacts to it in a large and obvious way, confirmingHamlet’s suspicions.
  • Denouement/Catastrophe
  • "Of that I shall have also cause to speak, And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more. But let this same be presently performed, Even while men’s minds are wild, lest more mischance On plots and errors happen." (Shakespeare 5.2.392-397)
  • Hamlet finds Claudius praying at the altar and is ready to kill him since he knows that Claudius murdered his father for sure. But Hamlet thinks it through and decides that Claudius would go to heaven if he died while praying.  Hamlet wants to kill Claudius while he is doing a sinful act so that Claudius is guaranteedto go to hell.  The irony is thatClaudius, in actuality, isn’t praying at the altar, although he is trying, but cannot bring himself to do it.
  • Hamlet accidentally killed Polonius while confronting his mother in her bedroom as he thought he was killing Claudius.  Hamlet is sent to England, but while he is gone, Ophelia goes mad because of her father’s death and drowns herself.  Laertes hears of this and becomes enraged at Claudius and Hamlet.  When Laertes finds Hamlet at Ophelia’s funeral, he yells at Hamlet, wrestles with him in the grave, and challenges him to a duel to square everything away.
  • Claudius gets Laertes to aim to kill Hamlet in the duel by adding poison to the tip of his blade so that when he cuts Hamlet, he will die from even a small injury.  Hamlet beats Laertes in two of the rounds and Claudius tries to celebrate it by offering Hamlet wine with a pearl of poison in it, but Hamlet refuses it and Queen Gertrude drinks it instead and accidentally dies with little resistance from Claudius.  In the final round, Laertes cuts Hamlet and Hamlet steals Laertes’s blade and cuts Laertes with it.  They both eventually die from the poison, but before Hamlet does, he stabs Claudius with the poisoned blade and forces him to drink the poisoned wine in revenge.  As Hamlet, Laertes, Claudius, and Gertrude lie on the ground dead, Horatio stands in the center as Fortinbras arrives.  Horatio informs Fortinbras of what has happened, and Fortinbras becomes king.
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