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What Incident Serves to Initiate the Conflict in Hamlet?

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There are many conflicts presented in the entire play. However, one of the crucial arguments occurred on the basis of the death of Hamlet’s father. Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, reveals to him that his father deceased. She also married his uncle Claudius, which adds to Hamlet’s frustration.

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The range of external and internal conflicts depicted in the play Hamlet is enormous. Yet the most vivid one, in act 1, scene 2, relates to Hamlet himself and King Claudius. His emotions have always been the drivers for his actions. The opening acts begin with the revelation that Hamlet’s father is dead. His mother, Gertrude, tries to comfort her son by all means. Meanwhile, the uncle becomes King of the throne, suddenly marrying her. The newly married couple appears on the site, and Hamlet feels disgusted. He even contemplates suicide as he thinks that their union is wrong.

Uncle sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to cheer him up and to watch his stepson and report his secrets. Gertrude is still endeavoring to comfort her son, but he cannot handle the situation. Hamlet decides to go to Wittenberg for some unknown reasons, but his mother persuades him not to leave and stay in Denmark. While he expresses his anger, his friends Horatio and Marcellus are encountered by the ghost of Hamlet’s father. He tells them the truth about his death, and they report this to Hamlet.

Once, King Hamlet, Hamlet’s father, comes to him at night like a ghost. Hamlet was taught not to believe in ghosts, but he trusts his father’s apparition. This ghost reveals that Uncle Claudius poured poison in his father’s ear while taking a nap in the garden. Moreover, the father wants his son to avenge his death and kill Claudius for such a betrayal. Even though it is hard for Hamlet to believe, he decides to test his uncle and see his reaction. He tries many ways to expose that Claudius is guilty of murdering his father, but his attempts are unsuccessful.

Therefore, he makes up a play called The Murder of Gonzago and performs in front of Claudius. The whole court is invited to watch it. The play’s scenario is shocking and blatant – a man pours poison into a man’s ear. While performing this very scene, who provides comments for every action played. Once, Hamlet starts glancing at his uncle to capture his emotions while pouring the poison. Startled and frustrated, King Claudius flees the hall without hesitation.

After the occurrence, Claudius is enraged and is ready to kill Hamlet. Again, he intends to send Hamlet off to England not to see his pathetic face. Meanwhile, Hamlet seeks vengeance to prove that Claudius murdered his father because he wanted power. After having decided to kill his uncle, Hamlet is having a long tormenting conversation with Gertrude. At the moment, he hears the King approaching and stabs him to death. Unfortunately, he kills Polonius, the chief counselor, instead of Claudius.

Having realized the King is in danger, Gertrude runs to Claudius and reports him about the accident. The King desires Hamlet’s death and sends Laertes to murder him. During the battle, both men strike each other with the swords. However, Laertes’s sword had a poisoned end that killed Hamlet.

As a result, the reader may observe that King Claudius couldn’t control his actions. In an attempt to take the throne, he causes a chain of unpleasant events. Therefore, one can judge that his deeds were inconsiderate. One death causes another, bringing suffering to the surroundings.

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IvyPanda. "What Incident Serves to Initiate the Conflict in Hamlet?" November 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-incident-serves-to-initiate-the-conflict-in-hamlet/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "What Incident Serves to Initiate the Conflict in Hamlet?" November 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-incident-serves-to-initiate-the-conflict-in-hamlet/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'What Incident Serves to Initiate the Conflict in Hamlet'. 25 November.

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