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What are Hamlet’s last words?

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Hamlet gets wounded at the duel with Claudius and tells his last words to his friend Horatio. The prince reflects on Denmark’s political situation and leaves a remark, “the rest is silence.”

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At the end of the story, Laertes and Claudius plan to kill Hamlet and poison the Laertes’ sword. Yet the prince manages to kill his uncle and opponent, getting lethally injured in the process. Throughout the play, Hamlet tortured himself with philosophical questions of revenge for his father or suicide plans. During the duel, he fulfills both of these wishes.

As he dies, he also remembers the nearest future. The political dispute between Denmark and Norway remains a crucial issue for everyone. When Hamlet went into madness, he put his family in jeopardy. It provokes Prince’s Fortinbras for a surprise attack on the castle as Hamlet dies. While everyone in the Danish royal family is getting murdered, and Fortinbras takes over the country. Denmark is left in the hands of a foreign invader, and Hamlet places his bet on Fortinbras to reign.

The final words are “the rest is silence,” which carries a philosophic meaning. Hamlet was experiencing an in-depth breakdown because of his father’s death. This horrible event, an encounter with his ghost, and his mother’s betrayal led him to madness. Death appeared a chance for him to rest in peace. However, these words could have a more profound meaning. One of the play’s themes is mortality and what comes after death. That’s why “the rest is silence” can also mean that after death comes uncertainty, the answer to this question is silence or oblivion.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "What are Hamlet's last words?" November 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-are-hamlets-last-words/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'What are Hamlet's last words'. 26 November.

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