The tragic history of Hamlet is believed to have been written at around the year 1600. It recounts the prince Hamlets precise revenge of his uncle Claudius who was alleged to have killed the old King Hamlet to fulfill his selfish interest of taking the throne. He married his King Hamlet’s widow who was the mother to hamlet. The story portrays primarily the themes of death, revenge and grief depicted by the events which surrounds Hamlet the main character wherever he goes.
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The play opens is sentry is relieved by another in on one chilly night, another guard enters with Horatio a friend to Hamlet and tell him of the ghost he had seen of the late King Hamlet. After hearing about it Hamlet resolves to see the ghost by himself. It happens appears that same night and takes Hamlet to seclusion claiming to be the genuine spirit of his father and discloses to him of the murder of his father and thus sought revenge that was in dire need. Hamlet agrees and swears for his intention to maintain the secrecy. Hamlet first confirms for the ghost’s assistance claiming to be a honest one, but later doubts its nature and intents (Knight 1989, pg 26).
Hamlet is at the present courting Polonius daughter Ophelia, while his son Laertes is away in France. At one instance Hamlet rushed into her house stares at her with no word and goes away, she is alarmed by that action and she alerts her father about it. Her father assumes that it’s the delight of love that brings the strange behaviors. Though Hamlet laments the death of his father and continuously mourns. Claudius sends two of his friends to enquire about the problem, but he fails to relent to their message claiming he had been sent as spies. Claudius and his son convince Ophelia to speak to him while they listen in secret. When he enters the room she is received with unusual warm welcome that makes him doubt her honesty. There has also been continuous series of suicide in the palace as he torment the King on the murder of Gonzago, he is angry about in and quarrels Ophelia and his mother. He contemplates his own death, but at prayers, he finds his finds his conscience and decides to preserve his life for a more justifiable death.
Hamlet remains unsure of the ghost s message but the actor troop’s arrival brings him a solution. He staged a play that re-enacted his father’s death to check on Claudius reaction to it. When the murder scene is presented Claudius rises and leaves the room which proofs his guilt. On his way Hamlets passes Claudius in prayer but hesitates to kill him on the ground that death in prayers will take him to heaven but it’s realized he is not actually praying. An argument erupts between Hamlet and Gertrude when Polonius who had been spying through the scene cries for help. Hamlet stabs Claudius hiding behind the curtain. He is not remorseful on realizing that he had killed Ophelia’s father. The ghost appears urging him to treat Gertrude kindly but reminded him to kill Claudius.
Claudius who now fears for his life finds a good reason to get rid of the prince the prince to England for a diplomatic mission. He even reveals that he sends him off for his death. Enroute to England he encounters prince Fortinas troop going on a battle in Poland and he thus declares from that time henceforth he is bound to fight to death. Ophelia goes mad on the subject of his father’s death and at the same time, her brother returns from England and is horrified by the situation at home. The news arrives to Claudius that Hamlet is still arrive and swiftly concocts to kill his nephew but make it framed as an accident so that the blame will be away from him. He finds it unworkable and prepares to wage sword war with him but authorizes the sword be poisoned at the tip. It fails and makes a plan to poison his wine and a report comes to him of Ophelia’s drowning.
Ophelia is buried with no ceremony as it was deemed that she had committed suicide. Laertes cursed hamlet at the funeral processions being the cause of the death but hamlet professes his love to her. And because of the ensued misunderstanding they broke into a fight but it’s shortly cut. The fence fight is prepared and despite Heratis warnings, hamlet proceeds to the fight. After several turns, Gertrude toasts hamlet and ended up by accident drinking the same wine he poisoned. Hamlet uses Laertes own poisoned sword on him.
In the last moment of death Laertes makes reconciliation with hamlet and reveals the murderous plot by Claudius. Hamlet forces Claudius to drink the poisoned wine and shot him with the same poisoned arrow (Knight 1989, pg 48). In his last moment hamlet declares prince Fortinas of France as the probable heir of the throne. Horatio a guard attempts to commit suicide but is prevented by hamlet.
The play is surely a death obsessed as in Hamlet pointed out in his longest speech of the play opens with an apparition of a ghost. He is in an awkward position by fearing the intensity of death but at the same time wishing for it and this is what that keeps the play in motion. Mortality is darkness that shades every scene of the play. Hamlet discovers that life is a quest with no object but one’s own promising actions.
The theme of death dominates the whole play; the story is opened by the death of Hamlet’s father and the apparition of the ghost. Polonius and Ophelia die in the course of the action and the burial of Ophelia takes place in the eyes of the audience. Hamlet on despair converses near the beginning with death and lives with that death, he spread destruction he goes and adds crime upon crimes (Sandler 1930, pg 89). He remembers the ghost all along thus becoming more and more heartless until he sends his friend to unmerited death. The play ends with a death competition an action that had grown out of perpetuity.
Other themes highlighted in the play are lies and deceit that more than any other character; Hamlet hates deception and always craves for honesty. Revenge is what the bulk of the play has dealt with to greater extent the successful revenge of his father’s murder but also with her inner struggle to make actions. Madness is depicted in the story as both feigned and real. The question we are supposed to ask our self is: does Hamlet really become mad or is just an act? Ophelia distinguishes the descent into madness and subsequently a drowning herself to the water in an effort to remove her distress.
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