Claudius summons Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, old friends of Hamlet to find out what's got into him. Their arrival coincides with a group of travelling actors that Hamlet happens to know well.
Hamlet writes a play which includes scenes that mimic the murder of Hamlet's father. During rehearsal, Hamlet and the actors plot to present Hamlet's play before the King and Queen. At the performance, Hamlet watches Claudius closely to see how he reacts. The play provokes Claudius, and he interrupts the action by storming out.
He immediately resolves to send Hamlet away. Hamlet is summoned by his distressed mother, Gertrude, and on the way, he happens upon Claudius kneeling and attempting to pray. Hamlet reasons that to kill the King now would only send his soul to heaven rather than hell. Hamlet decides to spare his life for the time being.
Polonius hides in Gertrude's room to protect her from her unpredicatable son. He stabs the tapestry and, in so doing, kills Polonius. The ghost of Hamlet's father reappears and warns his son not to delay revenge or upset his mother.
Hamlet is sent to England, supposedly as an ambassador, just as King Fortinbras of Norway crosses Denmark with an army to attack Poland. During his journey, Hamlet discovers Claudius has a plan to have him killed once he arrives. He returns to Denmark alone, sending his companions Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in his place. What dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.
On the way back to Denmark, Hamlet meets Horatio in the graveyard along with a gravedigger , where they talk of the chances of life and death.
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Ophelia's funeral procession arrives at the very same graveyard what luck! Hamlet confronts Laertes, Ophelia's brother, who has taken his father's place at the court. A duel is arranged between Hamlet and Laertes. During the match, Claudius conspires with Laertes to kill Hamlet. They plan that Hamlet will die either on a poisoned rapier or with poisoned wine.
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The plans go awry when Gertrude unwittingly drinks from the poisoned cup and dies. Then both Laertes and Hamlet are wounded by the poisoned blade, and Laertes dies.
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Hamlet, in his death throes, kills Claudius. Hamlet dies, leaving only his friend Horatio to explain the truth to the new king, Fortinbras, as he returns in victory from the Polish wars. Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet at Adelphi, Hamlet, now free to act, mistakenly kills Polonius, thinking he is Claudius. Claudius sends Hamlet away as part of a deadly plot. At the match, Claudius prepares poisoned wine for Hamlet, which Gertrude unknowingly drinks; as she dies, she accuses Claudius, whom Hamlet kills.
From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Young Hamlet – TheTLS
Characters in the Play. The Ghost. Queen Gertrude , widow of King Hamlet, now married to Claudius. King Claudius , brother to the late King Hamlet.
Polonius , father of Ophelia and Laertes, councillor to King Claudius. Danish soldiers. Fortinbras , Prince of Norway.
Ambassadors to Denmark from England. Two Messengers. Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3 Scene 4 Scene 5.
Scene 1 Scene 2.