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Hamlet | Scene Summaries

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Timeline of Events

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Act 1, Scene 1 Sentinels Barnardo and Francisco stand the night watch at Denmark's Elsinore castle. Francisco is about to go off duty w... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 Claudius holds court at Elsinore and thanks everyone for their support through the kingdom's recent events: the death an... Read More
Act 1, Scene 3 As Laertes prepares to head back to France, he and Ophelia talk about his trip and promise to write to each other, but L... Read More
Act 1, Scene 4 Hamlet and Horatio accompany Marcellus on his watch. Near midnight they hear much revelry from within the castle, and Ha... Read More
Act 1, Scene 5 Hamlet follows the ghost to another part of the castle wall, where the ghost tells Hamlet he must avenge his murder. The... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 Polonius sends his servant, Reynaldo, to France to bring Laertes money and snoop into his son's life. Polonius suggests ... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two of Hamlet's childhood friends, to spend time with Hamlet, h... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 Claudius and Gertrude interrogate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about their discussion with Hamlet. The men have little t... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 Hamlet coaches the actors in anticipation of the performance they are about to give for Claudius, Gertrude, and the rest... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 This scene takes place the same evening as the production of The Murder of Gonzago. After everyone has dispersed from th... Read More
Act 3, Scene 4 This scene also takes place on the night of the production of The Murder of Gonzago in which Hamlet has tried to prove t... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 King Claudius and Queen Gertrude, along with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, come together once again in Elsinore Castle. ... Read More
Act 4, Scene 2 In a passageway somewhere in Elsinore castle, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find Hamlet. They insist he tell them where P... Read More
Act 4, Scene 3 Claudius, by himself, talks of his intent to send Hamlet to England—a plan made all the more reasonable because Hamlet h... Read More
Act 4, Scene 4 In this scene, set somewhere near Elsinore Castle, Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern are headed for the ship that wi... Read More
Act 4, Scene 5 Back at Elsinore Castle, Ophelia has requested an audience with Gertrude. Having heard that Ophelia has been acting stra... Read More
Act 4, Scene 6 Horatio is approached by sailors bearing letters from Hamlet. One of the letters is for him; the others are for the king... Read More
Act 4, Scene 7 Claudius and Laertes are together in Elsinore. As promised, Claudius explains the circumstances of Polonius's death to L... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 In a churchyard, a sexton and a gravedigger prepare a grave. As they go about their business, they are wrapped in their ... Read More
Act 5, Scene 2 In the final scene, all are back at Elsinore Castle. Hamlet gives Horatio the details of the failed journey to England. ... Read More
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