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Hamlet timeline

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Brandon Vu-Pham

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Hamlet timeline

Act I
Scene I

A ghost is seen at the castle by Bernardo and Marcellu (who are on guard duty), along with Horatio, a friend of Prince Hamlet. When Horatio tries to speak to it, he realizes that the ghost resembles the figure of the late King Hamlet. He suggests that they should tell the prince what happened.
Act I
Scene V
The ghost claims the be the spirit of King Hamlet. He is there to order Hamlet to avenge his death by killing King Claudius (King Hamlet's killer). However, the ghost also tells Hamlet not to act against his mother. Hamlet doesn't tell Marcellus and Horatio the exact details of what the ghost told him, but makes them swear not to tell anybody about the events that transpired. He also tells the two men that he wll pretend to be insane so he wouldn't appear to pose a threat to King Claudius' throne.
Act II
Scene II
Act I Scene IV
At night, the ghost of King Hamlet arrives and beckons for his son to follow him.
After much debate between the men over whether or not the apparition should be trusted, Hamlet follows the ghost, with Horatio and Marcellus in pursuit.
The events of
By: William Shakespeare

King Claudius recruits Rosengratz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet. Polonius proposes a plan to see if Hamlet is mad for Ophelia. The players arrive and Hamlet devises a plan to determine if the King is truly guity of murder.
By: Brandon Vu-Pham

