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Thursday, November 29, 2007

AP Lit- Hamlet-Act/Scene Notes



Bernardo, Marcellus, Horatio see the ghost of Hamlet's father and decide to tell Hamlet what they've seen




Claudius and Gertrude decide that Hamlet has gone mad. Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo tell Hamlet about the ghost they saw and how they thought it was Hamlet's father and Hamlet tells them that he will meet them at midnight to see the ghost himself.




Ophelia tells her brother Laertes about Hamlet's supposed advances towards her. She then tells her father, Polonius who gets really upset.




Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus meet at midnight and wait for the ghost to appear. When the ghost does appear and Hamlet speaks to it the ghost doesn't answer, only beckons for Hamlet to follow. Hamlet follows against Horatio and Marcellus' advice to not. After they leave Marcellus and Horatio decide to follow in case Hamlet should need help.




Hamlet follows the ghost and finally the ghost speaks when Hamlet demands that he won't follow anymore unless he answers. The ghost says that he doesn't have much time to explain. He is Hamlet's father. He says that Hamlet must solve his murder. The ghost tells him that his uncle, who is now the king, was the one who killed him. He says that his uncle killed him and married his widowed wife to become king. The ghost then leaves right before Horatio and Marcellus enter. They ask what happened, but Hamlet refuses to tell, but makes them swear (with the ghosts help) to never repeat what happened/what they saw that night.




  • Polonius send Reynaldo to spy on Laertes
  • Ophelia tells Polonius that Hamlet came in while she was sewing and held her
  • They go to tell the king


    ACT 2 SCENE 2:


  • Claudius and Gertrude tell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to talk to Hamlet
  • Polonius explains to Gertrude and Claudius what Hamlet did and reads to them a letter from Hamlet addressed to Ophelia
  • They determine him mad and agree to spy on him to see if it is the truth
  • Polonius speaks to Hamlet, Hamlet pretends he doesn't know who he is, but asks if he has a daughter
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern talk to Hamlet, but Hamlet knows why they came to speak to him and gets them to confess that his mother sent them.
  • Hamlet tells the players to do a special scene
  • Hamlet's soliloquy about why he hasn't killed Claudius yet


    ACT 3 SCENE 1:


  • Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy
  • Claudius and Polonius hide while Hamlet speaks to Ophelia
    • Hamlet denies sending Ophelia notes and asks about her father
    • Claudius and Polonius decide that Hamlet is mad and should go to England


    ACT 3 SCENE 2


  • Hamlet instructs the players what to do for their scene. He asks Horatio to watch Claudius' reaction during the play
  • The players pretty much reenact the death of King Hamlet by Claudius
  • Horatio says that he did see the king react during the scene
  • Ends with another soliloquy by Hamlet about how he will be rude to his mother and show his anger, but he will not kill her


    ACT 3 SCENE 3


  • Claudius tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to take Hamlet with them to England
  • Polonius tells Claudius that Hamlet is going to speak to his mother privately
  • Claudius speaks a soliloquy in the form of a prayer, admitting what he did and asking for help from the angels
    • Hamlet hears the prayer and tells Claudius he shall spare him for now


    ACT 3 SCENE 4


  • Polonius hides in Gertrude's room to hear what they are going to talk about
  • Hamlet starts off in a rude manner, talking to his mother
  • Polonius accidentally reveals himself and Hamlet kills him
  • Hamlet confronts Gertrude about his father's premature death. Accusing her of having a part
    • The ghost shows up and tells Hamlet to talk to his mother
    • Gertrude truly think him mad when Hamlet starts talking to a ghost that she can't see or hear
  • Hamlet tells his mother to live purer
  • He takes Polonius' body and leaves


    ACT 4 SCENE 1


  • Gertrude tells Claudius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern about how Hamlet killed Polonius and took his body, and how he spoke to no one


    ACT 4 SCENE 2


  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern confront Hamlet about what he did and ask where he put the body
  • Hamlet refuses to tell them, saying that he has to look out for his own interests


    ACT 4 SCENE 3


  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bring Hamlet to see Claudius
    • Claudius asks where Polonius is and Hamlet once again refuses to tell
    • Claudius tells Hamlet to go to England
    • After Hamlet leaves Claudius has a mini soliloquy about killing Hamlet


