hamlet

hamlet
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  • The scene takes place at Elsinore Castle in Denmark.  A group of soldiers see the dead king and show him to Hamlet, the former king's son.  The ghost tells Hamlet that it is Claudius who murdered him. 
  • "What are you, that you walk out so late at night, looking like the dead king of Denmark when he dressed for battle? By God, I order you to speak." (Shakespeare 1.1.44-46)
  • Hamlet has been contemplating whether or not he should trust the ghost and seek revenge for his father's murder by killing Claudius.  He needs to be sure it is true before he goes and kills the king.
  • "My dear father’s been murdered, and I’ve been urged to seek revenge by heaven and hell, and yet all I can do is stand around cursing like a whore in the streets." (Shakespeare 2.2.546-549)
  • Hamlet decided to put on a play recreating the story that the ghost told him describing how he was killed.  Hamlet's plan is to watch Claudius and see his reaction so that he can decide if Claudius is the true killer.
  • "Watch him closely. I’ll stare at him too, and afterward we’ll compare notes on him." (Shakespeare 3.2.78-79)
  • Claudius begins to pray because he is feeling guilty but then decides he is not worthy of forgiveness if he is still reaping the benefits of his sins.  Hamlet is going to kill Claudius but then stops as he thinks Claudius is praying and believes he will be forgiven if he dies while praying.
  • "So is it really revenge for me if I kill Claudius right when he is confessing his sins, in perfect condition for a trip to heaven? No. Away, sword, and wait for a better moment to kill him." (Shakespeare 3.3.86-89)
  • When Hamlet is expressing his disgust to his mother, he murders Polonius thinking he is Claudius. Ophelia drowns herself when Hamlet is in England where Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are executed after Hamlet switches their names with his on the death order. Hamlet returns and sees Ophelia's funeral in motion where he gets into a fight with Laertes over Ophelia and Polonius' deaths.
  • "I may not be rash and quick to anger, but I have something dangerous in me which you should beware of. Take your hands off." (Shakespeare 5.1.237-240)
  • Laertes and Hamlet battle each other in a fencing match where Gertrude drinks a poisoned cup by Claudius that was meant for Hamlet.  Hamlet gets stabbed by Laertes sword that is poisoned and then Hamlet stabs Laertes with Laertes' own sword.  Hamlet then kills Claudius with poison.  Horatio is the only one left alive and Fortinbras takes the crown of Denmark.
  • "Get ready for the third hit, Laertes. You’re just playing around. Come on, give me your best shot." (Shakespeare 5.2.293-295)
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