Denmark has a long-standing feud with Norway, which began when King Hamlet killed King Fortinbras. King Hamlet has died. Hamlet is disgusted by the marriage of his newly widowed mother, Queen Gertrude, to his Uncle, King Hamlet’s brother, Claudius.
To be, or not to be
A ghost tells Horatio about the truth of King Hamlets murder being done by Claudius. Hamlets sets to seek avenge for his father however, he first has to prove the authenticity of the ghost’s allegation.
I perchance hereafter shall think meetTo put an antic disposition on
Hamlet asks for the players to re-enact a play about the death of the King. Shortly Claudius leaves anxiously and confesses his act praying for forgiveness. Hamlet postpones because he thinks if he murders while Claudius is praying, he will go to heaven.
The play’s the thingWherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King
Hamlets accidently kills Polonius thinking it was Claudius while confronting his mother about her marriage. Claudius sees Polonius’s death as a threat and sends Hamlet to England while plots Hamlet’s death. Ophelia, Polonius’s daughter, drowns of grief. Hamlet admires Fortinbras for going to war over a worthless piece of land and resolves to get revenge.
Mother, you have my father much offended
Laertes challenges Hamlet in a sword fight duel. The Queen drinks the poison. King Claudius dies from being stabbed and forced to drink poison. Hamlet dies and Fortinbras becomes king of Denmark. Horatio is left to tell the story.