The next day, Osric tells Hamlet that the King wishes for him to fight against Laertes in a fencing match. Horatio advises Hamlet to reject the invite, but Hamlet does not listen. He says that he has an uneasy feeling about it, but still wants to push through with it since death will come no matter what one does to stop it.
They enter the court, and each man chooses his foil. If Hamlet wins a round, Claudius will drink the wine and throw a gem in it. Hamlet wins, but refuses the drink, deciding to win another strike. He does, and this time Gertrude drinks from the cup. She doesn't realize that it is poisoned, and soon dies. Laertes hits Hamlet, and in the chaos, their swords are switched. Hamlet strikes Laertes with the poisoned blade, but before he dies, he tells Hamlet that all the madness is Claudius' fault entirely. Enraged, Hamlet charges the King, stabs him with the poisoned sword, and forces him to drink the poisoned wine. Claudius dies, and Laertes dies after exchanging messages of forgiveness. Hamlet wishes Fortinbras to be made King, before he dies.
We catch the two gravediggers singing and joking around as they dig up a grave for none other than Ophelia. They wonder whether she committed suicide or not, and why she is getting a funeral procession nicer than others.
Enter a scandalized Hamlet who wonders about the new grave's owner. The gravediggers, not knowing it is the Prince of Denmark they are talking to continue to make jokes, and share gossip about him. Hamlet then finds himself with the skull of old Yorick, his caretaker, and again relates it to saying that all men return to dust. He mentions two great men, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar who have turned to dust, no longer above their subjects. Death is the great equalizer, after all.
Soon enough, Hamlet finds out that the grave is for Ophelia, when Laertes and other court officials appear with her casket. Before Ophelia's burial, Laertes jumps in to be buried with his sister. Hamlet then intervenes, saying that he loved Ophelia the most with a love that thousands of brothers could not give. They begin to fight but are broken apart. The King tells Laertes to be patient.
The great man of action, Fortinbras, makes an entrance!
Word is out and according to the captain of his army, they are really just invading a worthless piece of land in Poland. Either country can live without it. But you got to give it to Fortinbras for being on the go no matter what!
Hamlet hears about Fortinbras, and he soliloquizes about
a. everything is pointing out how slow he's been
b. how he sucks at all this
c. violent mode starts NOW
Ophelia has gotten the crazies! She gets an audience with the King and Queen, but is she really speaking nonsense? Or is there something beneath her coded words?
Gertrude stresses on how problems come in battalions:
a. Polonius' death
b. Hamlet being sent to England
c. Denmark is suspicious
d. Ophelia's insanity
e. Laertes is back and hungry for revenge
Poor Laertes! He comes in vengeful, and sees everything has gone terribly wrong.
Ophelia gives out flowers(?) to everyone, each having a meaning to it.
In a later scene, we hear news of Ophelia's drowning. Laertes, having lost his family, fuels his thirst for revenge. He plans his revenge with Claudius, coming up with an idea of a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes. Laertes is to use a sharp poisoned blade to kill Hamlet. If worse comes to worst, a poisoned drink will await him.
Hamlet is on his way back to Denmark! Apparently he was kidnapped by pirates! Good thing they were nice enough to give him a ride back home! Sadly, there is no pirate scene.
King Claudius plans his next step when he discovers Polonius' death. Thinking it would've been him if he weren't so careful, he orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to go find Hamlet and Polonius' body.
Hamlet enters and tells Rosencrantz how he is a sponge that soaks up the King's demands so he can squeeze it out and throw him away afterwards. Ouch!
Hamlet sasses Claudius by lecturing him instead of revealing where Polonius' body is. He tells Claudius about death being the great equalizer and how everyone is food for worms in the end.
Hamlet says he should check heaven by sending a servant but check hell himself. Translation: GO TO HELL
This attitude definitely convinced Claudius to have Hamlet killed in England. Will he succeed?
King Claudius, traumatized by the play, is now sending Hamlet to England!
