The Tragedy of Hamlet, William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of Hamlet
William Shakespeare
3:25 h Verse Lvl 10.03
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1601. It is Shakespeare's longest play, with 29,551 words. Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet's mother. Hamlet is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature, with a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others". 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. Claudius hastily married King Hamlet's widow, Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, and took the throne for himself. Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago. On a cold night on the ramparts of Elsinore, the Danish royal castle, the sentries Bernardo and Marcellus discuss a ghost resembling the late King Hamlet which they have recently seen, and bring Prince Hamlet's friend Horatio as a witness. After the ghost appears again, the three vow to tell Prince Hamlet what they have witnessed.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

by
William Shakespeare


Dramatis Personæ

HAMLET, Prince of Denmark.
CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle.
The GHOST of the late king, Hamlet’s father.
GERTRUDE, the Queen, Hamlet’s mother, now wife of Claudius.
POLONIUS, Lord Chamberlain.
LAERTES, Son to Polonius.
OPHELIA, Daughter to Polonius.
HORATIO, Friend to Hamlet.
FORTINBRAS, Prince of Norway.
VOLTEMAND, Courtier.
CORNELIUS, Courtier.
ROSENCRANTZ, Courtier.
GUILDENSTERN, Courtier.
MARCELLUS, Officer.
BARNARDO, Officer.
FRANCISCO, a Soldier
OSRIC, Courtier.
REYNALDO, Servant to Polonius.
Players.
A Gentleman, Courtier.
A Priest.
Two Clowns, Grave-diggers.
A Captain.
English Ambassadors.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Messengers, and Attendants.

Scene. Elsinore


Act I

Scene I. Elsinore. A Platform Before the Castle

Enter Francisco and Barnardo, two sentinels.

BARNARDO.
Who’s there?

FRANCISCO.
Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.

BARNARDO.
Long live the King!

FRANCISCO.
Barnardo?

BARNARDO.
He.

FRANCISCO.
You come most carefully upon your hour.

BARNARDO.
’Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco.

FRANCISCO.
For this relief much thanks. ’Tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.

BARNARDO.
Have you had quiet guard?

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