The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark


a) Time: Sixteenth Century

b) Place: Denmark

c) Preliminary situation: King Hamlet, King of Denmark is killed. Hamlet the
Prince\'s uncle,
Claudius, receives the throne and marries Queen Gertrude.


a) Initial Incident: A ghost appears to Marcellus and another guard who decide
to inform Hamlet of
it\'s presence.

b) Rising Action:

1.2 Claudius, the new King, is holding court and thanks his subjects
for their support. He then sends an ambassador to Norway to protect from an
invasion from Fortinbras, Hamlets second cousin. He gives Laertes permission to
return to France but will not allow Hamlet to go to Wittenburg. Hamlet feels
alone and is upset that his mother married so shortly after her husband\'s death.
The guards arrive and tell Hamlet about the ghost and Hamlet agrees to join them
that night in search of the ghost, his father.

1.3 At Polonius\'s room, Laertes says good-bye to his sister Ophelia and
tells her not to trust Hamlet. Polonius arrives and says good-bye Laertes and
offers him advice. He then talks to Ophelia about not seeing Hamlet and then
orders her stay away from him.

1.4 Claudius is drinking the night and Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus
see the ghost again. The ghost signals to Hamlet to come, but the others try
and hold him back. Hamlet struggles free and moves towards the apparition.

1.5 The ghost tells Hamlet that he is the spirit of his father and that
he was not poisoned, but murdered. He demands that Hamlet avenge his death by
murdering the killer, King Claudius. Hamlet promises to get revenge and orders
the other to swear they haven\'t seen anything with the help of the ghost.

2.1 Polonius sends his servant, Reynaldo, to Paris to spy and ask about
Laertes. Ophelia then enters the room and tells her father that Hamlet was
visiting and was completely mad. Polonius believes that Hamlet has gone crazy
due to the rejection from Ophelia and rushes off to inform the king.

2.2 King and Queen send Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, old school
buddies, to spy on Hamlet and determine why he has gone crazy. Polonius tells
everyone that Hamlet is crazy because of unreturned love. Claudius isn\'t quite
convinced that Hamlet really is crazy but agrees to help Polonius spy on him.
Hamlet, when confronted by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, pretends to be mad so
no one will find out about the ghost and what Hamlet knows. Then, a group of
touring actors enters the scene and Hamlet makes one of them recite a speech he
likes. When finished, Hamlet realizes that the actor read the speech with more
emotion than Hamlet had for avenging his fathers death. Hamlet then convinces
the actors to put on a play similar to his father\'s death so he could tell by
Claudius\'s reaction whether he was guilty or not.

3.1 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern return and tell Polonius and Claudius
that they couldn\'t find a reason for Hamlets madness. Polonius then decides to
place Ophelia where he and Claudius can listen in on their conversation, hers
and Hamlets. Hamlet is nice to her at first, but when he suspects someone is
listening, he becomes abusive and cruel to her. Claudius, who is no fool,
realizes that Hamlet is not crazy because of Ophelia, so decides to send Hamlet
away to England because he is starting to fear his own life. Polonius persuades
Claudius not to send Hamlet away until after he has talked with Gertrude.

3.2 Hamlet and Horatio watch as the actors do the play. Hamlet is mean
again to Ophelia, but all is sudden when Claudius gets upset and cancels the
play. It\'s at this point that Hamlet knows that Claudius did in fact murder
King Hamlet. Hamlet is convinced later by Guildenstern and Rosencrantz to talk
with Gertrude.

c) Climax: Hamlet kills Polonius instead of Claudius, and once you kill
someone, you can\'t turn

d) Falling Action:

3.4 After killing Polonius, Hamlet verbally attacks his mother for
marrying so shortly after her husbands death. Gertrude starts to believe that
Hamlet isn\'t mad, when the ghost comes back in the room, and only Hamlet can see
it. Gertrude then decides again that he is crazy. Hamlet leaves with Polonius\'
body and begs his mother to leave Claudius.

4.1 Gertrude tells Claudius that Hamlet murdered Polonius. Claudius
then sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find Hamlet and the body.

4.2 Hamlet doesn\'t tell them where the body is.

4.3 Hamlet is brought to Claudius and is told to leave for England.
Claudius tells the audience he is sending Hamlet to his death.

4.4 On his journey, Hamlet crosses Fortinbras on their way