Hamlet Reading Response

Regardless to whether or not someone has read “Hamlet,” almost anyone knows that it is a play filled with death. Most of the main characters of the play, including Hamlet eventually meet their demise by the end of the play, and most of the characters meet their end during the final act and scene of the play. I would like to take a look at the different types of deaths that occur during the play, as well as, the methods that were used for the killing. The first death that occurs is Ophelia’s father, Polonius. While Hamlet was talking with his mother, Polonius was behind a arras ease dropping on the conversation. Upon hearing a noise, Hamlet reacts immediately and thrusts his sword through the arras, killing Polonius. This death was honestly rather shocking when it happened because it happened so quickly.It was certainly a death that came out of nowhere, and it was surprising that Hamlet would kill someone so abruptly without really thinking into his actions. Which is why it was rather odd that Hamlet would react so irrationally just from hearing a noise, which may shed some light on Hamlet’s mental state, and how on edge he may have been at the time. Ophelia’s death is the only death in the play that doesn’t fall into the category of a murder because she drowned after losing her mind due to the death of her father. However, you could argue that Hamlet was her killer because he was the reason behind her unstable mental state and the murderer of her father, which in the end led to her death. Now at the end of the play, King Claudius and Laertes are plotting on killing Hamlet during a game. Their plan is to poison him with wine, as well as, poisoning him with the blade of Laertes’ weapon. However, due to the fact that this is a tragedy play, this plan does not go the way they had originally thought. Queen Gertrude ends up drinking the poisoned wine that was intended for Hamlet and not much later drops dead, but not before exclaiming to Hamlet that it was the wine that had killed her for it was poisoned. After this happens, frenzy ensues, and the king, Hamlet, and Laertes all end up being slashed with the poisonous blades leading to their deaths. The death method that really prevails in this play revolves around the act of using poison. The cause of death for King Hamlet was due to poison, and it ends up being the demise of his family as well. I find it interesting that they even go to the extreme of poisoning Laertes’ blade, even though they intended for Hamlet to drink poisoned wine. The thought of a blade not being enough for his death makes one wonder whether or not King Claudius wanted Hamlet’s death to be similar to how his own father died. One of the aspects of this play that does seem to make it more of a tragedy, is how a majority of the deaths happen all at once, which leaves the audience stunned as they witness so many characters lives come to an end so suddenly and most due to accidental cause. All in all, I do find it interesting that King Hamlet’s family ends up experiencing the same demise that ended his life prematurely, death by poison.


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