Hamlet Summary: Five Act Structure

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark


Hamlet Five Act Structure

Example



Use This Assignment With My Students

(This will start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)



Activity Overview


Students can create and show a storyboard that captures the concept of the Five Act Structure by making a storyboard, like the example. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the acts in order: Prologue, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.


Five Act Structure | 5 Act Structure
( Five Act Structure Lesson PlanBuy PosterBuy PDF )

Act 1: Prologue

The setting is Elsinore Castle, in Denmark. The former king of Demark has died, and a group of soldiers tell his son, Prince Hamlet, that they believe they saw his ghost. Hamlet later sees the ghost and it is indeed his father. Hamlet learns the king was poisoned by Hamlet's uncle (the king's brother), who has since married the queen and is now the new king.


Act 1: Conflict

Hamlet feels that he must seek revenge on his father’s behalf. However, he struggles with the authenticity of the “ghost” and is indecisive about his course of action.


Act 2: Rising Action

Claudius hires two of Hamlet’s old friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on the prince. Polonius, the chief counselor to Claudius, also spies on Hamlet. Polonius’s daughter, Ophelia, had been courted by Hamlet, but he now seems to reject her, perhaps in an effort to convince Claudius he is mad. Throughout the rising action, Hamlet tries to figure out if Claudius truly killed his father. When he hears a group of actors is coming, he requests that they act out a play that depicts a king being poisoned in the ear. This mimics the way the ghost claims he was killed. Hamlet thinks if Claudius reacts, it will prove his guilt.


Act 3: The Climax

Claudius leaves the play and goes to pray forgiveness for killing Hamlet's father. Hamlet overhears this and wants to kill him. However, he thinks if he kills him while he is praying, Claudius will go to heaven.


Act 4: Falling Action

Hamlet speaks to his mother about how disgusted he is that she is married to Claudius. Hamlet accidentally kills Polonius and is banished to England. Claudius includes a letter to the King of England that orders Hamlet’s execution. Hamlet escapes and comes back to Denmark. Ophelia, crushed by Hamlet’s apparent disdain and the death of the father, has drowned herself. Hamlet is challenged to a fencing match by Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, who blames Hamlet for the deaths of his sister (Ophelia) and his father (Polonius).


Act 5: Denouement

At the match, Laertes poisons the tip of his sword. Claudius poisons a cup and tries to get Hamlet to drink from it. Hamlet refuses and Queen Gertrude drinks from it instead. Laertes stabs Hamlet. They grapple, and Laertes is stabbed by his own sword and also poisoned. Hamlet makes Claudius drink from the poison cup and then stabs him with the poisoned sword. In the end, only Horatio is left to tell the story. Fortinbras, King of Norway, arrives to find the royal family dead and claims Denmark.



Use This Assignment With My Students

(This will start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)



Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of Hamlet.


  1. Separate the play into the Prologue/Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the acts.
  3. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.

Five Act Structure Template

Template


Use This Assignment With My Students

(This will start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)




Rubric

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)






Use This Assignment With My Students

(This will start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)




More Storyboard That Activities for

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark










Use This Assignment With My Students

(This will start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)





Pricing




Help Share Storyboard That!

Looking for More?

Check out the rest of our Lesson Plans!


View All Teacher Resources


Our Posters on ZazzleOur Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers

Clever Logo Google Classroom Logo Student Privacy Pledge signatory
Start My Free Trial
Explore Our Articles and Examples

Business Resources

All Business ArticlesBusiness Templates

Film Resources

Film ResourcesVideo Marketing

Illustrated Guides

BusinessEducation
Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class   •   Quick Rubric   •   abcBABYart   •   Storyboard That's TpT Store