Hamlet Scene Summary Index
Links to full summaries.
- Act 1, Scene 1: The Ghost of Hamlet's father appears to Horatio and two sentinels. They wonder what it portends and decide that Hamlet should be told.
- Act 1, Scene 2: The new king and his court . . . Hamlet's first soliloquy ("O that this too too solid flesh would melt") . . . Hamlet learns of the ghost.
- Act 1, Scene 3: Laertes and Polonius warn Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet.
- Act 1, Scene 4: The Ghost appears to Hamlet.
- Act 1, Scene 5: The Ghost's message.
- Act 2, Scene 1: Polonius sends Reynaldo to check up on Laertes . . . Ophelia tells Polonius of Hamlet's strange visit
- Act 2, Scene 2: The King tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to investigate Hamlet's madness . . . Polonius's theory of Hamlet's madness . . . Polonius examines Hamlet . . . Rosencrantz and Guildenstern examine Hamlet . . . The players arrive . . . Hamlet's second soliloquy ("O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!")
- Act 3, Scene 1: The King and Polonius use Ophelia as bait, so they can spy on Hamlet . . . Hamlet's third soliloquy ("To be or not to be, that is the question") . . . The King decides to send Hamlet to England, but Polonius wants to overhear what Hamlet might say to his mother.
- Act 3, Scene 2: Performance of "The Murder of Gonzago" . . . The King rises . . . Hamlet summoned to speak with his mother.
- Act 3, Scene 3: The King tries to pray . . . Hamlet passes up a chance to kill him.
- Act 3, Scene 4: Hamlet and his mother . . . Hamlet kills Polonius . . . Final appearance of the Ghost.
- Act 4, Scene 1: The Queen reports the killing of Polonius . . . Rosencrantz and Guildenstern sent to find Hamlet.
- Act 4, Scene 2: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to get Hamlet to tell them where he has hidden the body of Polonius.
- Act 4, Scene 3: Hamlet is sent to England.
- Act 4, Scene 4: Hamlet sees Fortinbras leading his army to Poland . . . Hamlet's fourth soliloquy ("How all occasions do inform against me").
- Act 4, Scene 5: Ophelia's madness . . . Laertes demands revenge for Polonius' death.
- Act 4, Scene 6: Sailors tell Horatio that Hamlet has returned to Denmark.
- Act 4, Scene 7: The King and Laertes plot their revenge on Hamlet . . . Queen Gertrude tells the story of Ophelia's drowning.
- Act 5, Scene 1: Hamlet and the gravediggers . . . Ophelia's
- Act 5, Scene 2: Hamlet tells Horatio how he returned to Denmark . . . Osric invites Hamlet to the fencing match with Laertes . . . The fencing match, and the deaths of Laertes, Queen, King, Hamlet.