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Hamlet: A Summary of the Play

Ratings:
35 minutes

Summary

"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark", is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature, with a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others." The play seems to have been one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most-performed. It has inspired writers from Goethe and Dickens to Joyce and Murdoch, and has been described as "the world's most filmed story after Cinderella".

The protagonist of Hamlet is Prince Hamlet of Denmark, son of the recently deceased King Hamlet, and nephew of King Claudius, his father's brother and successor. The play opens on a cold night on the ramparts of Elsinore, the Danish royal castle. The sentries Bernardo and Marcellus and Hamlet's friend Horatio encounter a ghost that looks like the late King Hamlet. They vow to tell Prince Hamlet what they have witnessed...

This is a detailed summary of the play, re-told in today's language.

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