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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a play written by Shakespeare and majorly characterized by tragedies. It is all about a son who seeks revenge for the death of his father who was a king. In most plays, it is always fulfilling when the main character is a strong and noble person. A person who is tactfully and skillfully goes about his mission. He employs good measures to achieve his mission without failure. These culminate into a great success to the main character who becomes a hero for the achievements.
This play however, is about Hamlet who is the son of a murdered Danish King Hamlet. This death had seriously affected his emotional balance. His ghost appears to Horatio, Hamlets best friend. He informs Hamlet of this but he refuses to accept until he sees it himself. The ghost of his father later appears to him and claims that he was murdered by his brother, the new King Claudius. He is Hamlet's uncle. He later married Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. The ghost tells him to revenge his death.
Hamlet has a mission to accomplish. He sets himself to actually achieve this but does not know how to do this. King Claudius also appears guilty of the murder and feels threatened by Hamlets presence. He plans to get rid of him. Hamlet's mission has to be well organized before for its success. He therefore embarks on a mission to establish Claudius guilt.
He therefore prepares a play in which they act about the slain father. He makes King Claudius watch to establish his reaction. Hamlet represents his father in the play. Then he becomes furious and storms out of the room as they play proceeds. This establishes Hamlet's suspicion that he indeed killed his father in order to take over the thrown. He even goes further to marry his mother. He remains with no doubt in his mind that his uncle is the suspect
He delays in effecting his mission due religion. The environment seems Christian and this makes him think that revenge is not good for his faith. He thinks that it is the work of God. He even got the right opportunity to kill him in scene 3 but thinks that Claudius would go to heaven if killed while praying. He draws his sword and returns it back after much thought. He postpones his mission again to a much later date.
Polonius is Hamlet's chief trusted counselor. He has a son called Laertes who returns to France and a daughter called Ophelia. She is courted by Hamlet. This relationship runs into problems after Ophelia's father and brother warn her that Hamlet is not serious about their relationship. Soon after Ophelia realizes that his behavior has drastically changed. Her father gets concerned of this and reports to the King, who orders an investigation.
Hamlet's constant mourning of the late father becomes the concern of the mother. He confronts the mother and a quarrel elapses between them. Apparently, Polonius hides within the vicinity to spy. He becomes convinced that Hamlet is indeed mad and worries that he may harm Gertrude. This prompts him to scream for help. Hamlet identifies Gertrude’s father where he hides and stabs him to death. He is however not remorseful that he has killed his lover's father. He calls him, 'Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool'. Gertrude also gets convinced of Hamlets madness after the ghost to him telling him to be gentle to his mother but to kill King Claudius.
The King sends Hamlet to England for a diplomatic mission. He does this due to fears for his life. He realizes that Hamlet may harm him. He sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to accompany the princes to England after disclosing to them that he is doing this to send the princes to his death trap. Hamlet's revenge is being delayed again as he cannot gain access to Claudius. While away, his quest to avenge his father's death intensifies. He meets a bloody fight that results in many deaths on his way.
Another revenge tragedy happens when Ophelia gets mad due to her father’s death. She begins to walk around singing to herself. Her brother Laertes comes back from France and gets shocked by the father's death and the sister's madness. He is convinced by King Claudius that Hamlet is responsible for all the tragedies in his family. He tells him that the prince is alive in England. This besets him on a revenge mission against Hamlet.
King Claudius unsuccessfully tries different strategy to kill Hamlet in his ship and to make it appear like an accident on his way back from England . He escapes unhurt but Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die in the process. The King then resolves to capitalize on Laertes hatred by organizes a fight between him and Hamlet with the knowledge that Laertes is good with swords. Laertes further promises to poison the head of his sword to kill the prince at the slightest scratch. The king on part goes ahead to plan to poison him with wine if the first attempt fails.
Ophelia commits suicide and her death is reported. At the funeral, Laertes blames Hamlet and curses him. Hamlet appears at this time and confesses his love for Ophelia. A fight breaks between them but they are separated by Claudius and Gertrude. Hamlet is then informed by Claudius of the fight with Laertes to mend fences. He readily accepts this fight against his friend Horatio's warning.
The fighting day comes and all are set. They have several rounds without success in any of the sides. Gertrude then unknowingly toasts Hamlet using the poisoned wine. She drinks it. Attempts by the King to block her not to drink are too late. At this time, Laertes finds an opportunity and stabs Hamlet with his poisoned sword. The fight continues and Hamlet manages to use Laertes sword against him. Gertrude then announces her poisoning as she dies.
Laertes reveals King Claudius plot to kill Hamlet as he dies. This prompts Hamlet to stab the king using Laertes sword. He goes further to force him to drinking his own poisoned wine to kill him. Hamlet then announces Prince Fortinbras of Norway as the probable king as he takes his last breath. Horatio remains to recount the whole story to Prince Fortinbras who comes in only to be met by a deadly scene of bodies.
The theme of revenge in this play has been met by a number of tragedies. Many deaths have come about the same thing. The delay of Hamlet's revenge is the main cause of many deaths seen at the end of the play. One thing leads to the other as more and more people are sucked into the saga. It seems that could Hamlet have gone ahead with his mission earlier enough, then many deaths at the end could have been avoided.
The delay has also worked well for the continuation of the play. It brought the flow of the play. This is Shakespeare's longest play ever. The delay of Hamlet's revenge has thus aided in the flow of the play. Hamlets emotional life has also been built by this delay. At first he is not sure of going ahead with the or not. This changes as time goes. The experiences he undergoes harden him to and make him believe of the reason to revenge.
At the end everybody with revenge mission dies. This tells us of the inability of revenge to solve problems but to lead to more corruption. People should instead work on themselves.
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