Act I Scene II
King Claudius (brother of the recently deceased King Hamlet) gives a speech to his courtiers, explaining his marriage to Gertrude, the former king's widow. Prince Hamlet is not allowed to return to his university studies, while Laertes, son of Polonius (the chief counselor of the king) is.
Act I Scene II Con't.
Haratio reveals to Hamlet that he may have seen his father's ghost. Hamlet agrees to keep watch with them that night to find the ghost.
Act I scene III
Polonius lectures Laertes on how to conduct himself when he goes to study in France. He then tells Ophelia to stop having a relationship with Hamlet, stating he doesn't truly love her and that he will never marry her.
Act II Scene I
Ophelia tells Polonius that Hamlet has been acting very strange (He grabbed onto her and just started to sigh heavily) Polonius believes that Hamlet has gone mad because Ophelia distanced herself from him, as per Polonius' orders. He goes to tell Claudius.
Act III Scene I
Polonius's plan is in place; Ophelia roams the lobby while Polonius and the king hide. Hamlet enters the lobby and delivers a soliloquy about commiting suicide. Ophelia appears and tells him that she wants to return the various gifts and love letters that Hamlet had given her in the past. Hamlet angrily states he never gave her anything and says he both loved her and never loved her. The King states that Hamlet doesn't appear to be insane from Ophelia, and expresses his desire to send Hamlet to England. Polonius asks the king to send Hamlet to Gertude's chambers following the play so he can further investigate.
Act III Scene II
As the players get ready to start the play, Hamlet instructs Horatio to keep an eye on Claudius' behavior as the play goes in order to determine his guilt. The play's story has many parallels to the Claudius' actions. Once a character in the play pours poison into the ear of the player playing the king, Claudius cries for light. The play stops, the light turns on, and the king leaves. The king's actions show that he is truly guilty of killing King Hamlet. Rosencratz and Guildenstern arrive and tell Hamlet that he is to go to his mother's room. Hamlet decides to be harsh to his mother, but not harm her physcially.
Act III Scene III
Claudius tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to take Hamlet to England as soon as possible. Polonius tells the king that he is making his way to Gertrude's room to listen in on their conversation. Once they all leave, Claudius expresses guilt over the murder of his brother and begins to pray. Hamlet quietly enters the room and prepares to kill the praying king. However, he realizes if he were to kill the king while praying, his soul would be sent to heaven. He decides to wait until Claudius is sinning before killing him.
Act III Scene IV
Polonius hides in Gertrude's room while Gertrude readies herself to be harsh to Hamlet. However, once Hamlet shows up, he verbally berates her for marrying her husband's brother and offending his father. Scared by her son's anger, Gertrude cries out. From his hiding spot Polonius screams for help. Believing that the man behind the arras was Claudius, Hamlet unsheathed his sword and stabs through the tapestry. Once Hamlet realizes that Polonius was the man that he killed, and not Claudius, he says farewell to the dead man and proceeds to scold his mother even further. He show her a picture of the two men and tells her how King Hamlet is superior to Claudius and how she could possibly choose to be with Claudius. As he continues to yell at her, the ghost returns to remind Hamlet that he hasn't killed the King yet. Hamlet tries to talk to the Ghost, Gertrude (Who cannot see the apparition) believes Hamlet to be mad. He manages to convince her that he was pretending to be insane and asks her not to reveal to Claudius that he is faking his insanity. She agrees, and Hamlet drags the corpse of Polonius out of her chambers.
Act IV Scene I
Gertrude hurries to Claudius and tells him that Hamlet had killed Polonius and explains that he is as mad as the sea during a violent storm. Cladius decides that they must ship Hamlet to England at once, and he must find a way to tell to the people of Denmark about Hamlet's actions. He orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find Hamlet.
Act IV Scene II & III
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern manage to find Hamlet after he hides Polonius' body. They question him on the whereabouts of the corpse, but he refuses to give them a straight answer. In the end, he agrees to follow the two to go to Claudius. The king speaks to a group of attendants; telling them of Hamlet's crime and his intention to send him to England. The king questions Hamlet as to where he hid the body, and after a while, he tells them that Polonius' corpse is under the stairs near the castle lobby. Hamlet is led to the ship that will take him to England, where Claudius has ordered for his execution.
Act IV Scene IV
Prince Fortinbras of Norway is travelling through Denmark with his army to attack poland. Fortinbras orders his captain to go and ask the King of Denmark for permission to travel through Denmark. On his way, the captain encounters Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern on their way to the ship bound for England. The captain informs them that the Norwegian army rides to fight the Poles. Hamlet asks why they are at war, and the man tells him that the armies will fight over “a little patch of land / That hath in it no profit but the name”. Astonished by the thought that a bloody war could be fought over something so insignificant, Hamlet marvels that human beings are able to act so violently and purposefully for so little gain. Hamlet realizes he has a lot to gain from seeking his own bloody revenge on Claudius, and yet he still delays and fails to act toward his purpose. Disgusted with himself for having failed to gain his revenge on Claudius, Hamlet declares that from that moment on, his thoughts will be bloody.
Act IV Scene V
Following her father's death, Ophelia has gone insane. She enters the lobby adorned with flowers and singing strange songs. Claudius states she's mad from grief. He also mentions that Laertes has secretly sailed back from France. Laertes arrives and angrily expresses his desire to avenge his father's death. Claudius tries to calm him down, but once he sees his sister's insanity, he goes into a fit of rage. The king convinces Laertes to hear his version of events, which he says will answer all his questions. Laertes agrees.
In another part of the castle, Horatio is introduced to a pair of sailors bearing a letter for him from Hamlet. In the letter, Hamlet says that his ship was captured by pirates, who have returned him to Denmark. He asks Horatio to escort the sailors to the king and queen; they have messages for them as well. He also says that he has much to tell of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Horatio takes the sailors to the king and then follows them to find Hamlet, who is in the countryside near the castle.
Act IV scene VI
Act IV Scene VII
Claudius explains the Claudius explains that he buried Polonius in secret and didn't punishing Hamlet for the murder, because both the people of Denmark and the Queen love Hamlet, and if he were to be punished, there would be a negative response. A messenger enters with the letter from Hamlet to Claudius, which informs the King that Hamlet will return tomorrow. Laertes is pleased that Hamlet has come back to Denmark, since it means that his revenge will not be delayed. The two decide that the best way to kill Hamlet is to make him accept a duel with Laertes; who is an expert swordsman. Laertes' blade will be sharpened and poisoned, so even a scratch would kill Hamlet. Claudius states that if Hamlet somehow manages to survive, he will offer him a poisoned cup of wine to drink from in celebration. Gertrude arrives and delivers the news of Ophelia's death, which causes Laertes to flee the room in grief and anger.
Act V Scene I
In a churchyard, two gravediggers are shoveling a grave for Ophelia. They question whether or not she should be buried in a churchyard, because her death looked like a suicide. Horatio and Hamlet arrive. After a brief discussion with the gravediggers, Hamlet realizes that every man, no matter if he was a king or a commoner, eventually becomes dust. Suddenly, the funeral procession for Ophelia enters the churchyard, including Claudius, Gertrude, Laertes, among others. The two men hide and watch from a distance, Hamlet is unaware that the funeral if for Ophelia until he sees her body. Meanwhile, Laertes becomes infuriated with the priest, who says that to give Ophelia a proper Christian burial would profane the dead because she most likely commited suicide. Laertes leaps into Ophelia’s grave to hold her in his arms. Grief-stricken and outraged, Hamlet bursts upon the company, declaring his love for Ophelia. He leaps into the grave and fights with Laertes, screaming that he would do anything for Ophelia. The two are pulled apart by the funeral company. Gertrude and Claudius declare that Hamlet is mad. Hamlet storms off, and Horatio follows. The king urges Laertes to be patient, and to refrain from doing anything until their plan can be set in motion.
Act V Scene II
Hamlet tells Horatio how he plotted to overcome Claudius’s scheme to have him murdered in England. He replaced the sealed letter carried by the unsuspecting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which called for Hamlet’s execution, with one calling for the execution Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves. He tells Horatio that he has no sympathy for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who betrayed him but that he feels sorry for having behaved with such hostility toward Laertes, because his desire to avenge his father mirriors Hamlet's own struggle.

