Summary on Hamlet and Beowulf
“Hamlet, prince of Denmark” is a tragedy by William Shakespeare which reveals a story of one young man facing cruelty, lies and unjust society. Hamlet is the main character of the play; his biggest challenge is to find out the truth about his father’s death and to bring back justice. Hamlet believes that his uncle Claudius murdered his own brother, Hamlet’s father. He is also shocked by the fact that Claudius married his brother’s widow Gertrude and blames own mother for betrayal.
The play begins with a scene before the royal castle. Hamlet’s best friend, Horatio, together with Hamlet and two guards decide to wait till midnight to see Hamlet’s father ghost as they have heard gossip about its existence. When the ghost appears to them, he invits Hamlet to talk to him in private. Hamlet finds out that his father was murdered by his own brother, Claudius, who poured poison in his ear when the king was asleep. Father asked Hamlet to take revenge but be careful and never hurt Gertrude, Hamlet’s mom, despite the fact that she married the assassin. Hamlet starts thinking about the way to repay Claudius for what he did.
He pretends to be mentally ill and everyone thinks that love to Ophelia is real reason of his insanity; however, Claudius assumes that Hamlet has other reasons to act the way he does. He asks Polonius, his chief counselor and Ophelia’s father to talk to her and find out about Hamlet’s intensions. At the same time troupe of actors arrives to the city and Hamlet asks them to re-enact his father’s murder as he still has doubts whether it was really his father’s ghost who talked to him that night and whether he told him the truth or not. Actors agree to help Hamlet and perform a play which is a reflection of the night when his father was murdered. Claudius understands everything and leaves the play. Both Hamlet and Horatio realize that father’s ghost told the truth and King Hamlet was really murdered.
Hamlet goes to talk to his mother, Polonius tries to listen to their conversation behind the curtains and that’s where he finds his death. Hamlet hears noise and thinks that Claudius is out there, stabs him and kills Polonius. He also tries to convince his mother about the true nature of her husband and his intensions.
After Polonius’s death Claudius sends Hamlet to England and plans his murder. Hamlet finds out about it from the letter guards have to pass to the King of England and changes his name to the names of guards. He is safe but the ship gets captured. When robbers find out that Hamlet is a prince, they let him go. Hamlet comes back home and meets Ofelia’s brother, Laertes, who arrives from France to find out truth about his father death and his sister’s madness. Claudius blames Hamlet for everything and convinces Laertes to fight with him. He tells about his plan to kill Hamlet with a poisoned rapier. At the same time Gertrude brings bad news, she tells that Ophelia has drowned. Hamlet and Laertes meet each other in a fight, King hopes that Hamlet will be defeated, prepares poisoned wine and offers it to Hamlet couple of times, however, Hamlet’s mother drinks it instead. Hamlet dies in a fight but he stubs Claudius with the poisoned sword. Hamlet’s best friend, Horatio, wants to drink the poison but Hamlet doesn’t let him do it.
Hamlet is an example of a humanist who compares his own tragedy to the tragedy of the whole society and makes it his mission to find and fight for truth and justice.
Somewhere across the sea lives the King of the Danes whose name is Hrodgar, he is brave and clever and gains great wealth. Hrodgar wants people to remember him and decides to build big mead hall. When it is built, the King and his warriors start honoring their successes with loud music and celebrations. Terrible monster, whose name is Grendel, lives not far from the castle. He hates people and such entertainments make him angry, he decides to stop it and visit the King’s hall. The monster keeps coming there every night and warriors start to disappear. Night visits bring fear; Hrodgar understands what the reason of the trouble is and realizes that his land is in great danger. He doesn’t know what to do and is in despair. At the same time he gets good news, young and brave warrior whose name is Beowulf wants to come from Geatland to help Hrodgar and defeat the monster. Hrodgar rejoices and promises to award the hero with everything he wants if he frees his land and people from the awful monster.
Beowulf arrives to Denmark and the King meets his very generously. Some Danish people are even jealous of Beowulf and his warriors. Nevertheless, everyone expects a miracle and puts their hopes in Beowulf. Here comes a night and everyone goes to sleep. Beowulf takes his armor off and waits for the monster. Grendel comes again and wants to take couple of warriors to the swamp where he lives, however, Beowulf stops him. H catches his paw and starts fighting with the monster, snaps the paw off and defeats him. Grendel runs away and dies in the swamp.
The King is grateful and hopes that the nightmare is over. He commands to celebrate the victory loudly and generously. When the celebration is over, everyone goes to sleep thinking that they are safe. No one knows that mother will come to take a revenge on one who killed her son. Grendel’s mother comes at midnight; she takes one warrior with her but he is the King’s favorite advisor, Eschere. King begs Beowulf to follow the monster’s mother and save the advisor. The hero takes his warriors and goes to the place where they hope to find Eschere. Beowulf fights with the monster’s mother and defeats her; however, he doesn’t manage to save the King’s advisor.
King’s land and people are in danger no more; Beowulf completes his mission and becomes hero both here and at home. His courage is perpetuated in songs and legends. When the King of Sweden and his son died in a battle, Beowulf becomes a king. He is clever and rules the country for many years. All of a sudden new trouble comes, the land suffers from the dragon that kills people and burs their houses. Beowulf goes to the dragon’s cave to defeat his. When he comes there he sees a fiery stream and calls the enemy. He has a tough fight with the dragon and is mortally wounded. Beowulf is burned after his death, his people built a barrow as he asked them to do, they and remember praise Beowulf forever.