Important Events in Hamlet

  • Death of King Hamlet

  • Act 1, Scene 1- Event 1

    The Ghost is seen for the first time in this scene. The guards believe that the Ghost is King Hamlet. They attempt to talk to the Ghost, but when the Ghost does not respond they think it would be best to tell Hamlet what they have seen.
  • Act 1, Scene 2- Event 2

    In this scene Hamlet is found talking to Gertrude and Claudius. This is an important scene because it reveals Hamlets personality, feelings, and hidden troubles.
  • Act 1, Scene 5- Event 3

    This scene is where Hamlet speaks to the ghost of his father. His father tells Hamlet of how he was murdered. Claudius poured poison in the Kings ear while he napped. Hamlet vows to get revenge on his uncle. This was the event that started all of the conflict in the play.
  • Act 2, Scene 1- Event 4

    In this scene Ophelia talks to her father, Polonius, about Hamlet. Hamlet had entered her room acting mad. After hearing Ophelia's story Polonius is convinced that Hamlet is crazy from love. This is important because it shows that Hamlet has committed to seeming crazy to everyone.
  • Act 2, Scene 2- Even 5

    When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern first appear in this scene Hamlet is happy to see them. However, soon after their arrival he realizes that the King and Queen have sent for them to act as their spies.
  • Act 2, Scene 2- Event 6

    When the traveling troupe of actors shows up in Denmark, Hamlet decides to use them to his advantage. He creates a play for the actors that resemble the murder of his father as he knows it. He plans on using this play to gage the guilt of his uncle.
  • Act 3, Scene 1- Event 7

    In this scene Polonius and Claudius eavesdrop on the conversation between Ophelia and Hamlet. During this scene Hamlet realizes that he is very alone. His friends and his girlfriend had betrayed him.
  • Act 3, Scene 2- Event 8

    During this scene the court gathers to watch the actors perform Hamlets play. This is an important part of the story because Claudius' reaction to the play is what Hamlet plans to base his certainty of guilt on. When Claudius reacts to the play, Hamlet is convinced that the Ghost was right.
  • Act 3, Scene 4- Event 9

    In Scene 4 Polonius is accidentally killed by Hamlet. Polonius had been hiding behind a tapestry hanging in the Queens room while Gertrude and Hamlet talk. When Gertrude calls for help, Polonius also calls for help from behind the tapestry. Hamlet believes that Polonius is actually Claudius, and stabs him.
  • Act 4, Scene 1- Event 10

    After stabbing Polonius, Hamlet chooses to use the murder to support his act of insanity. His mother, now knowing Hamlet's motives, tells Claudius that Hamlet killed Polonius because he is crazy. However, this event causes Claudius to realize that Hamlet is more of the threat than he realized.
  • Act 4, Scene 4- Event 11

    During this scene Hamlet learns of Fortinbras’ army he begins to rant about what is keeping him from getting revenge. During this rant he says, "I do not know/ Why yet I live to say 'This thing’s to do,'/ Sith I have cause and will and strength and means/ To do ’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me." This quote shows Hamlets certainty about what he must do. He recognizes that, although he knows he must kill Claudius, there is something keeping him from doing so.
  • Act 4, Scene 5- Event 12

    This scene is important because Ophelia looses her mind as a result of her father’s murder. Ophelia's insanity was a way for her mind to protect herself from reality. However, this insanity ultimately leads to her death. Ophelia and Polonius' death give Laertes motive to kill Hamlet.
  • Act 4, Scene 7- Event 13

    During this scene Claudius and Laertes plot to kill Hamlet. This scene shows that while Laertes wants to kill Hamlet for revenge, Claudius is simply doing it for self protection.
  • Act 5, Scene 1- Event 14

    This scene is where Hamlet learns of Ophelia's death. It is important because Hamlet reveals just how much he loved her in this scene. Hamlet also gets into an argument with Laertes which does not help the anger Laertes feels towards Hamlet.
  • Act 5, Scene 2- Even 15

    This scene contains many important events. The poisoned wine and sword cause death to those who were not meant to die. First, Gertrude drinks the wine meant for Hamlet, killing her. Then during the fencing match Laertes gets stabbed with the poisoned sword, killing him. Hamlet was also cut with the poisoned sword; however his cut was shallower thus killing him more slowly than Laertes. When Hamlet realizes what was happening, he finally takes his revenge on Claudius.
  • Act 5, Scene 2- Event 16

    When Fortinbras is told the story of the death of Hamlet, he decides that Hamlet should be given a funeral fit for a king. I felt this was an important event because, although Hamlet's father had gone to war with Fortinbras country and won, Fortinbras was still able to recognize that Hamlet should be given an honorable burial.