Hamlet: Acts and Scenes

Act 1, Scene 1 The ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to Horatio, Bernardo, Marcellus. They decide to tell Hamlet of it.
Act 1, Scene 2 Scene of the King Claudius and the court. Hamlet’s first soliloquy where he laments his father’s death and his mother’s marriage to Claudius. Hamlet learns of his father’s ghost.
Act 1, Scene 3 Laertes and Polonius warn Ophelia about Hamlet. Polonius advises his son and daughter.
Act 1, Scene 4 Ghost appears again that night and Hamlet is there. The ghost beckons Hamlet and Hamlet follows. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” —Marcellus
Act 1, Scene 5 The ghost’s message. Everyone swears to keep it a secret.
Act 2, Scene 1 Polonius sends Reynaldo to check on Laertes.
Act 2, Scene 2 Claudius tell Guildernstern and Rosencrantz to investigate Hamlet’s madness. Polonius provides his theory on Hamlet’s madness and investigates also. The players arrive. Hamlet’s 2nd soliloquy where he’s mad at himself for only talking vengeance but not actually seeking it; in the soliloquy, he discusses how he’ll use the play to see if Claudius is guilty.
Act 3, Scene 1 The King and Polonius use Ophelia as bait to spy on Hamlet. “To be or not to be?” Ophelia breaks up with Hamlet. King decides to send Hamlet to England but Polonius wants to hear what Hamlet would say to his mother.
Act 3, Scene 2 The Play: “The Murder of Gonzago” King rises up upset. Hamlet is summoned to speak with his mother.
Act 3, Scene 3 King tries to pray. “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” —Claudius. Hamlet decides not to kill him at the moment.
Act 3, Scene 4 Hamlet and mother, the closet scene. Hamlet kills Polonius. Final appearance of the ghost.
Act 4, Scene 1 Queen reports killing of Polonius. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are sent to find Hamlet.
Act 4, Scene 2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ask Hamlet where he placed the body. “Take you me for a sponge, my lord?” —Rosencrantz.
Act 4, Scene 3 Hamlet is sent to England. “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.” —Hamlet
Act 4, Scene 4 Hamlet sees Fortinbras leading his army to Poland. 4th soliloquy-Hamlet is still lamenting lack of action but determines that from this point on, he will take action.
Act 4, Scene 5 Ophelia goes mad, Laertes demands revenge for his father’s death. Laertes finds out at the end of this scene that his sister has gone mad.
Act 4, Scene 6 Sailors bring a message to Horatio that Hamlet has returned to Denmark.
Act 4, Scene 7 Laertes and the King plot revenge on Hamlet. The Queen brings news of Ophelia’s death.
Act 5, Scene 1 Hamlet and the clowns (gravediggers). Discussion of whether Ophelia’s death was accidental or suicide. Ophelia’s funeral.
Act 5, Scene 2 Hamlet tells Horatio how he has returned to Denmark (pirates) and of how he has sentenced Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to death. Osric invites Hamlet to a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes. Everyone dies.

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