Hamlet| William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review | Elizabethan Tragedy
Cover Page of Hamlet

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

Act 1, Scene 4

‘Hamlet’ with ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’ as its title is a tragic revenge play written by William Shakespeare. Set in the Elsinore Castle ๐Ÿฐ of Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ, the drama revolves โ™ป๏ธ around  Hamlet, the Prince ๐Ÿคด of Denmark’s vengeance over Claudius, who killed ๐Ÿ—ก his brother for the throne and crown ๐Ÿ‘‘ and marries ๐Ÿ’ Getrude, Hamlet’s mother. The role of the hero is challenging with infinite interpretations derived from various theoretical approaches. 

The Ghost of the King of Denmark๐Ÿฆนโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ 

Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Elizabethan Tragedy | Shakespearean Tragedy
Ghost of King of Denmark

The sentinels and soldiers – Marcellus, Francisco, and Barnardo in the Elsinore Castle ๐Ÿฐ are terrified ๐Ÿ˜ฐ as they see the Ghost of the deceased โšฐ๏ธ King of Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ stalking the castle ๐Ÿฐ. They have seen this for several nights ๐ŸŒƒ and have called upon Horatio, a nobleman and the bosom friend of the Prince ๐Ÿคด of Denmark, Hamlet to be with them for a night. Horatio sees and confirms it as the Ghost of King of Denmark. Horatio decides to reveal it to his son. 

Will the Ghost and the Prince ๐Ÿคด see ๐Ÿ‘€ and speak ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ each other? Will the Ghost reveal anything that triggers the Prince? Do the revelations imbalance ๐Ÿ˜ฉ the psychological aspect of Prince Hamlet? 

The Ghost of the King Meets His Son ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

Hamlet agrees to meet the Ghost. His revelations are shocking ๐Ÿ˜ฒ. The Ghost reveals that he was poisoned ๐Ÿงซ by his brother Claudius who is now the King of Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ and has got married ๐Ÿ‘ฐ to his widow. The Ghost asks him to take revenge against Claudius. The Prince, who was furious ๐Ÿ˜ก against Claudius for getting married to his mother, Getrude is now enraged ๐Ÿ˜  hearing this. He decides to take revenge. 

Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Elizabethan Tragedy
Getrude and Claudius

The Uncertainty of Hamlet ๐Ÿคจ and his Feigned Madness ๐Ÿ˜ต

The decision to avenge his father’s death is certain but he is uncertain ๐Ÿค” of who the murderer is. He wants to ensure that Claudius has murdered ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ his father. He begins to feign madness ๐Ÿ™„, performs senseless acts and spills out the fury against all the women ๐Ÿ˜ก around him. He does this to secretly ๐Ÿ” gaze and observe ๐Ÿ”Ž the actions of Claudius but unnoticeably ๐Ÿ˜‘, he himself was depressed ๐Ÿ˜ž and paving way to madness ๐Ÿฅด. 

The Assumption of Polonius

Polonius is the old councilor of the King and he, upon the worries ๐Ÿ˜ฒ of Claudius and Getrude on their Prince, conveys that his affection ๐Ÿ˜ for Ophelia – the daughter of Polonius, has turned him mad ๐Ÿคฏ. But the royal couple aren’t satisfied ๐Ÿ˜’ with his assumptions and call ๐Ÿ“  upon his school ๐Ÿข friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to know what disturbs him ๐Ÿคจ. Polonius sticks on his assumptions and arranges a meeting ๐Ÿ‘ซ between Hamlet and Ophelia where they can spy ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ. Ophelia, as a pawn โ™Ÿ, goes to meet her beloved knowing about this plan.

Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Tit for Tat; The Counterstroke of Hamlet ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ

To be or not to beโ€”that is the question:Whether โ€™tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And, by opposing, end them.

Act 3, Scene 1

While Claudius and Polonius has planned to spy on him, Hamlet has come up with his plan to ensure who the murderer is ๐Ÿค”. He has decided to call upon a troupe of actors ๐ŸŽญ to enact a drama similar to the supposed murder of the deceased King ๐Ÿ‘‘. He can then arrive at a conclusion that Claudius is  the guilty murderer ๐Ÿคจ, on observation of his reaction ๐Ÿง. He can then avenge ๐Ÿ‘ฟ his father’s death without a pinch of remorse. 

