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Who are the people who die in "Hamlet"? Who is responsible for each death?...

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mlrogers3 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted May 24, 2008 at 4:43 PM via web

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Who are the people who die in "Hamlet"?

Who is responsible for each death? How is each killed? Make a list to submit that includes the above factors. write an obituary for one of the deceased characters.

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reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 24, 2008 at 9:03 PM (Answer #1)

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Your obituary will be fairly lengthy as nearly everyone dies in Hamlet! First of all, we never meet King Hamlet as his Ghost walks the parapets in the opening scene. He is the first to fall to his brother, Claudius,who wants the throne and Gertrude, King Hamlet's wife. Next, Hamlet kills Polonius as he hides behind a tapestry, spying on Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude. Hamlet says he will kill the 'rat' and discovers who it is after he has stabbed him. Next, Ophelia drowns in a watery grave distraught over her lover, Hamlet, killing her father, Polonius.Then, Claudius hatches a plot with Laertes, Ophelia's brother who craves to avenge his father's death, to have a fencing match with Hamlet. Except, he will put poison on the end of his blade to be sure that Hamlet dies. Claudius, always the careful one, decides to put poison in the wine also, for double surety of Hamlet's death. The match begins. Hamlet is struck by the poison blade; Gertrude unwittingly drinks the poisoned wine and dies. Hamlet and Laertes scuffle and the rapiers change hands, and Hamlet, unknowingly, strikes Laertes with the poisoned blade. Laertes dies. Hamlet, not quite dead yet, makes Claudius drink the remainder of the poisoned drink, and Claudius dies. Then, Hamlet dies. The only man left alive is Horatio who is charged by Hamlet, in his last words to 'tell my story.'

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dunangus | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 8, 2010 at 12:23 AM (Answer #2)

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Reidalot did a great job; however, I see no mention of the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Albeit they did not die in the plot per se, they certainly were executed within the temporal framework of the play. Both were executed by "England" after Hamlet tampered with the orders they were carrying from Claudius, which ironically, called for Hamlet's death. Hamlet changed the orders during the voyage to England and sealed the new orders with his fathers seal, aka, the seal of the king of Denmark.

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