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A Good and Brief Summary of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. He studies in Germany when he is suddenly summoned back home to attend his father’s funeral. When he arrives, he realizes that his uncle, Claudius, has already declared himself king with his mother Gertrude by his side. Hamlet, the rightful heir, does not trust his uncle. His father’s ghost visits him in his sleep and informs him that he had been murdered by Claudius, who poisoned him in his ears while sleeping. Hamlet is left with a revenge mission from the ghost on his uncle Claudius, and he is told to leave the fate of his mother to Heaven.

Hamlet fakes madness in the castle to observe interactions to find out the truth, but he becomes confused. With the intention of unveiling truth, he uses a troupe of players who were performing in the town to reenact the murder in a play, in the form of a scene called ‘the mousetrap.’ He believes that if the ghost is right, Claudius will show an unusual reaction, which he does by leaving the room for air. Convinced that Claudius is the real killer, he vows to take his life, but his philosophical nature makes him reluctant, and as a result, the lives of six people are taken. First is Polonius who spied on Hamlet and the queen. Hamlet stabs him to death. The prince is sent off to England as punishment. He has his friends Rosencrantz and also Guildenstern who were spying on him hanged. When his love Ophelia discovers that Hamlet killed her father Polonius, she is mad with grief and drowns herself. Claudius orchestrates a fight between Laertes, Ophelia’s brother and poisons the latter’s sword. Laertes cuts hamlet. Hamlet uses the sword to kill Laertes who before dying reveals that Gertrude died at the hands of Claudius through poisoning. Before dying, he declares that the throne is given to Prince Fortinbras of Norway. The newly appointed king gives Hamlet a royal funeral.

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