Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies and possibly the most mis-quoted. It deals with the psychological torment of a young Danish prince, Hamlet himself, who is racked with murderous intent. Hamlet’s Father, the King of Denmark, is dead and the King’s brother (Hamlet’s uncle), Claudius, has married the widowed Queen, Gertrude. Hamlet is disgusted and cannot bear that his mother has betrayed his father’s memory in what he considers to be an incestuous manner. When the ghost of the dead King appears to Hamlet and fills him with a powerful desire for revenge, Hamlet becomes more and more desperate to destroy Claudius and avenge his father’s memory. However, despite this desire to kill his stepfather, Hamlet struggles to achieve his purpose and a series of disastrous events ensue. He mistreats his Love, Ophelia, who is so distraught by the change in Hamlet’s manner towards her that she is driven to insanity, the beautiful yet tormented soliloquies engaged in by Hamlet become increasingly desperate as Hamlet’s rage and despair strengthen, and Gertrude’s belief that Hamlet is mad with grief is apparent when Gertrude and Hamlet Speak together in Act IV. Hamlet is Shakespeare’s greatest tragic hero and, while the end of the Play is inevitable, the unravelling of the story is a wonder. Each scene is rendered in words of poetic beauty that simultaneously delight and horrify. The play is still as relevant today as it was when it was first written and performed as society is still troubled with political intrigue and deception, the hunt for bloody revenge, the tortures of a doomed love, and the cruelty of bereavement and loss. It is because Shakespeare speaks for humanity as a whole that makes Hamlet, like so many of his plays, universal. Hamlet is not bound by its time but transcends this boundary to speak to people just as powerfully as it did four hundred years ago.
哈姆雷特王子是最近突然驾崩的丹麦王哈姆雷特与皇后葛楚德的儿子。葛楚德在丈夫死后不久就与小叔、继承王位的克洛帝阿斯结婚，而这对哈姆雷特来说比父亲去世更难以忍受。就在这 时，他的父亲的灵魂出现了，道出了克洛帝阿斯谋害了他的事，并命令他的儿子哈姆雷特向叔父报仇，对母亲的处置则交给天来惩罚。感性敏锐的哈姆雷特用他那强而聪慧的思考力揣测——这个奇遇可能是魔鬼意图蛊惑他，所以，一直犹豫不决到底是要报仇还是不要。他为了避免他的叔父对他的心思产生怀疑，开始装疯卖傻，连心爱的欧菲丽亚也不认识了，正好这时有一个剧团进城来表演，他便着手写了揭露他叔父罪状的剧本，让他们上演。当克洛帝阿斯看了这出戏后，脸色大变，从大厅跑了出去。这 时，哈姆雷特看到他心虚跪地祷告的叔父时，心中的疑惑一扫而空，确信了父亲的灵魂所言属实。后来，王后奉国王旨意叫他进宫，他很伤心地责备他的母亲，误杀了布帘后偷听的欧菲丽亚的父亲——勒罗地阿斯。克洛帝阿斯把哈姆雷特送到了英国，暗中拜托英皇杀了他。欧菲丽亚遭失恋之苦加上父亲无辜失去，终于精神崩溃，坠入湖中溺死了，而她的哥哥——雷阿地斯想为父报仇，从法国奔了回来，不料被克洛帝阿斯利用，与哈姆雷特誓不两立。而哈姆雷特并没有中计，从往英国的航行途中折回，回到丹麦正好遇见欧菲丽亚的葬礼，心中大感悲伤。这时，克洛帝阿斯抓住了这个千载难逢的机会，安排了一个剑术比赛。雷阿地斯用一把尖端没有皮套的毒剑伤了哈姆雷特;后者剑术超他一等，终于击败了他，在临死前，他道出了克洛帝阿斯的阴谋。事实揭穿后，皇后慌乱中饮鸩——克洛帝阿斯为哈姆雷特准备的毒酒——而亡。哈姆雷特杀了克洛帝阿斯，并要他喝下毒 酒，阻止了哈姆雷特的好友赫雷休手中正要仰头饮下的鸩毒，在这时，他却因中了雷阿地斯的剑毒，发作身死。