Hamlet: Scene Summaries


ACT I
Scene I

At the beginning of this scene, two guards come out and attempt to get
the audience\'s attention. They basically inform us that it is night time,
and then they exit. Heratio and Marcellus then enter. They see a ghost
which looks like the late King who had just died. To get the audience\'s
attention once again, the two men repeat "Doesn\'t that look like the King!"
five times. Morning comes, and Heratio and Marcellus decide to tell Hamlet
of the incident.

Scene ][

This scene informs us that the present king (Claudius) had killed the
late King Hamlet. Claudius is now married to Queen Gertrude who was
formerly King Hamlet\'s wife. King Claudius informs us Norway is preparing
to war against Denmark (they even work on Sundays) for land that the late
King Hamlet had obtained. Heratio and Marcellus then come to inform Hamlet
of the "ghost" experience they had the previous night. Hamlet is shocked
and suspects something peculiar is amongst the king- dom.

Scene ]I[

Laertes tells her sister, Ophelia, to be cautious of marrying Hamlet.
Polonious then enters and demands Ophelia to stop the relationship with
Hamlet.

Scene ]V

Hamlet, Heratio, and Marcellus are talking when the ghost of King
Hamlet appears. Hamlet follows, but his friends warn him that he may be in
danger. Regardless, Hamlet follows the ghost.

Scene V

In this scene, King Hamlet\'s ghost appears once again, but this time in
front of Hamlet. Hamlet questions the ghost and finds that King Hamlet was
killed by Claudius. The ghost then asks Hamlet to seek revenge.


ACT ][
Scene I

In this scene, Ophelia and Hamlet and alone together in a room.
Ophelia tells Hamlet that she can no longer see him, but Hamlet is raged.
Ophelia tells her father, Polonious. Polonious thinks that Hamlet may be
mad with love sickness since he cannot take the rejection. Therefore,
Polonious tells King Claudius of the situation.

Scene ][

Claudius sends Rosancrantz and Guildenstern (who were Hamlet\'s friends
from childhood) to see what is the matter with Hamlet. Hamlet explains to
his friends that he is very sad and has no interest of world. In a
soliloquy, Hamlet then analyzes his situation.


ACT ]I[
Scene I

Hamlet\'s friend return to tell the Claudius of their findings.
Claudius is pleased with the results (that Hamlet wants to perform for the
majesties). Then, Claudius and Polonious plan to hide behind a curtain
while Ophelia and Hamlet are talking. Hamlet in his famous To be, or not
be speech questions his motives for living. He attempts to analyze his
position and see whether he should live or commit suicide. Later, Claudius
decides to send Hamlet to England to have him killed.

Scene ][

At first, Hamlet walks around making ludicrous remarks and acting mad.
Then Hamlet shows the play he has created to the court. Surprisingly, the
play is an exact replica of what happened to the late King Hamlet. It
shows a man putting poison in a King\'s ear while he is sleeping. Hamlet
then explains that the man will soon become the new King. Both Claudius
and Gertrude and a strange reaction. Gertrude requests to speak with
Hamlet privately. Hamlet attempts to retain his anger so he does not harm
the Queen (as the ghost of King Hamlet had asked).

Scene ]I[

Claudius is frightened about the murder he has done. He prays and asks
forgiveness. At that moment, Hamlet comes and sees Claudius. Hamlet
thought about killing Claudius at that point, but did not. Hamlet thought
that if he killed Claudius while he was in prayer, Claudius would go to
heaven; thus his killing would be useless.

Scene ]V

Hamlet and Gertrude start conversation. Hamlet becomes very angry and
starts making nasty remarks about Gertrude\'s marriage. Gertrude screams
for help and Polonious (behind the tapestry) echoes the calls. Assuming
that Claudius is behind the tapestry, Hamlet shoves a dagger in it.
Polonious, unfortunately, dies. Hamlet apologizes for the murder. Then
Hamlet tells Gertrude that he is being sent to England and bids her good-
night.


ACT ]V
Scene I

Claudius questions what he should do to explain Polonious\' death to the
courts. He tells Gertrude that they must reveal the murder to their
closest friends and avoid being blamed themselves.

Scene ][

Hamlet does not tell his friends where Polonious\' body is. Hamlet then
goes off to see the King.

Scene ]I[

Hamlet finally notifies Claudius of Polonious\' whereabouts is.
Claudius then tells Hamlet\'s friends to take him to England. Claudius
feels that when Hamlet is dead, he won\'t have any more worries or fears on
his