    ACT 4 SCENE 4


  • Fortinbras comes and tells Hamlet that he is against Poland and wants to travel through Denmark
  • Hamlet says another soliloquy and reveal his shame that he has not killed Claudius yet
    • He thinks that if Fortinbras can lead a worthless fight he should be able to take care of Claudius, but then again, he thinks Fortinbras a fool


    ACT 4 SCENE 5


  • Ophelia is revealed to have gone mad after the death of her father
  • The people are calling for Laertes to be king
  • Laertes comes back and accuses Claudius of having his father
    • Claudius tells him that he is dead
    • Laertes sees what Ophelia has become
    • Claudius tells Laetres that if he is responsible for Polonius' death he could have the kingdom, but if not, he would help him get revenge on who really did it


    ACT 4 SCENE 6


  • Horatio gets a letter from Hamlet saying that his ship was attacked by pirates and that he convinced them to bring him back to Denmark
    • Hamlet also tells Horatio to deliver his other letters to the king


    ACT 4 SCENE 7


  • At the opening Claudius has finished telling Laertes what Hamlet did
    • He explains why he didn't turn Hamlet in for a trial
      • Gertrude loves him too much and Hamlet has the support of the people
  • Claudius gets the letter from Hamlet and reads it aloud
    • He then convinces Laertes to kill Hamlet by poisoning him
  • Gertrude comes and tells the two about the death of Ophelia
    • She drowned


    AC 5 SCENE 1


  • Hamlet and Horatio meet up with two 'clowns' and they hear them talking about the death of someone. They are digging a grave. They are debating whether of not she deserves a proper burial
    • They mention Hamlet being mad in England, not knowing who they are talking to
  • The grave turns out to belong to Ophelia and Hamlet walked in right before the start of the funeral
  • Hamlet reveals himself and Laertes fights him
    • Gertrude gets them to stop and Hamlet leaves.
    • Claudius assures Laertes that he will have his chance to slay Hamlet


Magdalena said...

This is great info to know.

Lizbeth said...

This was an informative yet concise summary of each scene.

Josh Montero said...

Short and Sweet. Straight to the point and very informative! I am a student of Righetti High School and in the middle of our study of Hamlet. I understand if this blog is outdated and old, possibly abandoned, but it would be nice if you could come to my blog and comment on some of the items about Hamlet.

Josh Montero

Kathryn Greenup said...

I was curious if you guys had some other information stored somewhere that I could get ahold of. Maybe more analysis of the plot or characters? The summaries are great and help with basic comprehension, but it would be awesome to have other points of view for interpretation.
my blog is: and it would be super cool to get some feedback from you guys. Thanks!

Ryan Nguyen said...

Well this blog seems quite old but still I must ask if you guys have any tips on finding other learning communities that focus on Hamlet besides just googling them? Thanks!

Michelle Arriaga said...

I was hoping that the author of this blog was still connected to it in some way. I am a student of Righetti High School studying Hamlet with fellow students and wish to know if we could talk on Hamlet. Hopefully your able to communicate with our class and give feedback onto anyone of our blogs.

This is my blog:

Thank you for your time,
Michelle Arriaga

Erika Snell said...

Like the people above I am a student of Righetti High School as well and just wanted to thank you for these notes! They are short and to the point which makes them helpful! I was just wondering if you had any other links that could possibly help me out? I just saw how old this blog is, but any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Tanner Tuttle said...

Just like my other classmates above I am also a student at Righetti High School and just wanted to thank for your notes. They were very helpful in understanding parts of Hamlet. Our Class has many blog and would love to hear feedback from you regarding Hamlet. Or if you had any links that could possibly help attain more information on Hamlet. Thank you.

Rheanna Crawley said...

HI, I was hoping that maybe this blog is still active and if so, I would like to find out if you had any additional information about Hamlet. Possibly any other postings on this blog? If so, could you please respond to this post by commenting on my blog Thanks!

Lesther Valenzuela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesther Valenzuela said...

Hi, I'm from Righetti High School as well but from the Class of 2014. But anyways, I am studying Hamlet with my class. I came across your blog, and I think it is terrific on how you posted all the information about Hamlet! Hopefully you can help my colleagues and I out with more of your insight and more information!

Here is my blog if you would like to contact me and/or follow my posts that correspond with my AP Course.