Author: William Shakespeare
If you ask what is the most brilliant Shakespeare‘s play, the only answer is Hamlet. This is a masterpiece of its time having a well-designed plot and characters appearing in it. Before the creation of Hamlet, all playwrights were making use of Aristotle’s concept of drama key points, including the storylines and great actions. His idea was that only actions were to be appreciated in a play. Despite that postulate, William Shakespeare followed his own way and thus introduced a strong belief in the actors and characters, who were most important in his playwriting. The author made his characters able to drive the plot, and that gave a chance for readers and spectators to have an imaginative insight into their feelings, emotions, and drama of their lifes.
This approach of William Shakespeare helped to understand the importance of all plotlines through the characters, their playing and feelings.
Such a narrative style was highly appreciated by the readers and viewers and afterwards was followed by all the adherents.
Hamlet’s story tells its reader about the highly emotional events, has a number of plot branches and depicts a tragedy of intrigues, where almost every character tries hard to find a solution and faces awful consequences.
Prince Hamlet was in total despair and had just come back to Denmark after his studies in Germany to attend the funeral of his father, the King of Denmark. Right over there, he discovered that his mother Gertrude, the Queen of Denmark, the widow of his father, had recently married Claudius. Hamlet considered her to be a weak woman, who sought affection and status more than moral rectitude or truth. Hamlet found out that Claudius had crowned himself King, despite the fact that Hamlet was his father’s heir to the throne. Hamlet began to suspect his father’s brother and his uncle, Claudius.
One winter night, a pair of watchmen and a scholar Horatio witnessed a ghost walking around the Elsinore Castle in Denmark. They recognized the king who recently died and decided to bring Prince Hamlet. Suddenly, the ghost spoke to Hamlet and gave insight into the circumstances of his death. He told that he had been murdered by a man who married Queen Gertrude and ordered Hamlet to revenge him.
Hamlet blamed himself for his father’s death and thus fell into a deep melancholy and started gradually going mad. Gertrude and Claudius worried about Prince’s state of mind and decided to find the cause of such behavior. The couple hired a pair of Hamlet’s friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to watch him. Gertrude and Claudius knew that these slightly bumbling courtiers were former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg and thus entrusted them with this affair. Simultaneously, Polonius, the Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court, a pompous old man and the father of Laertes and Ophelia, decided that Hamlet went mad because of his love for Ophelia. Although the Prince had a conversation with his daughter, he only wanted her to enter a nunnery and told her that he wished to ban marriages.
Hamlet co-worked with a group of traveling actors, who had recently come to Elsinore and asked them to perform a scene depicting his father’s death, where he wanted to demonstrate all that happened the way he imagined this. The Prince expected Claudius to feel guilty during that scene which would prove the truth of his suspicion. When the murder scene was performed, Claudius left the room, proving himself guilty. Shortly afterwards, Hamlet decided to kill him, but in a while witnessed him praying and put off his intention.
Claudius ordered to send Hamlet to England, pointing out that the Prince was sick and mad. At that moment Hamlet went to his mother, aiming to confront her but heard a strange noise behind her tapestry, and thought of the king who hid there. He drew his sword and stabbed through the fabric, killing Polonius. After that Hamlet was sent to England along with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. But it was only one part of Claudius’s plan. He sealed a request for the King of England, saying that Hamlet must be put to death.
After Polonius’s death, his daughter Ophelia committed suicide, and her brother Laertes arrived in Denmark in rage. Claudius decided to benefit from Laertes’s rage and lay the blame for Ophelia’s death on Hamlet. In the meantime, Hamlet sent a letter to Horatio, informing that he was on his way to Denmark because his ship was attacked by pirates en route to England. Claudius decided to arrange a fencing match for Laertes and Hamlet, which was itself an innocent sport, but he had insidious intentions. He would poison a blade of Laertes and a goblet from which Hamlet would drink as a backup plan. After the Prince’s comeback, a foolish courtier named Osric arrived on Claudius’s orders to arrange the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes. The sword-fighting began. After Hamlet hit first, he was offered to drink from a goblet, but refused it. Gertrude sipped the wine instead and died. Then Laertes wounded Hamlet, but the latter did not die immediately. However, Laertes cut himself with the poisoned blade. Before dying, Laertes disclosed the cause of the Queen’s death to Hamlet. Infuriated, Hamlet stabbed Claudius with his sword and made him drink the poison left in the goblet. Witnessing Claudius’s death, Hamlet died immediately.
At this moment, a Norwegian prince Fortinbras together with ambassadors from England entered Denmark and all of them were shocked by the terrible sight of the whole royal family lying in a paddle of blood. Horatio, fulfilling Hamlet’s last request, retold Fortinbras the tragic story and the Norwegian prince carried Hamlet’s body away.