What will Happen in the Spied Meet? ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ 

Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Shakespearean Tragedy
The spied Meeting

“Frailty, thy name is woman!”

Act 1, Scene 2

Ophelia and the Prince meet where Polonius and Claudius spy ๐Ÿ”Ž๐Ÿ”. Ophelia returns the letters โœ‰๏ธ and gifts ๐ŸŽ he had given her. The angriness towards his mother for marrying Claudius has made him hate ๐Ÿ˜ก all women and he in a fit of rage ๐Ÿฅต says Ophelia that women are sinners who breed sinners and orders her to join a nunnery. Ophelia is heartbroken ๐Ÿ’”. Claudius realises ๐Ÿ˜ฌ that he neither loves Ophelia nor is mad. Claudius now understands that their coexistence dangerous ๐Ÿ˜ฆ as he is aware of all the incidents.

“Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne meโ€ฆ”

Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 1

What will be the precautions taken by Claudius to prevent him from harming him ๐Ÿค”? Will Claudius try to get rid of him? How can he silence ๐Ÿคซ himself when he watches the drama? 

The Murder of Gonzago; The Mousetrap

“The playโ€™s the thing,Wherein Iโ€™ll catch the conscience of the king”.

Act 2, Scene 2
Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Elizabethan Tragedy |Shakespearean Tragedy
The play ‘The Murder of Gonzago’ being enacted in the court

Claudius decides to send the Prince ๐Ÿคด back to England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ due to his unstable behaviour. The play which is planned for the night ๐Ÿ™๏ธ by Hamlet is set in the court โ›ฉ๏ธ which is attended by all royal members. The play, the murder of Gonzago was a  mousetrap ๐Ÿ˜ set to catch Claudius as it narrates ๐Ÿ—ฏ๏ธ the events of the King’s murder ๐Ÿ”ช. It disturbs ๐Ÿ™„ Claudius, due to which he flees ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ from the room. He himself is proven guilty ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ. 

The Meeting with Getrude, his Mother

Getrude also gets angry due to the unstable behaviour of his son and calls ๐Ÿ“ž him to her chamber to talk. On his way, he sees Claudius alone in a chamber, praying ๐Ÿ™ and sees this as an opportunity ๐Ÿคจ to take revenge on him. But he stops ๐Ÿšซ. He feels that it isn’t the moment to put an end to him as  he will enter heaven if he is murdered in the midst of his prayer ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ. 

He then moves towards his mother’s chamber and blames ๐Ÿ˜  her for marrying Claudius and she is frightened ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ seeing him behave in ferocity. She thinks he would kill her ๐Ÿฅบ. He also witnesses his son conversing with the Ghost whom she couldn’t see ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. She is devastated ๐Ÿ˜ฉ watching her son in madness. 

The Murder of Polonius 

Hamlet|Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |William Shakespeare | Shakespearean Tragedy
Polonius is Murdered

Polonius, who was spying their meeting behind a tapestry and calls out for help ๐Ÿ˜ฃ as he becomes uncontrollable. Hamlet kills him mistaking him for Claudius by stabbing him through the tapestry. Utilising the opportunity, Claudius arranges to send him back to England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ along with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They are given a letter โœ‰๏ธ which is to be forwarded to the King of England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ asking him to execute the Prince. 

Laertes, the Son of Polonius Returns to Avenge his Father’s Death 

Laertes returns from France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท to take revenge upon his father’s death. He has lost his father and his sister, Ophelia has gone insane ๐Ÿคฏ after her father’s loss. She sings ๐ŸŽถ nursery rhymes and offers invisible flowers ๐Ÿฅ€ to court members. She is plunged in grief ๐Ÿ˜ญ which she cannot get over. She couldn’t digest ๐Ÿ˜• the fact that his beloved has killed his dearest father ๐Ÿ˜ฑ. 

Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio | Shakespearean Tragedy
Ophelia Goes Mad

Laertes is also in grief with the loss his beloveds. Claudius poisons ๐Ÿงซ the mind of Laertes and injects ๐Ÿ’‰ in his mind ๐Ÿคฏ that the Prince of Denmark is the cause for the loss of his dearest ones ๐Ÿฅบ and encourages him to take revenge ๐Ÿ˜  upon his enemy, who has destroyed his family ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ. 

