William Shakespeare 's
Hamlet and Ophelia the play takes place
at Kronborg Castle Elsinore
Hamlet Prince of Denmark 1603 " To be or Not to be "
| William Shakespeare|
Kronborg Castle or Hamlets Castle, immortalised by William Shakespeare, is situated at Helsingør or "Elsinore" and built by King Frederik II in 1590.
|Hamlet by William Shakespeare|
After the fire in 1629 his son the great builder among Danish Kings Christian IV completed the building of Kronborg Castle in 1638.
Kronborg lies at the entrance of Øresund, which was the ideal position to collect Sound Duties from ships entering Øresund to secure taxes and revenues.
Hamlet is without question the most famous play in the English language. Probably written in 1601 or 1602, the tragedy is a milestone in Shakespeare’s dramatic development; the playwright achieved artistic maturity in this work through his brilliant depiction of the hero’s struggle with two opposing forces: moral integrity and the need to avenge his father’s murder.
Everywhere in the old medieval town of Elsinore, you will find traces and imprints certifying the tragic story of "Hamlet" written by William Shakespeare, and everywhere in the world, you hear the words quote
"To Be or Not To Be"
Hamlet story short
On a dark winter night, a ghost walks the ramparts of Elsinore Castle in Denmark, and was discovered first by a pair of watchmen, later by the scholar Horatio, the ghost resembles the recently dead King Hamlet, whose brother Claudius has inherited the throne and married the dead king’s widow, Queen Gertrude. When Horatio and the watchmen told Prince Hamlet, the son of Gertrude and the dead king, to see the ghost, the ghost speaks to him, declaring ominously that it is indeed his father’s spirit, and that he was murdered by none other than Claudius. Ordering Hamlet to seek revenge on the man who usurped his throne and married his wife, the ghost disappears with the dawn.
Ophelia Sitting on the base of a tree, the young Ophelia drops flowers into
the water in which she will drown herself. Hamlet, Prince of
Prince Hamlet devotes himself to avenging his father’s death, but, because he is contemplative and thoughtful by nature, he delays, entering into a deep melancholy and even apparent madness. Claudius and Gertrude worry about the prince’s erratic behavior and attempt to discover its cause. They employ a pair of Hamlet’s friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to watch him. When Polonius, the pompous Lord Chamberlain, suggests that Hamlet may be mad with love for his daughter, Ophelia, Claudius agrees to spy on Hamlet in conversation with the girl. But though Hamlet certainly seems mad, he does not seem to love Ophelia: he orders her to enter a nunnery monastery and declares that he wishes to prohibit marriages.
A group of traveling actors comes to Elsinore, and Hamlet seizes upon an idea to test his uncle’s guilt. He will have the players perform a scene closely resembling the sequence by which Hamlet imagines his uncle to have murdered his father, so that if Claudius is guilty, he will surely react. When the moment of the murder arrives in the theater, Claudius leaps up and leaves the room. Hamlet and Horatio agree that this proves his guilt. Hamlet goes to kill Claudius but finds him praying. Since he believes that killing Claudius while in prayer would send Claudius’s soul to heaven, Hamlet considers that it would be an inadequate revenge and decides to wait. Claudius, now frightened of Hamlet’s madness and fearing for his own safety, orders that Hamlet be sent to England at once.
Hamlet goes to confront his mother, in whose bedchamber Polonius has hidden behind a tapestry. Hearing a noise from behind the tapestry, Hamlet believes the king is hiding there. He draws his sword and stabs through the fabric, killing Polonius. For this crime, he is immediately dispatched to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. However, Claudius’s plan for Hamlet includes more than banishment, as he has given Rosencrantz and Guildenstern sealed orders for the King of England demanding that Hamlet be put to death.
In the aftermath of her father’s death, Ophelia goes mad with grief and drowns in the river. Polonius’s son, Laertes, who has been staying in France, returns to Denmark in a rage. Claudius convinces him that Hamlet is to blame for his father’s and sister’s deaths. When Horatio and the king receive letters from Hamlet indicating that the prince has returned to Denmark after pirates attacked his ship en route to England, Claudius concocts a plan to use Laertes’ desire for revenge to secure Hamlet’s death. Laertes will fence with Hamlet in innocent sport, but Claudius will poison Laertes’ blade so that if he draws blood, Hamlet will die. As a backup plan, the king decides to poison a goblet, which he will give Hamlet to drink should Hamlet score the first or second hits of the match. Hamlet returns to the vicinity of Elsinore just as Ophelia’s funeral is taking place. Stricken with grief, he attacks Laertes and declares that he had in fact always loved Ophelia. Back at the castle, he tells Horatio that he believes one must be prepared to die, since death can come at any moment. A foolish courtier named Osric arrives on Claudius’s orders to arrange the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes.
