Macbeth

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1. Literature Reservoir: Macbeth

Summary

A ghost appears at Elsinore Castle on a dark winter night. The watchmen bring Prince Hamlet, the son of Gertrude, along with Horatio, a friend of Hamlet, to see the ghost. The ghost turns out to be the spirit of Hamlet’s deceased father, former King of Denmark, and tells his son the true story of his death—Claudius in fact murdered the former king when Claudius slipped poison in the king’s ears while he was sleeping in the garden in order to seize the throne. After ordering Hamlet to seek revenge on Claudius, the ghost disappears with the dawn.

Hamlet devotes himself into avenging for his father’s death so much to the point that his mother and Claudius suspect that Hamlet has become a maniac. Consequentially, Claudius sends Hamlet’s friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to observe Hamlet and find the reason for his odd behavior. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern soon concluded that Hamlet love for Ophelia, Lord Chamberlains’ daughter, contributed to his madness.

Meanwhile, Hamlet is unsure whether Claudius is responsible for his father’s death. The opportunity to confirm Claudius’ guilt comes when a group of traveling actors arrives Elsinore. Hamlet asks the actors to perform a scene depicting a scene resembling the sequence of the King’s death. If Claudius has a guilty conscience, he will surely react. The true dawns when Claudius leaps up and leaves the room once that scene is played—Claudius is proven to be guilty.

Frightened of Hamlet’s madness and worried for his own safety, Claudius sends Hamlet to England. Hamlet confronts his mother, Gertrude, and questions her rash decision to marry Claudius shorty after the King’s death. Hearing a noise behind the curtain, Hamlet mistakes Polonius for Claudius. He draws his sword and stabs through the tapestry, killing Claudius right at the spot.

To punish Hamlet for his crime, Claudius sends Hamlet to England. He orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to murder...
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