Hamlet Act 5 Short Scene by Scene Summary & Analysis

Scene I

In a churchyard, two clowns are arguing about the possible suicide of Ophelia and whether she should get a Christian burial. Hamlet and Horatio enter the scene and meet the gravediggers. Hamlet picks up skulls and meditates upon death and morality.

Clown not knowing that he’s Hamlet is drawn into the discussion regarding Hamlet. When the funeral procession of Ophelia is nearby, seeing this Hamlet and Horatio hide. Knowing that it’s Ophelia’s funeral, Hamlet comes out and the fight between Laertes and Hamlet occurs and is broken up.

Scene II

Hamlet reveals to Horatio that he had reworked the letter sent for the king of England for his own execution into a letter demanding the execution of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Osric who is a courtier enters the scene and informs them of the fencing match with Laertes who has challenged him.

Hamlet assures Horatio that he can win. The game takes place before which the king has arranged everything, the poisoned wine on the table. While they are playing, Gertrude drinks the poisoned wine without any knowledge of it.

The king tries stopping her but it is already too late. When the fight is going on, the queen falls and knowing that her wine was poisoned, she says this to Hamlet.

Laertes is poisoned during the fight by the foil which got exchanged during the fight and before dying he reveals to Hamlet about the king’s plan behind all these. Hamlet hurts the king with the poisoned instrument.

Laertes makes up with Hamlet in his dying moment. Hamlet cries out to Horatio to not kill himself but stay alive to inform others of his story and its true nature. When the effect of the poison is taking place, Hamlet listens to the marching noise of the army of Fortinbras who was pretending earlier of attacking Poland.

Hamlet dies and once Fortinbras is inside the palace, Horatio informs him of the whole thing. Ambassador informs him of the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Horatio tells him of the horrific events which have occurred in the place. Fortinbras listening to all these honours Hamlet and acknowledge this by ordering a military funeral for him.

The play ends.