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What is the conclusion of "Hamlet?"

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billygurl | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 3, 2009 at 5:35 AM via web

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What is the conclusion of "Hamlet?"

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 3, 2009 at 6:01 AM (Answer #1)

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As many of Shakespeare's plays end "Hamlet," is a tragedy with a great deal of death in the conclusion. The queen is dead from poison that was meant for Hamlet.  The king is dead of poison that was forced down his throat by Hamlet in revenge for the death of his father and now his mother.   Laertes tells Hamlet that they both will die because the rapier that each was cut with had been dipped in poison.  Fortinbras finally arrives home and finds out that he will finally be king, but he is really sad about it because he was good friends with Hamlet.   Hamlet tells Horatio to make sure everyone knows what happened to his family and what really went on so there will be no misinformation passed on to future generations.

 ”Fortinbras orders Hamlet’s body carried “like a soldier” to the stage, and says if Hamlet had had the chance, he would “have proved most royal.” He orders appropriate funeral rites for Hamlet, including the firing of ordnance, which ends the play.”


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jagtig | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 4, 2009 at 6:11 AM (Answer #2)

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I agree in the main with Lady Volunteers answer.

I would suggest that Hamlet was concerned with the wounds inflicted upon his family's reputation by the act of his uncle and mother when they murdered and married.


O good Horatio, what a wounded name, - H.V,ii,355 et seq.

The name so grievously injured was his and his father's alike. He could rely upon Horatio as his best friend, to defend him in death, and Horatio's first words concerning Hamlet upon receipt of the news that Ros. and Guild. had been slain as per the "King's" orders were;

Not from his mouth, Had it the ability of life to thank you, He never gave commandment for their death. - Ho. V,ii,385  


Of course, Hamlet did give the order through rewording the commandment written by Claudius and sent with R. and G. to England. This may ascertained by going to:


I sat me down, Devised a new commission, wrote it fair: - H. V,ii,29



He should the bearers put to sudden death, Not shriving-time allow'd. - H. V,ii,44

But, otherwise the answer is as stated, all of Hamlet's family and that of the most important courtier die, and Fortinbras, the son of the Norwegian King who lost his lands to King Hamlet, assumes the crown of Denmark.


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