Google Translate

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hamlet - To be or not to be a murderer

One dark winter night, a ghost appears on the ramparts of Elsinore castle. It resembles the recently expired King Hamlet of Denmark. The two watchmen show it to Horatio, the scholar-friend of Prince Hamlet. Horatio then brings prince Hamlet, son of the dead king Hamlet, to show the ghost.

The ghost speaks to prince Hamlet. It declares gloomily that it is indeed his father’s spirit and was murdered by his own brother, Claudius. As the dawn nears, the ghost, ordering the Prince to take revenge on Claudius, who usurped his throne and married his wife, Gertrude, disappears.

Prince Hamlet takes upon himself to avenge his father’s death. But he delays it, for he is contemplative and philosophical by nature, besides being highly refined—wants to be doubly sure that every act of his is right. Quite often he plunges into melancholy. At times he even exhibits apparent madness. Worried by this, his mother Gertrude and Claudius appoint Hamlet’s childhood friends—Rosencrantz and Guildenstern—to keep a watch on him.

Polonius, the Lord Chamberlain, tells Claudius that Hamlet may be mad with love for his daughter, Ophelia. Claudius then orders to spy Hamlet’s movements with Ophelia. Hamlet, however, is rude to Ophelia, for he orders her to join a nunnery.

A drama troupe comes to Elsinore. Hamlet plans to employ the troop to enact a scene similar to the sequence that his uncle might have gone through while murdering his father, so that if Claudius is guilty he would surely react, which he hopes to catch. Indeed, when the scene of murder comes, Claudius hurries out of the theater. This makes Horatio and Hamlet conclude that Claudius is the culprit. 

Hamlet then rushes to kill Claudius. But seeing Claudius in prayer, he decides to defer his revenge, for he believes that killing him while in prayer would send his soul to heaven, which he considers as no good revenge. But Claudius gets more frightened of Hamlet’s madness. He even fears his own safety. Hence, he decides to send Hamlet to England immediately.

One day, Hamlet goes to his mother’s chamber to confront her. There he notices someone spying from behind the tapestry and believing him to be the King he stabs him through the fabric. But the man behind the curtain—the dead—turns out to be Polonius. As though to protect Hamlet from the crime, Claudius dispatches him immediately to London. There is, however, more to this banishment: he sends a sealed order to the King of England that Hamlet be put to death through Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are ordered to give company to Hamlet in England.

At her father’s death, Ophelia turns mad. In that grief, one day she drowns in the river. Hearing the calamity, Laertes, son of Polonius, returns from France in a rage. Claudius convinces him that Hamlet is responsible for the death of his father and sister.

Suddenly, a letter comes from Hamlet to Horatio and the King about his return to Denmark. Surprised at the news, Claudius hatches a plot to kill Hamlet by using Laertes to engage Hamlet in a sport-fencing. He plans to poison Laertes’ blade so that if it cuts Hamlet, he will die instantaneously. As a backup, the King also decides to poison Hamlet by giving him a drink, should he score over Laertes. 

The fencing match begins as planned. While watching the game, Gertrude takes the poisoned-drink and dies immediately. In the meanwhile, Laertes succeeds in wounding Hamlet, but he does not die immediately. Thereafter, Laertes is cut by the poisoned sword. He, revealing that Claudius is responsible for the Queen’s death, dies from the poison of his sword. Hamlet then stabs Claudius with the poisoned sword and also forces him to drink the leftover poisoned wine. Thus, Claudius dies. Then Hamlet dies, of course, achieving his revenge.

At this moment, Fortinbras, a Norwegian Prince, enters the scene. He gets stunned looking at the gruesome sight of the entire royal family lying dead on the floor. Horatio tells him the tragic story of Hamlet. Then Fortinbras orders that Hamlet be carried away in a manner befitting a fallen soldier.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget