What Happens At The End Of Hamlet

What happens at the end of Hamlet?

 

At the end of Hamlet, the audience witnesses the deaths of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and finally, Hamlet himself. Gertrude drinks the poisoned wine that was meant for Hamlet. Laertes is wounded with his own foil, which he has tipped with poison to kill Hamlet. When Laertes confesses all to Hamlet, Hamlet kills Claudius and then dies of his own poisoned wound. Young Fortinbras arrives, claims the throne, and promises to restore order to Denmark and honor the prince.

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The end of Hamlet is a pretty grim affair, with Hamlet, Laertes, Claudius, and Gertrude all dying. The first to go is Gertrude, who drinks the poisoned cup of wine that the wicked Claudius had prepared for Hamlet. Gertrude was toasting her son during his duel with Laertes, and despite being told by Claudius not to drink the wine, she did so anyway, leading to her death.

The duel goes on, and in the ensuing melee, Hamlet's and Laertes's swords switch so that the poisoned blade that Laertes was going to use to finish off Hamlet ends up in Hamlet's hands. During the fight, Hamlet fatally wounds Laertes with the poisoned tip of the blade. At the same time, Gertrude drops dead, having drunk the poisoned wine.

Now, it's confession time. The dying Laertes tells Hamlet all about Claudius's dastardly murder plot. At long last, after procrastinating for virtually the whole of the play, Hamlet finally gains his revenge on the man who murdered his father. He runs Claudius through with the poisoned blade and forces him to drink the poisoned wine that killed Gertrude.

It's now time for Hamlet to die, wounded as he has been by Laertes's poisoned blade, the very same poisoned blade that has already claimed two lives. With his dying words, Hamlet instructs his good friend Horatio to tell the tale of what happened.

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At the end of Hamlet, Laertes challenges Hamlet to a fencing contest, which Laertes and Claudius have already fixed so that Hamlet will die no matter what. Laertes has tipped his fencing foil with poison so that if he but scratches the prince, Hamlet will die of the poison. Claudius adds a poisoned pearl to a cup of wine so that, when Hamlet gets thirsty from the fighting, he will ingest poison in that way too.

During the fighting, Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, raises the poisoned cup to toast to her son, and though Claudius tells her not to drink, she does so anyway. He knows that she will die and that there is nothing to be done now to save her. Laertes and Hamlet resume their contest, and Laertes wounds Hamlet, but they switch weapons during their scuffle, and Hamlet wounds Laertes with the poisoned blade. At the same time, Gertrude falls to the floor, and she cries out, saying that it is the drink that has killed her. After the queen dies, Laertes confesses everything. When Hamlet learns of Claudius's role in this, he wounds the king with the poisoned foil and forces some of the poisoned wine down his throat. The king dies, followed by Laertes.

Hamlet and Horatio speak during Hamlet's final moments, and Horatio would prefer to drink the poison himself so that he could follow Hamlet to death, but Hamlet will not allow him to do so. Hamlet directs Horatio to tell the story of what happened here, and so Hamlet dies. Young Fortinbras and ambassadors from England arrive, and when Fortinbras sees that the entire Danish royal family is dead, he says,

With sorrow I embrace my fortune.
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
(act 5, scene 2, lines 431–433)

In other words, Fortinbras has some old claim to the Danish throne, and he will rule Denmark now, restoring some order to the kingdom after all of the corruption and death.

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Hamlet accepts Laertes' challenge to a duel.   Hamlet is pricked with Laertes sword, which is laced with poison. They take a break and the King urges Hamlet to drink from the poisoned cup.  Instead, Hamlet's mother takes the cup and drinks it.  Quickly thereafter, she dies.  Laertes tips Hamlet off as to why she died; he also lets Hamlet know he's a dead man because of the poisoned sword.  Hamlet forces the King to drink from the poisoned cup so that he dies too.  Then, as Hamlet dies, he forgives Laertes, tells Horatio to tell his tale, and dies.  Hamlet, the King and Queen, and Laertes are all poisoned in the last act.  It is understood that then Fortinbras comes in to pick up the pieces of the shattered kingdom

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A lot of things happen, all in quick succession. Osric brings Hamlet an invitation to fence with Laertes, and Hamlet agrees. The duel will happen before the court and, when it does, everything comes apart. To be specific, Claudius poisons a cup of wine hoping to kill Hamlet that way. However, Queen Gertrude drinks it, accidentally killing herself. Laertes is using a poisoned blade. He wounds Hamlet, then they scuffle and end up swapping swords, and Hamlet wounds him. When Laertes asks forgiveness, pointing blame to Claudius, and Hamlet realizes that he's been betrayed again, Hamlet stabs his uncle with the poisoned blade. By the end of Act V, Hamlet, Gertrude, Claudius, and Laertes are all dead; Fortinbras is handed the Crown of Denmark thus according with Hamlet's last request.

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