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Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark or otherwise referred to as Hamlet, is widely known and regarded as William Shakespeare’s most well-known play. As such many who read or watched the play of Hamlet stand to benefit from the summary of this Shakespeare classic. Many believe Shakespeare authored it sometime around 1600, with a setting in Denmark. Let’s go a little much deeper with the essay writing service. Besides, the summary, this post explores the themes and symbols captured in this classic play by William Shakespeare

By the time we come to the end of this post, you will realize the play sees a young Prince Hamlet set on a pursuit of revenge. His wicked uncle Claudius has eliminated the King of Denmark, Hamlet’s father. However, Hamlet is not just a blind revenge hunter who intends to kill his wicked uncle and usurp the throne. He is intellectual, looking for ethical ground, examining himself and the justice of his activities. This internal dialogue of Hamlet is what makes the character such a compelling study, therefore pertinent to a character model in to present day.

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Hamlet has been retold and readapted countlessly, like in our youth’s favourite film The Lion King, and is extensively ranked among the greatest works of literature.

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A Summary of Characters In Hamlet A Shakespeare’s Classic

To comprehensively understand The Summary of Hamlet Shakespeare’s Classic one must address the characters, themes and plot. As such, Let’s begin with a brief character analysis of the main characters in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet


Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, the son of the dead King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet had simply returned from his studies to find his papa dead, and his mother married to his Uncle Claudius Hamlet’s darkest fears are confirmed when the ghost of his father, the dead King Hamlet, shows up to declare that Uncle Claudius took part in his death. This provoking case sends Hamlet on a mission of revenge.


King Claudius is the brother of King Hamlet Sr. He kills the King, and takes his wife and throne. Claudius is depicted as a cunning and manipulative character, driven by basic impulses. Unlike Hamlet, Claudius eliminates and adjusts without putting much thought right into the precepts behind his actions. Prior to the play commencing, Claudius captures the throne by pouring a poisonous substance into King Hamlet’s ear, killing him, and passing it off as a strike by a snake.


Gertrude is Hamlet’s mother who was officially married to King Hamlet Sr. After his demise, she became married to Claudius. Like Mrs Claudia, Gertrude does not seem guilty in her marital relationship with the man that killed her spouse, and Hamlet dislikes her for that.


This character is the chief counsellor of the King. He is likewise the father of Hamlet’s partner Ophelia and her sibling Laertes. Polonius is an unlikeable character in the play, referred to as a big rude mouth. Hamlet describes him in Act II as a “tedious old fool.” After Polonius convinces Claudius to spy on Hamlet, he is killed by Hamlet by accident, activating Ophelia’s insanity and demise and the play’s climax war between Hamlet and Laertes.


Ophelia is Hamlet’s sweetheart in the play. She is the daughter of Polonius and sis of Laertes. Ophelia’s brother and father try to break her up with Hamlet, Polonius even forbidding her to marry him. After her papa’s demise, Ophelia ends up being mad, talking in puzzles and rhymes, and acting extremely weird. She passes away by suicide.

The Ghost

The Ghost of Hamlet’s Father is usually described as King Hamlet to differentiate him from his son. The ghost has three appearances throughout the play. He appears when to soldiers initially, once to Hamlet sending him on a mission of vengeance, and lastly to Hamlet once more, disparaging him for not having actually killed Claudius yet.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

These two characters always show up together. They are childhood friends of the protagonist who were commanded by King Claudius to keep close tabs on the prince and figure out the source of his insanity. They are represented as flatterers and sycophants, and Hamlet deciphers their semblance. Pirates kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern shortly before Act V.


Horatio is called Hamlet’s good friend. He is the only individual in the play who is in fact on Hamlet’s human side. It is unclear what the beginnings of Horatio are, or whether he is honourable and holds a post in court. Horatio is the only significant character who survives the events of the play.

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The Play: Scene by Scene Summary of Hamlet Hamlet by William Shakespeare

This Hamlet summary deals with the plot, and one can use it to reference what takes place in the play. The Hamlet play is actually around six hrs long and really in-depth, but you can still ace your Hamlet essay by knowing the series of events, themes, and the significance utilized in the play. Continue reading until the end to find out more about the themes widespread throughout the play. Additionally, don’t forget to read. Do not Have Time to Finish Reading the Lord of the Flies book summary.