And the friendship of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: DEFINITELY FAKE. The two have been more loyal to the King and Queen's orders than to Hamlet.
Hamlet catches Claudius praying, and decides to postpone his revenge. He decides to do the dirty job when Claudius is actually doing evil. Hamlet wastes another opportunity to kill the King yet again. Will he ever succeed?
It's play time, and guess who's excited? Hamlet, of course!
He tells the calm and cool Horatio to watch his uncle during the play, see if he looks guilty, horrified, and all that jazz.
The play starts, and Hamlet asks his Mom how she likes it so far. She responds by telling her son that the Play Queen is playing too hard to get! We're thinking if it were up to Gertrude, she wouldn't have objected to the King's moves at all! Claudius asks Hamlet what the play's title is and Hamlet tells him that it's called "The Mousetrap"
(very appropriate title!). The King starts panicking, and orders the play to be stopped.
With Hamlet's suspicions confirmed, he's bouncing all over the place with excitement! Guildenstern comes, and tells Hamlet that his angry Mom wants to see him! Hamlet knows for sure that Guildenstern is not on his side, and tells him that he is not so easily played with.
Now that he knows he's got the King red-handed, he's ready to take revenge! Hamlet takes off to have a few hurtful words with his Mother.
Meanwhile, Hamlet contemplates whether he should continue to live or end his life, accept his troubles passively or fight them? He reveals that he prefers to end his life, but is scared of what comes after death.
He continues to wonder why
anyone would prefer to live through a miserable life when one could just easily end his life? After all, what keeps one from taking his life? Is it life after death?
In this case, is it really
the afterlife Hamlet is afraid of or is it the consequences of his actions that stop him?
Ophelia enters, looking to return Hamlet's gifts. Hamlet firmly denies that he has ever given them, and in his emotional bipolarity, abuses poor Ophelia, leaving her hurt and confused. Polonius' theory of love madness is disproved.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report back to the King. Unfortunately, they still do not know the reason behind his madness. They did, however, inform him of the coming of the actors, to which Hamlet reacted to positively! Polonius tells the King that Hamlet wants him to come (more like he has
to be there, no objections
Seems like Claudius really isn't the good guy he pretends to be in front of everyone.
Hamlet comes in the picture, and Polonius approaches him. The conversation was really just Hamlet making fun of Polonius the Fishmonger
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern come in, and Hamlet asks what their business was in this prison (and by prison, Hamlet means Denmark). Eventually, Hamlet asks if they were sent for to which they reluctantly answered, yes
. Feeling depressed, Hamlet's friends try to cheer him up by telling Hamlet that actors coming to put up a play soon. This quickly catches Hamlet's attention, and soon he's feeling rather excited!
When they come, Hamlet approaches an actor, asking if they can play The Murder of Gonzago, and if he could insert some parts in it. He watches the actors and he's just in so much awe that he feels frustrated he has not done anything but act mad! He goes from depressed to raging to frustrated, until he FINALLY decides to put up a play wherein he'll catch the King, guilty!
Here we see Claudius speaking to two men, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He's been wondering about Hamlet's strange disposition lately, and they're asked to go have fun with Hamlet. To give them a hard time refusing, Gertrude promises them that they will receive rewards from the King! The two agree, but is it really for Hamlet's sake?
We get good news from the King's messengers! Apparently Young Fortinbras has chosen to forgo Denmark, and has decided to attack Poland instead. What a guy of action!
It is then that Polonius decides to appear again with his
news. But before he does get to the point, he goes off on a tangent, going on and on, until the Queen finally tells him to stop. Here's a gist of what he said:He is mad! It is true. It is a pity. But I have found out the reason behind all of his madness! You see, my daughter has given me this letter in which Hamlet has written his love for my Ophelia. I’m so very sure that his madness is because of love, a love for my daughter.
Claudius doesn't seem to believe it, though, and he asks for a way to prove Polonius' theory. Polonius decides to put Ophelia in Hamlet's way while they watch the scene unfold together!