The sword-fighting begins. Hamlet scores the first hit, but declines to drink from the king’s proffered goblet. Instead, Gertrude takes a drink from it and is swiftly killed by the poison. Laertes succeeds in wounding Hamlet, though Hamlet does not die of the poison immediately. First, Laertes is cut by his own sword’s blade, and, after revealing to Hamlet that Claudius is responsible for the queen’s death, he dies from the blade’s poison. Hamlet then stabs Claudius through with the poisoned sword and forces him to drink down the rest of the poisoned wine. Claudius dies, and Hamlet dies immediately after achieving his revenge.
Norwegian army to Denmark. - A Norwegian prince named Fortinbras, who has led an army to Denmark and attacked Poland earlier in the play, enters with ambassadors from England, who report that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Fortinbras is stunned by the gruesome sight of the entire royal family lying sprawled on the floor dead. He moves to take power of the kingdom. Horatio, fulfilling Hamlet’s last request, tells him Hamlet’s tragic story. Fortinbras orders that Hamlet be carried away in a manner befitting a fallen soldier.
a guest had seen Hamlet performance in Helsingor, and wrote in 2013
I’m back to University on Sunday and I suppose getting a bit of a head start on the reading is quite good. If you’re reading this now after I just posted this then I know that the scheduled publishing feature works great on this site as I am currently watching Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End! (A review is most likely to follow!)
Hamlet is possibly one of the, if not the, most popular and famous Shakespeare play and I can definitely see why. This play grips you from the very first page and keeps you waiting until the final scenes to unfold the crucial plot developments that we have been waiting for. There are so many questions raised from reading this play it is hard to answer all of them, there are so many different interpretations that can be read from the text which is what I most like about Hamlet. It means that realistically every time you read the play, or see it, it can and probably will be performed differently and I think that that is just extraordinary.
Shakespeare constantly presents the idea that the world is painful to live in and this is a major theme carried throughout. In the opening scenes we learn of Hamlet’s loss of his Dad (The King of Denmark), how his Uncle has married his Mother and become King and we see Hamlet’s father return as a ghost, vowing for Hamlet to get revenge. From the outset it is set as a revenge tragedy and like one of the previous plays that I read, ‘The Spanish Tragedy’, it follows a similar structure.
Once you’ve decided whether Hamlet is acting or actually mad, whether he loves or pretends to love Ophelia and if you are pro- or anti-Hamlet then it is easier to form your own interpretation of the scenes that lead to the climax and ending action of the play. Personally, I am pro-Hamlet, I like his character and I want him to succeed in his revenge of killing his Uncle for murdering his father. I think that Hamlet is acting mad but then becomes mad and that he actually does love Ophelia. He chooses to ignore his feelings to get revenge and it is this that finally drives his mad. This is mirrored by wanting to murder his Uncle in the right way when he is acting mad and why he doesn’t hesitate when he has the chance again. In my opinion Hamlet has no one on his side as his mother betrays him, his Uncle betrays him, Ophelia dismisses his love for her at first, his friends from college turn on him and I think it could be his loneliness that also drives him to become insane, supported by his killing of Polonius. However, there is just too much evidence supporting if Hamlet is mad or if he is acting mad and I’d like to hear what other people interpreted from the text too!
It ends with death and betrayal with most of the central characters of the play dead on the stage in the closing scenes; a key image of Shakespeare tragedies. The feature of using a play within a play to reinforce the actions within the play is also evident here and is used superbly and creatively.
I really enjoyed this play and can’t believe that I have not read this (or seen it!) sooner. It gets a 9/10 because it is interesting, it opens debate whilst the audience gets all of its answers and I have not read much literature that manages to achieve both of these things. I like that Hamlet is a mystery and you can sort of choose what he is depending on how you view him. This is a classic Shakespeare play with several recognisable images, it is well quoted, well-known and I think that this should be read by everyone. If you haven’t read this yet, then please do but most of all please…Enjoy!