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 Act 1

Prince Hamlet is the protagonist of the play. Before the play begins, Claudius murders King Hamlet, Hamlet’s father, weds his widow Gertrude, and takes the throne.

The Kingdom of Denmark, where the play is established, has actually had a long-time feud with Norway and has actually feared an invasion from their neighbours for fairly some time. During a casual cold evening patrol, 2 sentries Bernardo and Marcellus and Hamlet’s friend Horatio see the ghost of the late King Hamlet. They vow to tell Hamlet about the ghost.

The next day, throughout the court of King Claudius and Queen Gertrude, Hamlet remains in despair. He finds it hard to believe that his mother wed Claudius so swiftly after his father’s death.

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic- King Claudias and Gertrude

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic- King Claudias and Gertrude

In sert an image of Hamlet, King Claudius and Queen Gertrude

Act 1, Scene 2“A little more than kin and less than kind

Horatio meets Hamlet and informs him about the ghost, and Hamlet also resolves to see it. Elsewhere, throughout the royal court, we meet Polonius, his son Laertes and child Ophelia. Polonius states his goodbyes to Laertes, who is heading off to France, giving him solid fatherly advice:

Act 1, Scene 3″ This above all: to thine very own self hold true”

Before he leaves, Laertes cautions his sister Ophelia to avoid Hamlet and to quit overthinking his interest towards her.

In the evening, on the ramparts, the ghost appears to Hamlet and tells him that Claudius executed his murder. The ghost prompts Hamlet to avenge his demise and disappears. Hamlet tells his sentries and Horatio that they need to put on an act, acting as if Hamlet had gone mad to conceal his plans for vengeance. Nonetheless, deep within, Hamlet is unsure of whether to trust this ghost.

Act 2

As Act 1 comes to a close,  Act 2 opens up with Ophelia rushing to her father and informing him that Hamlet is acting strangely. Polonius tells her to overlook all of Hamlet’s advancements, claiming says that love has driven Hamlet crazy. Next, he goes to notify Claudius and Gertrude concerning the prince’s behaviour. Right here, in the King and Queen’s chambers, we also meet Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, 2 childhood buddies of Hamlet. The royal pair tasked both to investigate the cause of Hamlet’s odd habits.

Polonius tells the King and queen about Hamlet’s behaviour and his theory about Hamlet being in love. He speaks to Hamlet himself, however, Hamlet fakes being mad and insults Polonius. When Hamlet satisfies his old buddies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he rapidly understands that they are spies.

The two scholars originated from Elsinore with a troupe of actors, whom Hamlet asks to put on numerous plays. They organize a play concerning the Trojan War, and Hamlet, being impressed, plots to stage one more play called The Murder of Gonzago before Claudius. The events of this play are similar to what Claudius made with King Hamlet, and Hamlet looks to examine Claudius’s reaction to determine his guilt or innocence.

Act 2, Scene 2“The spirit that I have seen
May be a devil…
I’ll have grounds
More relative than this”

Hamlet not trusting the ghost, and seeking solid proof against Claudius.

Act 3

In the act that follows, we see Polonius requiring Ophelia to return to Hamlet all of his gifts of love and  study Hamlet’s reaction. At the same time, Hamlet is walking around the halls, giving his famous talk.

Act 3, Scene 1“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”

Hamlet muses on life and death, claiming he’s at a factor where he only sees suffering in life, which makes it the only point that frees us from eliminating ourselves through fear of the unknown.

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic Ophelia and Hamlet

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic Ophelia and Hamlet

When Ophelia goes in to return Hamlet’s tokens of love, he lashes out at her, and it is uncertain whether he is sincere or he is playing the mad prince. Claudius sees Hamlet’s response, ending that he is not mad for love.

The Murder of Gonzago Play

Throughout the Murder of Gonzago play organized by Hamlet, the prince views Claudius very closely and examines his reactions. The play interrupts Claudius and he storms out of space, dealing with sending Hamlet away to England. After examining his response, Hamlet is confident that Claudius is guilty of killing his papa.

Hamlet’s mother Gertrude, summons Hamlet to her chambers in distress. Heading he comes across Claudius that is kneeling, attempting to pray and repent. Hamlet believes that if he kills Claudius in the petition his spirit will certainly go to paradise, and as a result, determined to save his life.

