Free Essay on the Hamlet Summary: Plot, Character, Diction, Spectacle, Thought, and Song

Published: 2023-05-28
Free Essay on the Hamlet Summary: Plot, Character, Diction, Spectacle, Thought, and Song
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  English literature Shakespeare Hamlet
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 694 words
6 min read

William Shakespeare was a phenomenal poet, and among his most famous works is "the Hamlet." The Hamlet involves a Hamlet-looking ghost which approaches Prince Hamlet seeking vengeance from Claudius (who killed him). Claudius ends up marrying the King's widow, Queen Gertrude. The ghost declares to be the prince's father's spirit and orders Hamlet to avenge his death. The prince's devotion to this cause drives him to apparent insanity, and Claudius and Gertrude seek to know what caused his deep sadness. The King employs two of Hamlet's friends, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, to spy on him. Polonius suggests Hamlet could be madly in love with Ophelia, his daughter. Hamlet stages a theatrical test of determining whether Claudius killed his father, and his reaction suggests he is guilty, a course that drives Hamlet's will to kill him. Claudius exiles Hamlet to England. Hamlet kills Polonius in Gertrude's bed-chamber, and Claudius orders his immediate banishment to England with sealed orders demanding his execution. Polonius' death drives Ophelia to madness, and she drowns in the river. Laertes, Ophelia's brother, returns to Denmark in rage. Claudius tricks him into believing that Hamlet caused his sister's and father's deaths. Claudius hatches a plan for Laertes to kill Hamlet upon hearing of the prince's return to Denmark. Hamlet and Laertes fight in Ophelia's funeral, and a fencing match between the two is decided upon by the King. The fight begins, and Hamlet gets wounded with Laertes' poisoned blade that also injures Laertes. Queen Gertrude drinks from the King's poisoned goblet and dies. Hamlet stabs the King using the poisoned blade and forces him to drink the poisoned wine. Claudius, Hamlet, and Laertes die. Fortinbras delivers news of the death of Guildenstern and Rosencrantz and is stunned by the sight of the Royal family's death scene. He takes the power of the kingdom, and Horatio's revelation of Hamlet's tragic story causes Fortinbras to command that Hamlet is carried in a soldierly manner.

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The Hamlet employs imagery, rhetorical questions, metaphor, and philosophy as the main dictions. Through the play, it is evident that Hamlet is suicidal, intelligent, and self-examining. His dialect is unrealistic as Danes did not speak like Hamlet did as he questions the nature of his existence. His diction presents a dramatic effect, especially in his monologue, where the intentionally vague concept of "to be or not to be" surfaces. It is a simple but complex notion. The use of thoughts builds into the plot, and the seven soliloquies Hamlet engages in present perspective into the prince as a reflective character. These thoughts align with the prince proving intelligence as he presents detailed historical allures. The play inspires people to question the meaning of humanity by emphasizing thematic detail into lust, gossip, death, and betrayal. Nature shows the audience that death exists as part of life through the statement, "Since nature cannot choose his origin"(1.4.26)

Song in the Hamlet is conjunctive with thought and spectacle. Ophelia sings and alternates between love and lamentation. Customs forbid gentlewomen from singing in public and Ophelia's instance of song shows that she forgot all social restraint. It reinforces the allegation that she was mad and strongly projects themes of grief, and the emotional torment that springs from prolonged melancholy. Songs bear significance in the Hamlet, and Ophelia's songs illustrate the extent of her love for Hamlet and Polonius, her father. They provide insight into how male manipulation and abuse led to her decline.

Character manifests in the play with the portrayal of two Hamlets. The first one is young and intellectual and idealistic. He commits to the truth and expresses himself in good poetry. The other Hamlet is barbaric, cruel to his mother, and Ophelia. He even kills Polonius and sends his allies to their death. Through the presentation of the protagonist's tragic story, the Hamlet achieves success in displaying tragedy. Spectacle helps the audience comprehend the play. Moving of scene informs of the actions occurring and where they do, especially the grave-digging scene. The effectiveness of tragedy in Hamlet depends on the six elements, and they appear to coordinate the play in an audience-favorable fashion.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet. University Press, 1904.

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Free Essay on the Hamlet Summary: Plot, Character, Diction, Spectacle, Thought, and Song. (2023, May 28). Retrieved from

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