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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Brief Summary

Folger Shakespeare LibraryHamlet returns home from school after learning that his father is dead.  When he arrives at Elsinore, he discovers his uncle Claudius is married to his mother Gertrude and is now king. Hamlet is in a bad mood!  Matters only get worse when his best friend Horatio and a couple guards show him a ghost who looks like his father.  The ghost instructs Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing Claudius!  Hamlet doesn't know what to do. He decides to act mad until he figures it out.  While Hamlet feigns madness, he inadvertently kills his girlfriend Ophelia's father, Polonius (he thought Polonius was the king...hate it when that happens!).  The death of her father causes Ophelia to literally go off the deep end.  At the close of the play, Hamlet does get his revenge, yet he perishes along with 8 other characters!

Mel Brooks as HamletRead the Play

Watch the Play

OpheliaDiscuss the Play

Lesson Plans

Ethan Hawke as HamletReviews

Related Links

  • Hamlet on the Ramparts ~ This amazing site focuses on the moment when Hamlet meets his father's ghost for the first time.  The site allows you to compare various versions of the text, as well as images and videos of the scene!
  • Hamlet Criticism ~ Check out the links at Mr. William Shakespeare & the Internet for criticism on Hamlet.
  • Visit the Hamlet Page.The Hamlet Home Page ~ Gary Munro's Hamlet home page holds a wealth of information including scene-by-scene summaries, a brief biography of Shakespeare, teaching handouts, and a discussion area.
  • A Short Course on Hamlet ~ Ian Delaney's Hamlet course includes a copy of the script, questions & answers for each act, a discussion area, and more.
  • Legends Hamlet ~ Paula Kate Marmor's Legends provides background information for Hamlet & Macbeth.



Unless otherwise noted, all original content 1994-2002 Amy Ulen. All rights reserved.
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