At Gertrude’s chambers, Polonius is hiding behind some curtains to shield Gertrude from her unpredictable boy. Hamlet arrives and has a loud war of words with his mother. He hears something behind the curtain and stabs the tapestry believing it’s Claudius, inadvertently eliminating Polonius instead.

The ghost comes back to Hamlet, alerting him to not delay his vengeance or to disturb his mother. Gertrude can not see the ghost, which further fuels her belief that Hamlet has freaked. The scene finishes with Hamlet dragging the remains of Polonius away.

Act 4

Gertrude informs Claudius that Hamlet eliminated Polonius. Hamlet is sent to England by Claudius, who conspires to have him eliminated there. He leaves a sealed letter for the King of England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The letter advises the King to kill Hamlet. Hamlet discovers Claudius’s letter and forges a different letter, sending out Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to be eliminated from his location. Around this time around, King Fortinbras of Norway is crossing Denmark with his army, aiming to attack Poland.

On the other hand, Ophelia had actually gone mad at the demise of her father and  Hamlet’s rejection. She walks around giving out symbolic blossoms and speaking in rhymes. Her chaos reaches a climax and she drowns. It is uncertain whether her drowning is accidental or suicide.

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic Ophelia has drowned herself

Summary of Hamlet A Shakespeare Classic Ophelia has drowned herself


Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, who had just returned from France, is enraged by Polonius’s death and his sister’s insanity. After a session with Claudius, Laertes confirms his belief that Hamlet is responsible for everything. After finding out that Claudius’s plan to kill Hamlet failed, he suggests that he and Laertes face off in a  fencing match. Laertes will get poison-tipped aluminium foil, and Claudius will poison Hamlet’s red wine glass (in case he wins) to make certain he dies. Gertrude disrupts the scene when she reports that Ophelia has actually drowned.

Act 5

In the fifth act, we have a legendary scene with 2 gravediggers going over the death or suicide of Ophelia while preparing her grave. Hamlet comes to Horatio and talks with one of the gravediggers, who removes a skull of a jester which Hamlet remembers from his youth. Hamlet checks out the head and claims “alas, poor Yorick” and thinks about death and mortality.

Act 5, Scene 1“That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once… This might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o’er-reaches; one that would circumvent God”.

Hamlet muses about how those trying to evade God’s penalties can not escape demise.

Ophelia’s funeral procession includes Laertes in the lead. Hamlet and Horatio hide, but as soon as Hamlet discovers that this is Ophelia who died, he reveals himself. Laertes and Hamlet have a showdown at the graveside, but the fight is broken up.

At Elsinore, Hamlet informs Horatio what took place on his journey, that Claudius ordered his death, but Hamlet reforged the letter to buy the fatalities of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern rather. This is when a courtier presents the fencing duel to Hamlet, who accepts it in spite of Horatio’s appeals.

Prior to the duel, Hamlet finds out that Claudius bet on him winning the duel against Laertes. The bet is part of Claudius’s system to hide the reality that he attempted to have Hamlet killed. Hamlet has no interest in securing his wicked uncle’s respect much, less winning him the wager.

Gertrude’s Demise

Throughout the match, Hamlet is in the lead. Gertrude increases a toast for him, using the poisoned glass that Claudius intended for Hamlet. Claudius tries to stop her, but she drinks the glass. Laertes, understanding that everything is about to go south, slashes Hamlet with the poisoned rapier. In a scuffle, they switch over weapons, and Laertes secures injured by the poisoned blade. Gertrude falls to the floor, a victim of poison, and passes away. In his dying seconds, Laertes reconciles and reveals the whole plan to Hamlet. Before he passes away, Laertes mends fences with Hamlet, and both accept each other’s apology. Afterwards, Hamlet runs to Claudius and eliminates him.

As the poisonous substance takes Hamlet too, he hears that the Norwegian King Fortinbras and his army is marching through the Danish area. He names Fortinbras as his successor to the throne. Horatio almost commits suicide in Hamlet’s honour, but Hamlet tells him to live to tell the story before dying in Horatio’s arms.

Furthewrmore, Fortinbras gets to the palace to break the news of the demise of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Seeing the entire Danish royal family members dead on the floor, the prince takes the crown and orders a respectable army funeral for Hamlet. They inter him with full military honours.

