Summary: action V, scene ii

The next day in ~ Elsinore Castle, Hamlet tells Horatio how he plotted to get rid of Claudius’s plan to have actually him murdered in England. He replaced the sealed letter carried by the unsuspecting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, which dubbed for Hamlet’s execution, through one calling because that the execution of the bearers the the letter—Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves. He speak Horatio that he has no sympathy for Rosencrantz and also Guildenstern, who betrayed him and catered to Claudius, but that the feels sorry for having actually behaved with such hostility towards Laertes. In Laertes’ desire to avenge his father’s death, the says, he sees the mirror picture of his very own desire, and also he guarantees to seek Laertes’ good favor.

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Their conversation is interrupted by Osric, a foolish courtier. Osric tries to flatter Hamlet through agreeing with everything Hamlet says, even when that contradicts himself; in the room of seconds, that agrees first that that is cold, then the it is hot. That has come to tell them that Claudius desires Hamlet come fence through Laertes and also that the king has actually made a wager v Laertes the Hamlet will win. Climate Osric begins to worship Laertes effusively, though Hamlet and also Horatio space unable to determine what point he is trying come make with his overly sophisticated proclamations. Finally, a lord enters and asks Hamlet if that is ready to concerned the match, together the king and also queen are expecting him. Versus Horatio’s advice, Hamlet agrees come fight, saying that “all’s okay here around my heart,” however that one must be all set for death, since it will come no issue what one go (V.ii.222). The court marches into the hall, and Hamlet asks Laertes because that forgiveness, claiming that it was his madness, and also not his own will, the murdered Polonius. Laertes says that he will certainly not pardon Hamlet until an elder, an professional in the good points of honor, has advised that in the matter. But, in the meantime, the says, he will certainly accept Hamlet’s market of love.

They choose their foils (blunted swords supplied in fencing), and also the king says that if Hamlet wins the first or second hit, he will certainly drink come Hamlet’s health, climate throw right into the cup a an useful gem (actually the poison) and also give the wine to Hamlet. The duel begins. Hamlet strikes Laertes however declines to drink from the cup, saying that he will certainly play another hit first. He access time Laertes again, and also Gertrude rises come drink native the cup. The king tells her no to drink, however she does so anyway. In one aside, Claudius murmurs, “It is the poison’d cup: the is also late” (V.ii.235). Laertes remarks under his breath the to wound Hamlet through the poisoned sword is almost versus his conscience. However they fight again, and Laertes scores a hit against Hamlet, drawing blood. Scuffling, they manage to exchange swords, and Hamlet wounds Laertes v Laertes’ own blade.

The queen falls. Laertes, poisoned through his own sword, declares, “I am justly kill’d v my very own treachery” (V.ii.318). The queen moans that the cup must have been poisoned, calls the end to Hamlet, and also dies. Laertes speak Hamlet the he, too, has been slain, by his own poisoned sword, and that the king is come blame both for the toxicity on the sword and for the poison in the cup. Hamlet, in a fury, runs Claudius with with the poisoned sword and also forces him to drink down the remainder of the poisoned wine. Claudius die crying out for help. Hamlet speak Horatio that he is dying and exchanges a critical forgiveness v Laertes, who dies ~ absolving Hamlet.

The sound that marching echoes through the hall, and a shot rings the end nearby. Osric declares the Fortinbras has come in occupation from Poland and also now fires a volley come the English ambassadors. Hamlet speak Horatio again that he is dying, and urges his friend no to commit self-destruction in light of every the tragedies, yet instead to continue to be alive and also tell his story. He states that he desire Fortinbras to it is in made King of Denmark; climate he dies.

Fortinbras marches right into the room accompanied by the English ambassadors, that announce the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Horatio says that he will certainly tell everyone assembled the story that led to the gruesome scene currently on display. Fortinbras orders because that Hamlet to be lugged away choose a soldier.

Read a translation of act V, step ii→

Analysis

In the last scene, the violence, so long delayed, erupts through dizzying speed. Characters drop one after ~ the other, poisoned, stabbed, and, in the instance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, executed, together the design template of revenge and justice get its conclusion in the moment when Hamlet ultimately kills Claudius. In the moments prior to the duel, Hamlet seems peaceful, though additionally quite sad. He claims that the feels okay in his heart, however he seems reconciled come the idea that death and also no longer troubled by fear of the supernatural. Exactly what has actually caused the change in Hamlet is unclear, but his desire to attain Laertes’ forgiveness plainly represents an important shift in his mental state. Vice versa, Hamlet formerly was obsessed almost wholly with himself and also his family, the is currently able come think sympathetically around others. He does no go rather so far regarding take obligation for Polonius’s death, but he does seem to it is in acting v a more comprehensive perspective after the shock the Ophelia’s death. Hamlet’s death at the hands of Laertes provides his earlier declaration end Polonius’s corpse, the God has chosen “to punishment me through this and this v me,” prophetic (III.iv.174). His murder of Polonius does punishment him in the end, due to the fact that it is Laertes’ vengeful fury over the murder the leads to Hamlet’s death.

That death is neither heroic no one shameful, follow to the moral logic the the play. Hamlet achieves his father’s vengeance, however only after gift spurred to it by the most too much circumstances one might think about possible: watching his mommy die and knowing the he, too, will certainly die in moments.

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The come of Fortinbras successfully poses the concern of political legitimacy once again. In marked contrast to the corrupted and also weakened royal household lying dead on the floor, Fortinbras clearly represents a strong-willed, qualified leader, despite the play walk not address the concern of even if it is his preeminence will regain the moral authority of the state.