Plot of Hamlet To kill a king, to avenge a murder, to save a nation, a task putinto one mans hands. Hamlet is a man with “too much reason” and notenough action.
Sick with love and disgusted by the lust which slowly engulfs hiskingdom. He is surrounded by greed and death within a threatened Denmark. InShakespeares Hamlet, plot is constructed through various internal conflictsand a tense mood formed by the use of historical setting, psychologicalcharacterization, and ominous foreshadowing. The battle between King Fortinbrasand King Hamlet is an example presented in the play of historical setting, forit illustrates a past happening which is important for the fundementalunderstanding of the play. It describes the battle between the two kings forsome land, an occurrence in the past which is important to what is happening inthe present. Shakespeare uses historical settings to develop conflict in theplot of the play.Order now
After the murder of the King Hamlet by Claudius, his brother,the reader is led to believe that young Forinbras will now fight back for theland his father once lost, “Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,holding a weak supposal of our worth, or thinking by our late dear brothersdeath our state to be disjoint and out of frame, colleagued with this dream ofhis advantage, he hath not failed to pester us with message importing thesurrender of those lands lost by his father, with all bands of law, to our mostvaliant brother. “(ActI sc. 2 lines 17-25) This leads to an atmosphere ofsuspense and fear of an unknown future. The appearance of the ghost of the lateKing Hamlet is another example of historical reference for it is used to startbuilding up to an oncoming “conflictuous” development of the plot. Psychological characterization in the play focuses mainly on Hamlet. Shakespearedemonstrates Hamlets weakness by showing how he can never make descisions andby contrasting him with young Fortinbras.
Hamlet is portrayed as someone weakand unstable while Fortinbras, is a strong-willed character, ready to gather histroops and recover his countrys pride by getting back the land his fatheronce lost. . In Shakespeares Hamlet, ominous foreshadowing plays an extremelyimportant role. The play opens at a sentry post before the castle of Elsinore,Denmark, during legendary times.
It is midnight and Francisco, a sentry, is athis post awaiting his relief. We are already led to wonder what he is frightenedof, but we are soon told, “Horatio says tis but our fantasy, and well notlet belief take hold of him thouching this draded sight, twice seen of us. “(Act I , sc. I, lines 30-33) We are informed that for the past couple of nightstwo guards have repeatedly seen what is thought to be an apparition of the lateKing Hamlet of Denmark. Already a sense of mystery permeates the beginning ofthe plot with the mysterious appearance of the ghost, but as quickly as theghost comes, it goes.
We are left only with one question in our minds, why hasthe ghost returned from the dead? This question leads us to foreshadow that theghost has returned to correct a wrong or if it be an evil ghost to cause chaosin Denmark. Another example that might lead us to conclude that something is notright in the state of Denmark is the line said by Marcellus(one of the guardswho has seen the ghost), “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. Thisline alone leaves the reader with an uncomfortable feeling, wondering what couldbe wrong and if it is somehow connected to the ghosts return. Anotherimportant example of foreshadowing if found in Act I sc. III , when Poloniusprohibits his daughter Ophelia to speak to prince Hamlet, “I would not, inplain terms, from this time forth have you so slander any moment leisure as togive words or to talk with the Lord Hamlet.
” (lines 139-141) Polonius iscommitting the ultimate mistake found in all the great tragedies, he isprohibiting two lovers to see or speak to one another. If there is any true lovebetween Hamlet and Ophelia the reader can conclude that they will probably tryto see one another against Polonius will. This creates a tense mood to thereader, foreshadowing of an ominous and threatening, future occurrence in theplot. Shakespeare uses diverse literary devices to attain conflict leading to arather intricate plot.
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