Monday, May 17, 2010

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark By William Shakespeare

This is a summary of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

Category: Tragedy
 
Characters:

Hamlet                   :  King of Denmark
Gertrude                 :  Queen of Denmark
Claudius                 :  Brother of King Hamlet
Hamlet                   :  Prince and son of king of Denmark
Horatio                   :  Bosom friend of Prince Hamlet
Marcellus               :  Guard
Ophelia                  :  Maid and lover of Prince Hamlet
Polonius                 :  Ophelia's father and the chief counsellor of King
Laertes                   :  Brother of Ophelia

                      The queen, Gertrude, married Claudius, the brother of Hamlet in less than two months of the death of Hamlet, the King of Denmark. Many, because of the hasty action of the queen to remarry in less than two months, believed that the death of The King is not natural. They doubted that Claudius had murdered his brother Hamlet with a view of remarrying his widow, and ascending the throne of Denmark through the exclusion of young Hamlet, the lawful successor to the throne. The Prince has not come out of the grief caused by the death of his father and believes the rumours that Claudius has murdered The King. All the attempts made by the queen and The King to divert the mind of the young Hamlet have failed. What troubled young Hamlet mostly was the uncertainity about the death of his father. He does not believe the word of Claudius that the King Hamlet has died because of the bite of a serpent.

                      Meanwhile, a rumour has come that an apparition, exactly resembling his father has been seen by the soldiers on the platform in front of the palace. Young Hamlet wanted to see it and goes to that place with his friend Horatio and the guard Marcellus. Exactly at twelve in the night, the ghost of The King has appeared and called the prince to come aside alone. Against the advise of Horatio and Marcellus, Prince Hamlet goes alone with his father's ghost. The ghost informs the prince that he was murdered by Claudius, his brother, in the garden by pouring the juice of poisonous henbane in his ear, while he is taking rest with the wicked view of succeeding his bed and throne. The ghost asked the prince to take revenge for his death and also asked not to take any action against his mother.

                      The prince with a view that his uncle Cladius does not suspect him acts wild and strange in his apparel, speech and behaviour and excellently acted as insane. Both the queen and the King believed that the prince has become insane because of the death of his father and also because of the distance from his lover Ophelia. During that time, few story players have come to the court. Since Hamlet knows them previously, Hamlet has asked them to replay the old story that they played of old Priam, King of Troy, with the grief of Hecuba his queen. They narrated the story so lively of the cruel murder of the old king, along with the destruction of his people and city by fire and followed it by the mad grief of the old queen.It was so lively that every one wept as if the story has just happened. After hearing that to the tale, young Hamlet got an idea to play a story resembling the death of King Hamlet
                      
                      The story of the play was of a murder done in Vienna upon a duke. The dukes name was Gonzago, and his wife's was Baptista. The played showed how one Lucianus, a near relation to the duke, poisoned him in his garden for his estate, and how the murderer in a short time got the love of Gonzagos wife. At the representation of the play, the King who did not know of the trap, was also present with his wife, young Hamlets mother. But when Lucianus, according to the story, came to poison Gonzago sleeping in the garden, the strong resemblance to his own wicked act upon his brother struck upon the conscience of the usurper, that he was unable to sit in the hall and left the theatre abruptly. Now, any doubt has gone from the mind of young Hamlet and he confirmed that his father is murdered by his brother.

                    Upon the advise of the King, the queen sent for young Hamlet to her chamber to know his mind . The king not believing the queen has planted Polonius, the father of Ophelia (lover of young Hamlet ) in the chamber behind curtains to hear the conversation and report to him. During the discussions, Hamlet gets angry and holds the hand of the queen. Polonius cries loudly to save the queen. Quickly, Hamlet draws his sword and killed Poloniuis thinking that he is the king himself behind the curtains.

                    The new king, Claudius, with an idea to get rid of young Hamlet, has sent him to England along with two courtiers and a letter to kill young Hamlet. But Hamlet suspecting treachery secretly opened the letter and erased his name skillfully and wrote the two names of the courtiers. Meanwhile, sea pirates attacked the ship and Hamlet jumped into the ship with his sword to fight them but taken him as prisoner. But, the pirates on knowing that he is the Prince of Denmark released him thinking that he may help in future.

                    Hamlet has returned to his place. From this point, there are a lots of unexpected twists and turns in the story which are no less to today's suspense novels or movies. Even though a lot of you might have read this story already, but in order not to reveal the end for those who have not read, we end this summary by repeating that this is a very tragic story. Try guessing the depth of tragedy in the story and read (at least the abridged one) if you have never done so to confirm.

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