Section I: Significance of Title Hamlet is much like Shakespeare’s other great tragedies, such as Macbeth and King Lear, in which the play is named after the protagonist. Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, nephew to Claudius and son of the former King of Denmark and Gertrude.
Section II: Author William Shakespeare is one of the most well known poet, playwright and actor. Shakespeare’s work is studied, read and performed worldwide. He has been very influential on the modern world, seeing as his most famous plays are still popular today including Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Much of his work focused on making the audience feel the emotions going on throughout the plays. Each of his plays appealed to the wide-ranging audience he attracted. Whether you were the deep thinker or if you simply just liked action, his work had it.
Section III: Setting A majority of the play takes place in a castle in Elsinore, Denmark. Although the characters are portrayed in a more modern attire and such, the play takes place during the time Shakespeare wrote the play.
Section IV: Plot In the first Act of Hamlet, we are introduced to a ghost who seems to resemble the deceased King of Denmark. After seeing the ghost, Horatio decides to tell the son of the dead King, Hamlet. Hamlet meets the ghost, who claims his brother and uncle to Hamlet, Claudius, has murdered him. Claudius is now the present King and also married Hamlet’s mother, the recently widowed, Gertrude. Although he is uncertain if what the ghost said is true, Hamlet quickly accepts the ghost’s command to seek revenge for his death. Hamlet doesn’t seem to act hastily on his revenge, but begins to act insane. Polonius, the Claudius’ right hand man, concludes that Hamlet’s behavior comes from his love for Ophelia, Polonius’ daughter. After noticing his madness, Claudius and Gertrude send for a couple of Hamlet’s old friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to find out why he’s acting this way. While Polonius develops a plan to spy on the meeting between Ophelia and Hamlet, Hamlet develops his own plan. He plans to have these actors put on a play that resembles Claudius’ murder of his father and to watch his reaction. As Polonius and Claudius spy on Ophelia and Hamlet, Claudius concludes that Hamlet is a threat and decides to send him away. Now at the play, Claudius proves his guilt by fleeing the room during the scene of the murder. Hamlet, then, gets his chance at revenge when he comes across Claudius, alone and praying. However, Hamlet delays it, thinking if Claudius is praying as he dies, then he may go to heaven. Hamlet proceeds to his mother’s room, where he criticizes her for marrying Claudius so soon. Hamlet hears something from behind the tapestry, and thinking that it may be Claudius, shoots at the glass. Mistakenly, however, it was Polonius, spying on their meeting. As a result of killing Polonius, Claudius sends Hamlet, with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to England with a letter asking the King of England to kill Hamlet. Meanwhile, Laertes, son of Polonius, returns from France seeking revenge for his father’s death. Claudius convinces him that Hamlet is to blame, and they both develop a new plan to kill Hamlet, seeing as he has escaped back to Denmark. Laertes will challenge Hamlet to a friendly duel, but Laertes sword will be poisoned. If this were to fail, Claudius will also poison the wine he’ll give to Hamlet if he were to win. On another note, Ophelia, grief stricken drowns in what seems to be a suicide. As her funeral takes place, Hamlet arrives and agrees to participate in the duel with Laertes. During the match, Gertrude drinks the poisoned wine to Hamlet’s success before Claudius can stop her. Laertes then cuts Hamlet with the poisoned sword, and the two begin to fight in which they switch swords and Hamlet cuts Laertes. Gertrude then dies and Laertes tells of Claudius’ treachery.