An Analysis of William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 7 (2522 words) Published: March 26, 2013

Author: William Shakespeare

Director:  Franco HYPERLINK ""ZeffirellHYPERLINK ""i


Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates.

Submitted by: Mark Christian Anthony S. Minlay

Submitted to: Gilbert D.Gayob


The story opens on a chilly night at the Danish royal castle. Francisco, the sentinel, is relieved of his watch by Bernardo, another sentinel, and exits while Bernardo remains. Another sentinel, Marcellus, enters with Horatio, Hamlet's best friend. The sentinels inform Horatio that they have seen a ghost that looks like the dead King Hamlet. After hearing from Horatio of the Ghost's appearance, Hamlet resolves to see the Ghost himself. That night, the Ghost appears again. It leads Hamlet to a dark and secret place, claims that it is the actual spirit of King Hamlet. He said that he was murdered by his brother Claudius putting poison in his ear. The Ghost demands that Hamlet should be the one who will avenge him. Hamlet agrees, swears his friends to keep it as a secret, and tells them he intends to "put an antic disposition on”. Hamlet initially trusts the ghost's reliability, calling him both an "honest ghost" and "truepenny." Later, however, he expresses doubts about the ghost's nature and intent, claiming these as reasons for his inaction.

Polonius is Claudius's chief counsellor and friend. Polonius's son, Laertes, is returning to France, and Polonius's daughter, Ophelia, is courted by Hamlet. Both Polonius and Laertes warn Ophelia that Hamlet is surely not serious about her. Shortly afterward, Ophelia is alarmed by Hamlet's strange behaviour, reporting to her father that Hamlet rushed into her room, stared at her, and said nothing. Polonius assumes that love is responsible for Hamlet's behaviour, and he informs Claudius and Gertrude. Perturbed by Hamlet's continuing deep mourning for his father and his increasingly erratic behaviour, Claudius sends for two of Hamlet's acquaintances Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find out the cause of Hamlet's changed behaviour. Hamlet greets his friends warmly but Hamlet knows that they have been sent to spy on him. Together, Claudius and Polonius convince Ophelia to speak with Hamlet while they secretly listen. Hamlet enters, contemplating suicide. Ophelia greets him, and offers to return his remembrances, upon which Hamlet questions her honesty and furiously rants at her to get thee to a nunnery. Hamlet remains uncertain whether the Ghost has told him the truth, but the arrival of a troupe of actors at Elsinore presents him with a solution. He will have them stage a play, The Murder of Gonzago, re-enacting his father's murder and determine Claudius's guilt or innocence by studying his reaction to it. The court assembles to watch the play. Hamlet provides an disturbing comments throughout the play. When the murder scene is presented, Claudius stood up and leaves the room, which Hamlet sees as proof of his uncle's guilt.

Gertrude summons Hamlet to her closet to demand an explanation. On his way, Hamlet passes Claudius in prayer, but hesitates to kill him, reasoning that death in prayer would send him to heaven. However, it is revealed that the King is not truly praying, remarking that words never made it to heaven not serious. An argument erupts between Hamlet and Gertrude. Polonius, spying on the scene from behind the curtain and convinced that the prince's madness is indeed real, panics when it seems as if Hamlet is about to murder the Queen and cries out for help. Hamlet, believing it is Claudius hiding behind the curtain, stabs wildly through the cloth, killing Polonius. When he realises that he has killed Ophelia's father, he is not regretful, but calls Polonius a fool. The Ghost appears, urging Hamlet to treat Gertrude gently, but reminding...
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