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Hamlet Essay, Research Paper

Title: Hamlet

Author: Shakespeare, William (Editor: Sylvan Barnet)

# of Pages: 416

Copyright Date & Publisher: ?1998, and Penguin Putnam Inc.

Main Characters:

*Hamlet

Hamlet is a big doubter. He is very smart too, and so he sees both sides of a situation. (Let’s do it, but if I do that?) If he kills Claudius when he was praying, nothing went wrong. He loves his mother and especially his father. Because of his love for his father, he wants to take revenge and because of his love for his mother, he becomes angry. It’s very stupid of his mother to go with Claudius.

Hamlet loves Ophelia very much, but the love for his dead father was bigger. He used Ophelia for his revenge by repelling her. In the story, the ‘doubt’ of Hamlet is very pressed out, by many ‘antipoles’. The king of Norway for example, conquers many countries without any thinking. He is just going to take some land!

*Leartes

Leartes is another antipole of Hamlet. He wants something, he get something. He loves his father and his sister. The revenge on Hamlet was not difficult for him. However, the revenge of Hamlet on Claudius was difficult. Hamlet falls a prey to his doubt.

*Claudius

Claudius is Hamlet’s uncle. He married Gertrude after the murder on Hamlet’s father. He is incorrigible, because wants to kill Hamlet. Only money and power are important for him. He loves Gertrude and that is maybe another reason for the murder. At the end of the story, he is desperate. He regrets all his deeds, but it was too late.

*Gertrude

She loves her son very much, and I think she regrets the murder. The spirit of the old king does not want Hamlet to hurt her. At the end of the story, she sees that Claudius is really a stupid man.

Summary:

Hamlet’s father, the past king of Denmark, is dead. His mother married the brother of his father, soon after he died. Hamlet loves his father very much, and he does not think his father’s death was ‘normal’, but he thinks it was a murder.

Some waiters had seen a ghost at the castle, and it looked like the spirit of Hamlet’s father. When Hamlet talks to the spirit, it says that it was the spirit of his father. Claudius and

2

Hamlet’s mother murders him and Hamlet has taken revenge. He must kill Claudius, but must not hurt his mother. Only then, he can find rest in his grave.

Hamlet is in two minds, because he thinks the spirit could maybe be the devil. He decides to do as if he becomes crazy, so he can prove the murder on his father.

Claudius is in a very difficult situation. He married Gertrude (mother of Hamlet) too quickly. Polonius, the advisor of Claudius, keeps an eye on Hamlet, with the help of his daughter Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover. Hamlet sees through all the plans of them, and he repels Ophelia.

When there is a group of actors in Denmark, Hamlet lets them play a self-written scene of his father’s death. Claudius betrays himself, by being very shocked. When Hamlet goes to his mother, to tell her why he makes this happen, he sees Claudius. This is the best moment to kill him, but because Claudius is praying, he does not kill him. Claudius will directly go to heaven, if he kills him now.

Polonius stands behind a hanging carpet, so he can listen to the conversation between Hamlet and his mother. During this violent conversation, Hamlet sees the carpet moving. He thinks Claudius is behind it, and he puts his sword in the body, whereupon he sees the one he killed was Polonius.

Claudius wants to kill Hamlet. He sends him to England with a message, and two other people. Inside the message, Hamlet reads that England must execute him. Hamlet changes the message and England must execute the two other people.

In Denmark, the son of Polonius -Leartes- arrives from a trip. When he hears his father is dead, he wants to take revenge on Hamlet. Ophelia becomes totally crazy, and Leartes becomes madder. Not much later, Ophelia drowns herself. Claudius thinks only of the death of Hamlet, and with a ‘friendly’ fight, Leartes will murder Hamlet. The end of Leartes’ sword will be poisoned.

When Hamlet is back in Denmark, he hears that Ophelia is dead. At the funeral, Leartes and Hamlet had a fight. Hamlet says he loved Ophelia more then thousand brothers can love their sister.

Next day, during the fight, Leartes wounds Hamlet with his sword. When the swords were on the ground, Hamlet takes Leartes’ sword. He wounds Leartes. During this, the Queen is dying. She drinks to her son, of poisoned wine. Claudius has poisoned the wine, because Hamlet can drink of it if the plan fails. When Leartes tells Hamlet of what is happening, Hamlet murders Claudius.

Theme:

The theme is: “If you want to reach something, you have to go for it. If you feel any doubt, you don’t succeed.” Hamlet is the character to explain this theme. He is very smart, very strong, and very good, but he is a doubter too. It he was not, he became a great king. When he wants to do something, he failed by his doubt.

He says: “To be or not to be, that’s the question.” To live, or do die, what is better? Instead of: “I want to live, and to be a great king,” he says: “To live, or to die, what is the best?” He did not become a king because of his negative mind.

Fortinbras, the king of Norway is a good king. He thinks positively just from one side. When he want something, he gets it.

3

Opinion:

It was a nice story to read. However, making a summary is more difficult. There is too

much happening. Actually, I think the book is a summary itself.

Beside the book is nice, you can learn from it too. Hamlet is very smart, but that is not the only thing to get powerful.

It is very clever of Shakespeare to write such a complicated, but readable story.


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