by W. Shakespeare
- plot summary -
Plagued by royal treachery, vengeful scheming, and an unsettled ghost, Denmark is ripe for destruction. Directly following King Hamlet's recent death, the widowed Queen Gertrude has hastily remarried Claudius, King Hamlet's own brother. Young Prince Hamlet is galled by his mother's disloyalty and sulks darkly in Elsinore castle. At midnight, the rambling ghost of King Hamlet exposes a hidden treachery to Prince Hamlet: Claudius fatally poisoned the slumbering King Hamlet in order to steal his crown and his queen. The phantom king begs Hamlet to avenge his foul murder. Prince Hamlet agrees and feigns insanity to disguise his bloody motive.
King Claudius is troubled by two pests. First, young Fortinbras of Norway has raised his army against Denmark in order to reclaim his father's lost land. Claudius suppresses Fortinbras' challenge but allows the hotheaded young Prince to pass peacefully through Denmark on his way to figh...