Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play consisting of numerous deaths. The deaths that took place played a very important role in the unfolding of the play. In reading this play the reader can almost guess who was going to die.
A prince named Hamlet is the main character. Hamlet is a college student who one day planned to take over the throne in Denmark, but treachery would spoil all of Hamlet¹s plans. The King, Hamlet¹s father, was found dead in an orchard where he spent much of his time. All of the King¹s subjects, including Hamlet, thought his majesty died because of a snake bite. Hamlet was devastated when he learned of his father¹s death, but what made him more uneasy was the fact that Gertrude, Hamlet¹s mother, remarried so quickly to the brother of the dead King. The brother would be the one who would betray Hamlet.
Horatio, a loyal friend to Hamlet, was on night watch outside the castle, he told the prince of an incident when they saw an apparition who resembled King Hamlet. Hamlet came out the next night hoping to see the ghost. Sure enough, the ghost appeared and called to Hamlet, wanting to speak with him. The spirit talked about how Claudius poisoned the King while he was sleeping, ³Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,/ a serpent stung me² (1.5, 36) but it was not a snake that the ghost is referring to. The spirit wanted the prince to avenge his murder.
All was quiet in the kingdom until the start of Hamlet¹s supposed insanity. The Prince was with his mother talking when the prince noticed someone in the room. Hamlet thought it was Claudius, ³How now? A rat? Dead for a ducat, dead! ³ (3.4,25) Indeed Hamlet killed someone; but it was not Claudius, twas Polonius who was slain.
Time had gone by and supposedly Hamlet was getting worse, so Claudius decided to send Hamlet to an asylum in England. Hamlet escaped and returned to Denmark and hid. While Hamlet was away, Ophelia, Hamlet¹s girlfriend, was acting strangely.
Although it was never admitted, Ophelia had become insane. It was her insanity that
made her drown in a stream.
As Hamlet was hiding in the graveyard, a funeral procession approached him, but he did not know whose funeral it was. Hamlet finally found that it was Ophelia who had died. Even though Hamlet was hurt emotionally, Laertes was the one who was hurt the worst. Laertes had these worlds to say, ³O treble woe/ Fall ten times treble on that cursed head/ Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense/ Deprived thee of.²(5.1, 246-248) Laertes blamed Hamlet for the deaths of Polonius and Ophelia and challenged Hamlet to a fencing dual which would be rigged by Claudius and Laertes. The end of Laerte¹s sword would be poisoned; as a backup plan, if Hamlet would happen to win, the King would toast Hamlet¹s victory. Hamlet¹s drink would be poisoned, though.
During the fight, the queen drank the poisoned wine and fell to her death. Laertes landed a deadly blow to Hamlet; but in a scuffle, the swords exchanged hands and Hamlet also landed a vital blow. Laertes died there after a moment, but just before Hamlet died with Laertes, he stabbed the King with the cursed sword. Hamlet also made Claudius drink the poisoned wine. Before Hamlet spoke his last word, he asked Horatio to tell people what happened and give the throne to Fortinbras, a neighboring leader.
Just after Hamlet died, Horatio had these words to say of Hamlet, ³Now cracks a noble heart, good night sweet prince,/ And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.² (5.2, 361-362) These famous words will be remembered for a long time.
Even though Hamlet dies he still accomplishes his mission of bringing down Claudius. Denmark now, will have a good King who will not commit any conspiracy against the people.