A Brief Summary of Themes in Hamlet – Play by Shakespeare


Action vs. Inaction

To start with, let’s acknowledge that there are numerous themes within this legendary play, causing it to be one of the most talked about items of literary works ever before. One of the most noticeable themes is the theme of action vs. inaction, where Hamlet continuously questions the morality of his choices, whether he should kill or not kill, to be or not to be. The most exciting aspect of Hamlet is not his actions, but instead his inactiveness that fuels these conversations of principles. This theme links directly to the theme of death.

Faith, Honour, and Retribution

Next, the theme of faith, honour, and retribution is highly noticeable in this play. Characters in Hamlet frequently lecture each other on how to act; Claudius ‘mom and father talk’ to Hamlet on how to correctly show pain; Polonius lectures Laertes on how he must act at college; Hamlet talks himself in his talks on what he ought to do. The codes of conduct in this play are mostly based on faith and stylish worths which demand honour, mentioning that revenge is required if honour has actually been spoiled.

Nevertheless, as the play advances, Hamlet finds out that these codes of conduct are inconsistent. Spiritual codes oppose vengeance, stating that vengeance could place Hamlet’s heart in danger. The suggestion of justice comes to be overwhelmed, and Hamlet’s very own musing on the idea of vengeance slowly muddies his reasoning. Some scholars state that after Hamlet returns from his journey to England and runs into pirates, he acts in a different way as if he’s spoken himself out of eliminating Claudius. The concept goes that the death of Ophelia fuels Hamlet’s lust for revenge. Along the same vein Claudius’s intimidations and attempts at having him killed spur Hamlet’s vengeance.

Appearance vs. Reality

Another prevalent theme is appearance vs. reality as each character is attempting to find out what the other characters believe. Everyone is spying and analyzing everybody else.

Women as a Theme

Women are another often-reviewed theme of the play. Especially how the protagonist sees ladies and their social positions. Hamlet’s view of ladies is dark, and his faked madness sometimes ends up being actual madness when he gets angry at ladies. His mother’s actions prove to him that females are unreliable and, that their appeal is simply fraud and sexual desire.

Other themes of Hamlet dive less into the real play like that of history and social values. Several scenes from Hamlet exhibit the English classic procedures at the time or are subject to the corrupt and greedy nature of the English monarchy.

Symbolism in Hamlet

After the themes, the next literary tool the summary of this classic of Shakespeare called Hamlet  is symbolism and how the thespian employs it in the work,

#1 Symbol- The Ghost

This play does include symbols without exaggerating their usage. The symbols appear obvious, as example, the Ghost. Conventionally, many consider The Ghost a symbol of difficult times coming ahead, taking it  as a negative prophecy in the state of Denmark.

#2 The Flowers of Ophelia

The 2nd symbol we see is the flowers of Ophelia, which appear just as she begins going mad. She gives everybody flowers, explaining what it means, and sharing her sensations of dishonesty by using the flowers so symbolically.  Needless to say, one can take it as a cry for help in camouflage and see it as Shakespeare poking fun at how no one understands symbols and what they suggest.

For a thorough check out significance, check Classroom Essays write-up: WHAT IS SYMBOLISM? EVALUATING EXAMPLES IN LITERARY WORKS

#3 The Skull of a Jester

The third symbol is probably one of the most popular ones for the play; it’s the skull of the jester, which Hamlet picks up. In the play, the skull represents the symbol of death, decay, and the uselessness of a person after their death. The skull makes Hamlet consider his fate and how most of us turn to dust when we pass away.

#4 Poison

Poison is an additional symbol in the play, standing for fraud, betrayal and corruption. Claudius utilizes the poison to eliminate King Hamlet, foreshadowing the ending. Similarly, the innocent secure fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes is both dishonest and corrupt. This is true as each has a poisoned blade, together with Hamlet’s wine. Poison also functions as a metaphor, as the entire royal household has actually been ‘infected’ from the very start, betraying and damaging each other.

#5 The Weather Conditions

Shakespeare additionally uses things like the weather condition to set the scene; when the climate misbehaves, it’s a prophecy. When it’s excellent, it indicates good times are coming. Nevertheless, the symbols are uncertain and one can over-interpret them while are only props to set the state of mind.

In conclusion, now it is clear that the Summary of Hamlet A  Classic written by Shakespeare in the 1600s, is a tragedy play that explores themes of friendship, madness, and revenge

The Classroom Esays team also recommend that you check out Pride and Prejudice summary. The majority of our readers find this short article interesting.


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