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What Is Hamlet About In A Nutshell? What Is The Main Story Line Of Hamlet?

Referencing Styles : MLA | Pages : 1

Hamlet about in a nutshell

Hamlet is the most famous literary work of Shakespeare. This is best ever written and you can expect it to be full of puzzles. This is the reason behind the so many critical link has been expended on analysing it. For the first time, it is worth knowing the backstory of the play to understand it in better way.  

Prince Hamlet is the son of Kind Hamlet. The King Hamlet dies in his orchard the cause of his death is serpent bite. But, soon it is discovered that the King Hamlet has been murdered. The Murderer of the King is his brother whose name is Claudius by putting poison in the King’s ear while he was sleeping. Later, after the death of the King, Claudius nominated as the King as well as he marries the King Hamlet’s widow named Gertrude. Gertrude also probably has been carrying an adulterous affair with Claudius even before her husband’s death.

The son of the old King known as Prince Hamlet who is a young boy, is already very unhappy and uncomfortable because of his father’s death and his mother’s too hasty remarriage. Further, a ghost which he meets on the ramparts of Elsinore Castle, tells him the details and fact of his father’s death. The ghost claims it self the soul of his father and orders the young Hamlet to take the revenge.  

Now, the second part of the backstory is about King Hamlet’s dealing with his opposite number in Norway with the King named Fortinbras. They both Kings are fighting a battle for disputed piece of land. Both decided to settle the case through a dual or in single combat. The King Hamlet store the victory in this combat by killing the King Fortinbras and winning the control over the disputed land. Now, the Fortinbras’ son also known as Fortinbras wants to take the revenge from King Hamlet of his father’s death and take back the land that was he lost to king Hamlet.

Later, in the third part of the story is all about the revenge concern Laertes. Laertes is the son of Polonius. Polonius is the counsellor at the Danish court. He firstly serves the King Hamlet and then King Claudius. Polonius also have another child apart from the Laertes and her name is Ophelia. Ophelia is in love with the Hamlet. As before the start of the play he seems to be with her.

The revenge plot involving Laertes does not begin until Act Three, when Hamlet, went on killing Claudius, instead kills Polonius who has been foolishly spying on him, hiding behind an arras, or screen. Laertes vows revenge – and the scene, as it were, is set for the terrible catastrophe with which the play ends. There are many mysteries in the play which are worth bearing in mind as you watch it, or read it.

Main story line of Hamlet

The main story line of Hamlet is all about the revenge. The king Hamlet is killed by his brother and become the next king as well as he also marry the widow of the king Hamlet. Now the Prince Hamlet, the son of king Hamlet feel very sad and awkward because of his father’s death and his mother marriage with his uncle. Then he decided to take the revenge from his uncle of his father death as a ghost which called itself the soul of king Helmet tells the truth of the king’s death and commands the prince Helmet to take the revenge. As the killer of his father is his uncle and he killed his father by putting the poison in his ear. The entire story then go around this. The play further, showcase the back story of the king Helmet as who he killed Norway king named Fortinbras and taken the piece of the disputed land. And now, the son of Fortinbras also wants to take revenge from the king Hamlet for his father’s death and take the land back. Further, the advisor of the King Hamlet who is now serving his brother have a son and daughter. His son also opposite side of the prince Helmet but his daughter is being in love with the princes Hamlet. The main story starts when prince Hamlet went to take revenge from his uncle for his father’s death but accidently kill his uncle’s advisor who was spying on the Hamlet. The rest of the story is based on the court room drama.          

The ghost appears to Hamlet and tells him that he was murdered by Claudius. The prince swears vengeance and his friends are sworn to secrecy as Hamlet decides to feign madness while he tests the truth of the ghost’s allegations. He rejects Ophelia, as Claudius and Polonius spy on him seeking to find a reason for his sudden strange behaviour. Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, former student friends of Hamlet, are summoned by Claudius and their arrival coincides with that of a group of travelling actors. At the performance Hamlet watches closely as Claudius is provoked into interrupting the play and storming out, resolving to send the prince away to England. Hamlet is summoned by his distressed mother and, on the way he spares Claudius whom he sees kneeling, attempting to pray. To kill him while he is praying would send his soul to heaven rather than to the hell he deserves.

As the army of Norway’s King Fortinbras crosses Denmark to attack Poland, Hamlet is sent to England, ostensibly as an ambassador, but he discovers Claudius’s plan to have him killed. Outwitting this plot Hamlet returns alone, sending Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in his stead. During Hamlet’s absence Ophelia goes mad as a result of her father’s death and she is drowned.

Hamlet returns and meets Horatio in the graveyard. With the arrival of Ophelia’s funeral Hamlet confronts Laertes who, after attempting a revolt against Claudius, has taken his father’s place at the court. A duel is arranged between Hamlet and Laertes at which Claudius has plotted for Hamlet to die either on a poisoned rapier, or from poisoned wine. The plans go wrong and both Laertes and Hamlet are wounded, while Gertrude unwittingly drinks from the poisoned cup. Hamlet, in his death throes, kills Claudius, and Horatio is left to explain the truth to the new king, Fortinbras, who returns, victorious, from the Polish wars.

What happened to Ophelia in Hamlet?

As per the Gertrude, the branch of tree in which the Ophelia was sitting broke and swept Ophelia into the river. But, the church believes that she killed herself and denies her as a full Christian burial on this ground.   

In the story, Ophelia is struck between the two contradictory poles. Ophelia is made in the love with Hamlet. As well as, her father and brother thinks that he would he is only with the Ophelia for her virginity and after that he will throw out the Ophelia as she could never be his wife. But, her hearth is convinced her that Hamlet also love her as Hamlet swears he never did. In perspective of her brother and father, she is the eternal virgin and the symbol of morality whose only purpose is to become a dignified wife and a steady mother. On other hand, in the Hamlet point of view, she is only a sexual object and a doubtful lover. As she does not have her mother, in absence of the mother guidance she has no way of deciphering the contradictory expectations.

Hence, the father’s words towards the Ophelia and badly affected her as well as her uncontrollable sense of love also drives her. Though, she stuck between her father and lover as how can she be obedient to her father as well as true to her love. Then she lies to Hamlet that the Polonius is in home when he is concealed in the room eavesdropping and she proves that she cannot live in both the world. Finally she chosen one and her choice kills her all faith.

Although, the dilemma of her love also forces her into the madness as she found no way to reconcile her men demand and she opted to kill herself at last.

End of Hamlet

A lots of things happens in the end of the Hamlet in very short time. Osric invites Hamlet to fence with Laertes and Hamlet accepted the invitation. The duel will happen before the court and when it happens everything comes apart and spreads. Claudius added poison in the cup to kill the Hamlet but Queen Gertrude accidently drinks the poisoners cup and kill herself accidently. On the other hand, Laertes wounds Hamlet with the poisoned blade and then Hamlet wounds him back. After that when Laertes ask forgiveness from the Hamlet by pointing the blame to the Claudius then Hamlet stabs his uncle with the poisoned blade thinking that he will again betrayed him. By the end of the Act, Hamlet, Claudius, Laertes and Queen Gertrude all are become dead. While, Fortinbras is handed over the Denmark’s Crown as it was the Hamlet’s last wish.      


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