To Hamlet, the marriage is "foul incest. Hamlet suspects foul play. The Ghost complains that he is unable to rest in peace because he was murdered.
Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago. After the ghost appears again, the three vow to tell Prince Hamlet what they have witnessed. As the court gathers the next day, while King Claudius and Queen Gertrude discuss affairs of state with their elderly adviser PoloniusHamlet looks on glumly.
Claudius also scolds Hamlet for continuing to grieve over his father, and forbids him to return to his schooling in Wittenberg. Learning of the ghost from Horatio, Hamlet resolves to see it himself. Horatio, Hamlet, and the ghost Artist: That night on the rampart, the ghost appears to Hamlet, telling the prince that he was murdered by Claudius and demanding that Hamlet avenge him.
Hamlet agrees and the ghost vanishes. The prince confides to Horatio and the sentries that from now on he plans to "put an antic disposition on", or act as though he has gone mad, and forces them to swear to keep his plans for revenge secret.
Act II[ edit ] Soon thereafter, Ophelia rushes to her father, telling him that Hamlet arrived at her door the prior night half-undressed and behaving erratically. As he enters to do so, the king and queen finish welcoming Rosencrantz and Guildensterntwo student acquaintances of Hamlet, to Elsinore.
Additional news requires that Polonius wait to be heard: The forces that Fortinbras had conscripted to march against Denmark will instead be sent against Poland, though they will pass through Danish territory to get there.
Hamlet feigns madness but subtly insults Polonius all the while. When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive, Hamlet greets his "friends" warmly, but quickly discerns that they are spies. Hamlet becomes bitter, admitting that he is upset at his situation but refusing to give the true reason why, instead commenting on " what a piece of work " humanity is.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tell Hamlet that they have brought along a troupe of actors that they met while traveling to Elsinore. Hamlet, after welcoming the actors and dismissing his friends-turned-spies, asks them to deliver a soliloquy about the death of King Priam and Queen Hecuba at the climax of the Trojan War.
His reaction convinces Claudius that Hamlet is not mad for love. Shortly thereafter, the court assembles to watch the play Hamlet has commissioned. After seeing the Player King murdered by his rival pouring poison in his ear, Claudius abruptly rises and runs from the room: Hamlet mistakenly stabs Polonius Artist: Coke Smyth, 19th century.
Gertrude summons Hamlet to her room to demand an explanation. Meanwhile, Claudius talks to himself about the impossibility of repenting, since he still has possession of his ill-gotten goods: He sinks to his knees.
Polonius, spying on the conversation from behind a tapestrycalls for help as Gertrude, believing Hamlet wants to kill her, calls out for help herself. Hamlet, believing it is Claudius, stabs wildly, killing Polonius, but pulls aside the curtain and sees his mistake. Claudius switches tactics, proposing a fencing match between Laertes and Hamlet to settle their differences.
Laertes will be given a poison-tipped foil, and Claudius will offer Hamlet poisoned wine as a congratulation if that fails.While his qualities are not as thoroughly explored as Hamlet's, Shakespeare crafts a whole human being out of the treacherous, usurping King of Denmark.
When we first see Claudius, he strikes us an intelligent and capable ruler. Overall Story Throughline Synopsis. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns from his studies abroad to attend the funeral of his father, King Hamlet, and the subsequent wedding of his mother, Queen Gertrude, to his uncle, King Claudius.
Guide to Theory of Drama. Manfred Jahn.
Full reference: Jahn, Manfred. A Guide to the Theory of Drama. Part II of Poems, Plays, and Prose: A Guide to the Theory of Literary Genres. English Department, University of Cologne.
Claudius, says the Ghost, poured poison in King Hamlet's ear while the old king napped. Unable to confess and find salvation, King Hamlet is now consigned, for a time, to spend his days in Purgatory and walk the earth by night. William Shakespeare's Hamlet follows the young prince Hamlet home to Denmark to attend his father's funeral.
Hamlet is shocked to find his mother already remarried to his Uncle Claudius, the dead king's brother. Summary: Act I, scene ii The morning after Horatio and the guardsmen see the ghost, King Claudius gives a speech to his courtiers, explaining his recent marriage to Gertrude, his brother’s widow and the mother of Prince Hamlet.