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Author: William Shakespeare
Title: Hamlet
Date: 1601
Genre: Tragedy

Setting:Time: Middle Ages; Place: Denmark

* Main Characters: Hamlet, The Queen Gertrude, Claudius, The Ghost, Ofelia
* Minor Characters: Polonius, Horacio, Laerte, The Actors, Rosencratz, Golderstein

Descriptions of Charactere:

* Hamlet is a young man, always dressed with black clothes, he's the Prince of Denmark, he's smart, angry, willing of Revenge; Fakes to be mad; Refuses Ofelia. Hamlet doesn’t accept his mother’s marriage.
* Queen Gertrude is a middle-aged woman with long blonde hair, she's the mother of Hamlet and the Queen of Denmark. she's very frail; Lustful Betrays her first husband and marries his brother, Claudius
* Claudius is a middle-aged man with brown hair and brown eyes, he's the new King of Denmark Lustful; Claudius is very ambitious: he kills his brother and marries his sister in law; Misleads everybody to show that he is not guilty
* The Ghost is very worn-out face and very tired. In the past past King of Denmark Willing of revenge; Described as a good and gentle man and ask Hamlet to revenge his death.
* Ophelia is a young girl; always wearing white dresses, che's the King’s Counsellor’s Daughter. She's so frail and Sweet; She's in love with Hamlet anche she goes mad after Hamlet refuses her and her father dies; Drowns herself

Act 1: Introduction
The play opens with the funeral of the dead king and the marriage of the Queen Gertrude with the past king’s brother Claudius. Horatio tells Hamlet about the ghost and when Hamlet sees him he notices that it’s his dead father. The ghost tells him that he was poisoned in the ear by Claudius and asks Hamlet to revenge his murder but he must promise to leave the Queen deeds to be punished by God.

Act 2: Development
Polonius tells the King and Queen that he thinks that Hamlet's madness is caused by Ophelia so they decide to set up a meeting between the two but when they meet Hamlet refuses Ophelia. Rosencratz tells Hamlet that some actors are coming to the kingdom to perform a play.

Act 3: Crisis or Turning Point
To prove that Claudius is guilty Hamlet asks the actors to perform a play about a fratricide so that he can see Claudius’s reaction infact during the play Claudius rushes out proving himself guilty. Then Hamlet goes to his mother and accuses her to have betrayed his father. During this scene the Queen screams for help and Hamlet kills the intruder behind the curtain thinking it was Claudius but instead it was Polonius.

Act 4: Complications
Hamlet is sent to England by Claudius to be killed but he escapes and returns to Denmark. Meanwhile Ophelia becomes mad and she drowns herself in the lake. Laerte desperate for his sister’s and father’s death wants revenge and comes back to Denmark.

Act 5: Denouement/Resolving of all difficulties
Claudius organizes a duel between Laerte and Hamlet giving Laerte a poisoned sword. During the duel Claudius offers Hamlet some wine but the Queen understand that it is poisoned and drinks it. Meanwhile Hamlet and Laerte are wounded by the poisoned sword and before dieing Hamlet kills Claudius.

Revenge; Hate; Betrayal; Ambition; Family Relationships; Madness

The author’s biography:
Shakespeare wrote Hamlet after his father’s death that devastated him

The literary context:
When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet drama was gradually developing

The historical and social context:
In England there is the monarchy and in Hamlet are nearly all royal

Possible connections:
* Paintings:
Ophelia - John William Waterhouse.;
La Mort d'Ophélie - Delacroix;
Hamlet - Edwin Austin Abbey;
The Play-scene in Hamlet- Daniel Maclise

* Films:
Hamlet- Laurence Olivier;
Hamlet – Grigori Kozintsev;
Hamlet – Tony Richardson;
Un Amleto di Meno – Carmelo bene;
Hamlet Goes Business– Aki Kaurimaki (a modern-day version);
Hamlet – Franco Zeffirelli;
Hamlet – Kenneth Branagh

* Other:
Ophelia-Lieder- Johannes Brahms;
The Three-Minute Hamlet – Adam McNaughton
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