Their conversation is interrupted by Osric, a foolish courtier. He has come to tell them that Claudius wants Hamlet to fence with Laertes and that the king has made a wager with Laertes that Hamlet will win. Finally, a lord enters and asks Hamlet if he is ready to come to the match, as the king and queen are expecting him. Against Horatio’s advice, Hamlet agrees to fight, even though he suspects it to be a trap. The court marches into the hall, and Hamlet asks Laertes for forgiveness, claiming that it was his madness, and not his own will, that murdered Polonius. Laertes says that he will not forgive Hamlet until an elder, an expert in the fine points of honor, has advised him in the matter. But, in the meantime, he says, he will accept Hamlet’s offer of love.
Act V Scene II Con't
They select their foils and the king says that if Hamlet wins the first or second hit, he will drink to Hamlet’s health, then throw into the cup a valuable gem (in reality it is the poison) and give the wine to Hamlet. The duel begins. Hamlet strikes Laertes but declines to drink from the cup, saying that he will play another hit first. He hits Laertes again. Gertrude rises to drink from the cup, but Claudius tells her not to drink. Gertrude drinks the wine nonetheless. Laertes remarks under his breath that to wound Hamlet with the poisoned sword is almost against his conscience. But they fight again, and Laertes scores a hit against Hamlet, drawing blood. Scuffling, they manage to exchange swords, and Hamlet wounds Laertes with Laertes’ own blade.
The queen falls. Laertes is poisoned by his own blade. The queen moans that the cup must have been poisoned, calls out to Hamlet, and dies. Laertes tells Hamlet that he, too, has been slain, by his own poisoned sword, and that the king is to blame both for the poison on the sword and for the poison in the cup. Hamlet, in a fury, runs Claudius through with the poisoned sword and forces him to drink down the rest of the poisoned wine. Claudius dies crying out for help. Hamlet tells Horatio that he is dying and exchanges a last forgiveness with Laertes, who dies after forgiving Hamlet.
The sound of marching echoes through the hall, and a shot rings out nearby. Osric declares that Fortinbras has come in conquest from Poland. Hamlet tells Horatio again that he is dying, and urges his friend not to commit suicide in light of all the tragedies, but instead to stay alive and tell his story before he too dies from the poison.
Fortinbras marches into the room accompanied by the English ambassadors, who announce that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Horatio says that he will tell everyone assembled the story that led to the gruesome scene now on display. Fortinbras, the new king of Denmark, orders for Hamlet to be carried away like a soldier.
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