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The tragedy revolves around the story of the Danish prince Hamlet. When the king of Denmark, Hamlet's father, dies, his brother Claudius is ready to take his place, so he marries Gertrude, the queen. Therefore Hamlet has to face a different family situation: her mother in love with his uncle. One night Hamlet is sumoned by a ghost; they meet on the battlement of Elsinore Castle, where the ghost turns out to be Hamlet's father's ghost, who tells his son that he didn't die of a natural death but Claudius is guilty of his murder, so now the ghost wants Hamlet to revenge him. Hamlet is full of anger and wants to kill Claudius but he is tormented by doubts. He knows he can't refuse to revenge his father because of the medieval laws, but at the same time, he is religious and committing a crime would means to go against God's laws; so Hamlet pretends to be mad in order to gain time and observe the behaviour of Claudius and Gertrude. In order to make his behaviour seems the result of insanity, Hamlet also refuses Ophelia's love. Then Hamlet asks the actors in a Court play to perform the story of his father's murder, in order to observe Claudius' reaction. As he sees the performance Claudius runs in his bedroom. This behaviour is the confirm which Hamlet needs, so he follows the king but when he founds him praying in front of the altar, Hamlet decides to postpone his revenge. Indeed if a guilty man is killed while he is praying in front of the altar, he will be forgiven. But actually Claudius was not praying but he was pretending to do it. By mistake Hamlet kills Polonius, Ophelia's father. Ophelia goes insane and commits suicide because of Hamlet's refusion. Her brother, Laertes, swears revenge. Claudius uses him to plan Hamlet's murder. Laertes uses a poisoned foil to kill Hamlet, but before his death Hamlet mortally hurts Laertes and Claudius. In the while Gertrude drinks a poisoned potion destined to Hamlet and dies. At the end of the play all the characters die and the starting order is restablished.
"Hamlet" is perhaps the closest of Shakespeare's tragedies to modern sensibility. Hamlet is an enigmatic character, and he perfectly represents all the aspects of the human being: he's mad, he's in love, he's angry, he's indecided, he's scared. Hamlet is an introspective man, who can't stop thinking, he looks for the solutions of his problems in books, this makes him a Renaissance character. His inability to decide is his fatal flaw, indeed his indecision involves the court in a situation where everyone are paying attenction to the private life of Hamlet and not to the nation. Gertrude's fatal flaw is her love for Claudius. Her role in the murder of the king is not clear. The ghost describes her as a virtues woman, but anyway she was ready to marry another man, so Hamlet can't get if she is innocent or guilty. Claudius' fatal flaw is his ambition. He is a murderer, a traitor, a bad ruler, who has not taken care of the nation, causing the defeat of Denmark against Norway.
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