In the opening of the play the ghost of the dead King Hamlet is discussed among some of the guards. They claim to have seen the spirit in preceding nights. When they question the deceased, he does not respond, the guards feel that if Hamlet talks to him then he will not be silent.
The Marriage and Mourning
King Claudius, who married Queen Gertrude after his brother, King Hamlet, died shows mourning and sadness but does not dwell on the loss as his new wife has been his focus. Hamlet, the son of King Hamlet is depressed.
Fear of War
King Claudius fears war with Young Fortinbras of Norway. In order to avoid this he sends ambassadors.
Young Hamlet's Encounter
Hamlet talks to the ghost of his father and finds out that he was poisoned by King Claudius who took place of him now that he is dead. The ghosts asked Hamlet not to punish Queen Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, as heaven will judge her in the after life. Hamlet askses Horatio and Marcellus to keep his meeting with his father a secret.
Ophelia was banned to see young Hamlet and that is what some people are blaming his solemn behaviour on. Queen Gertrude, his mother, says that the remarriage and the death of his father are the only reasons for his depression.
The Plan of Hamlet
Hamlet recites his famous speech about the greatness of a man and then decides to conduct a play to test whether or not King Claudius is guilty of poisoning his father.
Things Playing Out
Hamlet becomes eager for King Claudius and Queen Gertrude to watch the play later that night which he has added lines to. Hamlet also suspects that Ophelia is spying on him and he acts meanly to her.
The Great Reaction
Hamlet will be sent to England for rehabilitation as King Claudius think his problems go far beyond love sickness. The play is then preformed and Hamlet notices a reaction in his Uncle that convinces him that King Claudius poisoned his father. After the play, Hamlet acts normally and is asked to speak to his mother in private to which King Claudius is spying on.
King Claudius realizes that Hamlet is on to his crime and decides officially to send him to England to protect himself. However, in a soliloquy he reveals his knowledge of the wrong doing he committed and knows that he cannot escape justice and guilt.
The Queen Realizes
During the private conversation between Hamlet and his mother, she tries to scold him but instead he verbally attacks her. When Polonius, hiding in an arras, mutters something Hamlet believes it is the King and stabs him. The ghost of King Hamlet reappears and tells young Hamlet to be kind to Queen Gertrude.
Hamlet and King Claudius meet before Hamlet is sent to England. They are circling each other and they both understand that they are threats. 'Neither can live while the other survives'. King Claudius knows in his mind that as soon as Hamlet arrives in England he will be murdered.
When Laertes finds out that Hamlet has killed his father, Polonius, he plans a fencing tournament between himself and Hamlet. It is also discovered that Ophelia has drowned herself.
Hamlet realizes that fate of the human race after death cannot be controlled. He sees this through a conversation with a cheerful gravedigger.
Laertes is angered at Ophelia's funeral when the Priest mentions the possibility that her death was suicidal. The conflict only worsens as Hamlet says he loved her more than Laertes (her brother). It is during this time that Hamlet also tells Horatio that he escaped the death sentence King Claudius set for him.
A Deathly Ending
The funeral leads to a fight between Hamlet and Laertes. It is also during this time that Queen Gertrude drinks a poisoned cup meant for Hamlet, she realizes this and tells the people in company. The fight is a joust and Hamlet wins the first two rounds but is stabbed by Laertes by a poisoned tipped jousting stick. Hamlet, before dying steals Laertes sword and kills him as well as King Claudius. Hamlet leaves young Fortinbras as the next King of Denmark. Horatio lives on to tell the story.