Hamlet’s Return to Denmark and the Trap of Claudius 

Prince realises how Claudius has trapped him. He then forges the letter โœ‰๏ธ of Claudius ordering that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern be executed on reaching England ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ. He manages to escape back to Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ followed by  a pirate attack. He arrives at the castle ๐Ÿฐ and narrates them to Horatio. 

Ophelia Suicides ๐ŸŠโ€โ™€๏ธ

Ophelia commits suicide drowning ๐Ÿ˜ฐ. Even though suicides aren’t Christian โ›ช burials, Ophelia’s body, being a noble woman, is  buried โšฐ๏ธ with Christian rites. Hamlet, who reaches the burial ground isn’t aware that this grave is dug โ›๏ธ for Ophelia. He watches the gravediggers playing with the skull ๐Ÿ’€ of Yorick, his father’s old jester in court and realises that this is the final place of every individual ๐Ÿ˜”. He later comes to know that Ophelia is dead ๐Ÿ˜ซ and realises how he deep his love was for her in her absence ๐Ÿ’”. Laertes in sorrow jumps himself into the grave ๐Ÿ˜ฐ.

“I loved Opheliaโ€”forty thousand brothers

Could not with all their quantity of love

Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?”

Act IV, Scene 1

Duel: The Trap of Claudius โš”๏ธ

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.

Act 1, Scene 5

Claudius puts forward an idea ๐Ÿ’ก of duel to murder his enemy, the Prince ๐Ÿคด of Denmark. He organises a friendly duel between Laertes and Hamlet. But the rapier of Laertes was poisoned by Claudius. He also poisons a glass of wine ๐Ÿท , as a backup, to be given to Prince ๐Ÿคด if he wins the duel โš”. 

The news ๐Ÿ“ฐ of duel is brought by Osric, a courtier. Getrude drinks the from the poisoned glass of wine ๐Ÿท during the duel. Hamlet is wounded in the duel ๐Ÿ—ก๏ธ, later, he wounds Laertes. Between, Getrude falls dead revealing that the wine ๐Ÿท was poisoned. Laertes realises ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and reveals ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ that Claudius has poisoned the wine as well as the sword โš”.

“We defy augury. There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, โ€™tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all”.

Act 5, Scene 2

The Tragedy 

Hamlet |William Shakespeare |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review | Elizabethan Tragedy
Claudius is stabbed and poisoned

Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned sword ๐Ÿ—ก๏ธ and pours the poisoned wine through his throat ๐Ÿ‘„. Just as how he poisoned his father. Laertes and Hamlet forgives ๐Ÿ˜” each other before they die. Hamlet hears the Fortinbras reaching Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ amd says Horatio that the Fortinbras should ascend the throne of Denmark and tells him to reveal his story to the world ๐ŸŒ. They bid goodbye ๐Ÿ‘‹.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince,

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.

Act 5, Scene 2

The Fortinbras, with their ambassadors enter announcing ๐Ÿ“ข the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They decide to give respect ๐Ÿ™ to the body of the Prince of Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ and display with the glory ๐Ÿ’ and honour of a soldier ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ. The play ends with the death of multiples, spilled wine in the stage and blood drenched bodies. 

This tragic play is supposedly written โœ๏ธ between 1599 and 1602. The play is has its roots in ‘Ur-Hamlet’, whose author ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ is not revealed, also said that it was too written โœ’๏ธ by Shakespeare which was later revised and published ๐Ÿ“œ as ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’. There are numerous critical essays ๐Ÿ“ƒ based on the character analysis of this tragic hero. The psychoanalytic theories ๐Ÿคฏ are also applied to get in contact and understand the mental state ๐Ÿง  of the tragic hero who procrastinates his revenge. 

Hamlet – On Sale Now ๐ŸŒˆ


Naeema Jalal Inclined Scorpio

Naeema Jaleel

Writer at Inclined Scorpio

On an extended process of giving birth to myself structuring own concepts & beliefs.

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Naeema Jaleel

Naeema Jaleel

Writer at Inclined Scorpio


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