How did Hamlet die?
Laertes succeeds in wounding Hamlet, though Hamlet does not die of the poison immediately. First, Laertes is cut by his own sword's blade, and, after revealing to Hamlet that Claudius is responsible for the queen's death, he dies from the blade's poison.
Hamlet is afraid to die because of the uncertainties of the afterlife. But his choices all boil down to death –suicide or killing his uncle Claudius. He tried to end his inner struggles by turning to religion to seek valid reasons to either commit suicide or find the strength to kill Claudius.
- Gertrude drinks poison from a cup that Claudius meant for Hamlet. When Hamlet sees his mother die from the poison, and is told by Laertes (who is dying) that Claudius is the one who has caused all of this to happen, Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned foil and makes Claudius drink from the poisoned cup.
- The antagonist and villain who is pitted against Hamlet is King Claudius, the uncle who kills Hamlet's father and marries his mother. Hamlet does come into conflict with others in the course of the play, such as Gertrude and Laertes, but Claudius is his primary enemy.
- First, Laertes is cut by his own sword's blade, and, after revealing to Hamlet that Claudius is responsible for the queen's death, he dies from the blade's poison. Hamlet then stabs Claudius through with the poisoned sword and forces him to drink down the rest of the poisoned wine.
The ghost of King Hamlet says that when he was napping in his orchard, Claudius, his brother, poured a "leperous distillment," or a poison, into his ear. The poison curdled his blood and caused his skin to develop horrible sores. So he died in his garden, hideously disfigured, a victim of his brother's treachery.
- When their ship is attacked by pirates, Hamlet returns to Denmark, leaving Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to die; he comments in Act V, Scene 2 that "They are not near my conscience; their defeat / Does by their own insinuation grow". Ambassadors returning later report that "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead."
- Voltimand and Cornelius - Courtiers whom Claudius sends to Norway to persuade the king to prevent Fortinbras from attacking. Marcellus and Bernardo - The officers who first see the ghost walking the ramparts of Elsinore and who summon Horatio to witness it. Marcellus is present when Hamlet first encounters the ghost.
- Hamlet learns from his father's Ghost that he was poisoned by King Claudius, the current ruler of Denmark. The Ghost tells Hamlet to avenge his death but not to punish Queen Gertrude for remarrying; it is not Hamlet's place to do so and her conscience and heaven will judge her
Updated: 3rd December 2019