Tragedy ‘hamlet’ – summary

A literary work in which the protagonist meets an unhappy or disastrous end but faces the downfall in a heroic way.

7 parts of a tragedy
Exposition, inciting force, rising action, climax (turning point), falling action, moment of final suspense, catastrophe

Blank verse
Unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter.

(Turning point)
The point of greatest intensity, interest, or suspense in a piece of literature.

The final stage of a tragedy in which the hero meets his unhappy fate.

A writer’s choice of words, particularly for clarity, effectiveness, and precision.

The conversation between two or more people in a literary work.

The struggle between two or more people in a literary work.

A device whereby a character speaks his thoughts and feelings aloud, unheard by other characters.

Simultaneous use of two different meanings of the same word.

A comparison made between two things to show the similarities between them.

The central character of a drama, novel, short story, or narrative poem.

(The hero)

Stream of consciousness
The natural flow of a character’s thoughts, feelings, memories, etc.. As a character experiences them.

The person or force opposing the protagonist; a rival of the hero or heroine.

The general atmosphere, time, place, main characters, and the opening conditions of the play. (Act 1 scene 1)

Inciting force
Something happens that starts the real action of the play moving. (Act1)

Rising action
A series of events where the protagonist is the active force in the plot. He makes plans which work out as he intends and appears to have the upper hand.

(Turning point)
The protagonist reaches the peak of his power, and from this point on, because of a series or unfortunate events, there is a distinct transfer of power. Events begin to go against him.

Falling action
Events are now going against the protagonist. Here we see the rise of the antagonist. The struggle between the two is the essence of the drama.

Moment of final suspense
This is the moment when the protagonist thinks things are going to go his way and that his tragedy may be averted.

The complete downfall of the protagonist (or moment everyone dies).

Gloomy, uneasy mood.

17th century.

Denmark, Elsinore castle.

(Main characters)
Hamlet, Claudius, Polonius, Laertes, Gertrude

(Opening conditions)
-king hamlet is dead.
-Gertrude hastily remarries.
-danger of war with Norway.

Inciting force
The ghost of king hamlet appears to hamlet. The ghost tells of his murder by his brother Claudius.

Rising action
Hamlet pretends madness, and designs “ play with a play”, Claudius reveals his guilt.

Turning point
Hamlet fails to kill Claudius as he prays, hamlet confronts Gertrude, hamlet kills Polonius.

Falling action
Claudius sends Hamlet to England to be executed, death of Ophelia, Claudius plots with Laertes to kill Hamlet.

Moment of final suspense
Hamlet talks with Horatio and accepts his fate. Hamlet agrees to duel with Laertes.

Hamlet’s death. Death of other characters

The death of his mother, Gertrude, and Laertes’ confession.
What finally forced Hamlet to kill Claudius?

King Hamlet; Hamlet I
Who’s funeral opens up the play?

His father being murdered; the way Gertrude and Claudius looked at each other
What do you think Hamlet suspects at the funeral?

Claudius and Gertrude hastily marry
What happened two months after the funeral of Hamlet’s father.

As an unweeded garden (decay and destruction) he is very melancholy (sad, manic depressant, bipolar)
How does Hamlet view the world?

She married Claudius, too soon after the Kings death.
Why is hamlet so angry with his mother?

What advice does Polonius give Laertes before he leaves for Paris? What does he mean?
“ To thine own self be true”- be true to yourself; be honest with yourself, by doing so you will be true to others.

His is a prince and she is a commoner. (Social differences)
Why do Ophelia’s father and brother want her to stay away from hamlet?

The ghost of King Hamlet
What does Horatio tell he and some other sentries saw wandering the halls of the castle?

That his brother killed him and his wife was unfaithful. He was betrayed and murdered by Claudius and betrayed by Gertrude
What does Hamelt learn from the ghost of the father.

To kill Claudius, spare Gertrude, and to remember him.
What does the ghost ask of his son?

They swear on Hamlet’s sword
How does Hamlet persuade his companions to keep the appearance of the ghost a secret.

Because of his love for Ophelia
What does Polobius think is the cause of Hamlet’s lunacy?

His life
What does Hamlet say he would most willingly part with?

Claudius and Polonius- to find out the root of the matter; to see what’s causing him to become mad
Who spies on Hamlet, and for what reason?

To what does Hamlet compare death?

Because of the dreams he may have that he cannot wake up from
Why does Hamlet feel death cannot bring him peace?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern- to follow Hamlet around to find out what’s wrong
Who does Claudius send for? Why?

To devise a play that rein-acts King Hamlet’s death exactly the way the ghost explained it.
How does Hamlet decide to determine Claudius’ guilt?

The mouse trap
What was the name of the play?

Claudius is asking for forgiveness and Hamlet thinks if he kills him he will be sent to heaven
Why does Hamlet choose not to kill Claudius when he finds him praying in the chapel?

Polonius; he thought is was Claudius
Who does hamlet kill behind the tapestry?

The ghost
Who appears to hamlet in the queen’s chamber?

She thinks Hamlet has gone mad
What does the queen think is happening?

To be executed
What plans does Claudius have for hamlet once he gets to England?

He switches the letters with his own
What happens instead?

She goes mad, everyone she loved and cared for was either dead or away
What happens to Ophelia, why?

Ophelia’s; she drowned
Whose funeral procession does Hamlet see? How did she die?

A pearl
(Poisoned pearl)
What does Claudius drop into the wine?

Dies from being scratched on the arm by the poisoned tip of Laertes’ sword
What happens to hamlet?

Dies; hamlet stabbed him with the poisoned sword and then forces the poisoned wine into his mouth
What happens to Claudius?

Dies; she drank the poisoned wine
What happens to Gertrude?

Dies; hamlet fought him and then stabbed him in the chest with his poisoned sword
What happens to Laertes?

He spends hamlets final moments with him and promises to live to tell his story
What happens to Horatio?

He became the King of Denmark; joining the two countries together in peace and re conjured order
What happens to Fortenbras?

“ Frailty, thy name is woman!”

“ Neither a borrower not a lender be.”

“ This above all: to thine own self be true.”

“ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

“ Brevity is the soul of wit.”

“ Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.”

“ There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

“ To be or not to be: that is the question.”

“ Aye, there’s the rub.”

“ The lady doth protest too much methinks.”

“ Sweets to the sweet.”

“ There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.”

A fencing match (sword fight), with a poisoned tipped sword, Claudius poisoned the wine
How do Claudius and Laertes conspire to kill Hamlet?