Hamlet, by Shakespeare is an example of a tragedy. The story begins with the abrupt death of Hamlet’s father who is the King of Denmark. Immediately after the burial, Claudius who is Hamlet’s uncle marries Hamlet’s mother Gertrude and takes the throne as the King of Denmark. In a dream, Hamlet learns that his father did not die of natural causes. He learns that Claudius was the one responsible for the abrupt death of his father. Apparently, Claudius had poisoned Hamlet’s father while they were in the garden something that led to his death. Hamlet’s investigations prove that Claudius really did poison his father. Hamlet then decides to avenge the death of his father by killing his uncle Claudius.
Hamlet does not go after Claudius immediately but rather is cautious by acting as though he is insane. In one occasion, Hamlet sees his uncle praying in a solitary place. However, he does not kill him since he feels that killing him in that position would give him a free passage to heaven. This proved to be an error that led to a tragic end. Polonius family is caught up in the schemes Prince Hamlet against King Claudius. Polonius is used by King Claudius to spy on Hamlet while he is speaking with his mother Gertrude to discover if he is insane.
At one time, Hamlet finds Polonius eaves dropping on a conversation with his mother Gertrude. At first, he thinks its Claudius and in a fit of anger, he stabs him to death. Hamlet then realises he has killed Ophelia’s father Polonius but does not regret since he feels that Polonius is a fool to interfere. The death of Polonius shows how tragic the story is.
The other tragic facet in Hamlet is the failure of Hamlet to fight for his love for Ophelia. He keeps his feelings hidden pretending to be disinterested in her, which leads him to loose her completely. His inappropriate feelings are revealed when he meets with Ophelia while Claudius and Polonius are hiding in the room. He speaks rudely to Ophelia and pushes her further away from him with his malicious comments.
The story had already shown that Hamlet was in love with Ophelia thus making his indifference to her tragic. He had decided to pursue his vengeance for his father’s death over his love for Ophelia. Hamlet loves Ophelia very much but at the same time has the duty to marry someone from his social class. His need to understand the visions of his father’s ghosts and the need to appear insane drives him to turn away from the love of his life. This shows how tragic their love story had ended.
Another tragedy that is evident in the Hamlet is the death of Hamlet’s girlfriend, Polonius. This is mainly because she was innocent in the matter and was merely used by Hamlet and King Claudius to achieve their goals. Hamlet uses Ophelia to prove to people that he is insane. He does this by running to her room, staring strangely at her and then leaving. In turn, she tells her father and Claudius that Hamlet is acting strange.
Polonius then concludes that Hamlet is actually insane. This is followed by the murder of Polonius after he is mistaken with Claudius. The death of Ophelia’s father coupled with Hamlet’s indifference to her causes her so much pain. This causes her so much grief leading her to run mad and later she drowns in a well. Hamlet was pained by the death of Ophelia and mourned for her at her funeral.
Laertes the brother of Ophelia undergoes much pain owing to the death of his sister and blames Hamlet for her death. The death of his father whom Polonius had killed also torments him. Laertes is driven by revenge and swears to kill Hamlet because of destroying his family. King Claudius uses the opportunity to instill hatred in Laertes mind. He asks him what he is capable of doing to prove that he loved his father beyond words. In a trick that he intends to benefit from, Claudius encourages Laertes to seek revenge for the death of his father. In doing this, King Claudius is devising a plan of killing Hamlet by using Laertes as his weapon.
Hamlet and Laertes began to confront each other at Ophelia’s funeral but Claudius and Gertrude stop them. They later resolve to meet for a fight. Afterwards, Claudius comes up with a clever way to ensure that Hamlet dies in the fight.
Prior to the fight, King Claudius and Laertes scheme to poison the sword used in the fight. This is meant to ensure that any small prick kills the young man Hamlet. Hamlet tells his friend Horatio that he would fight Laertes but Horatio warns him it might be a trick. However, Hamlet decides that it is best that they settle the dispute like real men. Laertes is known for his great expertise with his sword. King Claudius knowing that it might be difficult for Hamlet to get even a scratch because of his fighting skills steps up the plan. Claudius prepares poisoned wine that he intends to give Hamlet if he does not die from the poisoned sword. The fighting goes on for several rounds as Hamlets mother cheers him on to defeat Laertes. During this time, Claudius is watching with the poisoned wine that he had prepared set close by his side.
As Gertrude toasting Hamlet for his defeat, she accidentally takes a drink from the poisoned wine. Claudius tries to warn her but at that time it is too late. In the event of an attack, Laertes manages to pierce Hamlet with his poisoned sword. In a counteraction act, Hamlet takes Laertes sword and critically stabs him with it. On the other side, the poison in the wine instantly kills Gertrude. In his final breath, Laertes gets time to reconcile with his childhood friend Hamlet.
In a final act of love, Laertes tells Hamlet that the plan to poison the spear was devised by King Claudius. Before losing his strength, Hamlet manages to stab Claudius using the same spear that the king had poisoned. This is just to make sure that Claudius dies no matter what happens. In his final breath, Hamlet is able to appoint Prince Fortinbras as the heir to the throne. Hamlet tells Horatio that he should live to tell the real story to all people. Prince Fortinbras comes to visit King Claudius and finds that Laertes, Gertrude, Claudius and Hamlet are all dead.
The play Hamlet is clearly an example of a tragedy. Throughout the play, many characters have tragic endings. The story involves love, betrayal and revenge. Hamlet is not happy with his uncle Claudius together with his mother Gertrude for the way they acted after the death of his father. He does not get over his death and when he learns that his father was murdered he swears revenge. However, this desire for revenge affects his love life. This leads to the death of his love Ophelia. The story ends with Hamlet taking his revenge but his past mistake costs him his life as well.