The hamlet summary explains various plots of Hamlet with examples of his famous soliloquies that fill the play with intelligent use of poetic devices. The tone of hamlet is one of foreboding and depression where Shakespeare indulges upon the themes of indecisiveness and hesitation. Hamlet the true moral hero seeks to avenge his murdered father but hesitates due to his Christian obligation in keeping the commandment of ‘thou shalth not kill’. This is one of Shakespeare’s finest and longest plays where greed, ambition, madness, serendipity and coincidence make up the psychological thriller of sorts called hamlet.
Hamlet Summary Act 1
Hamlet is set in Denmark where his father the King has just died murdered by his brother Claudius who has now claimed the throne and married Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude. Shakespeare uses his imagery of disease in almost every act in the play exemplified by a metaphor in the famous lines
‘’Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’’ (act I, sc IV, 90).
While Denmark is preparing for war against the young prince Fortinbras of Norway, Officers Marcellus and Horatio spot the ghost of the late King on the guard platform of Elsinore Castle. Claudius sends ambassadors to request the Norweginian King to restrain Prince Fortinbras. Hamlet still in mourning despises his mother for marrying Claudius. Meanwhile Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia is cautioned by her brother Laertes not to marry hamlet as she would get hurt. Her father Polonius feels Hamlet is making use of her.
Hamlet lets loose a tirade against his mother for questioning his lengthy period of mourning. He uses an apt anaphora in the lines to stress upon the fact that his attire and demeanor are still not enough examples of his sense of loss.
“Tis not alone ……. inky cloak, good mother” (act I, sc ii, 81-86)
Hamlet’s first soliloquy is an epithet to label God as an everlasting being . He ultimately sees his father’s ghost which confirms his suspicions that it was Claudius who poisoned his father. The
Ghost instigates Hamlet to avenge his death but to spare his Mother for marrying Claudius. Hamlet makes his officers Marcellus and Horatio swear not to disclose what has happened.