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Word Count: 1,411
Act I Shakespeares longest play and the play responsible for the immortal lines To be or not to be that is the question and the advise to thine own self be true begins in Denmark with the news that King Hamlet of Denmark has recently died Denmark is now in a state of high alert and preparing for possible war with Young Fortinbras of Norway A ghost resembling the late King Hamlet is spotted on a platform before Elsinore Castle in Denmark King Claudius who now rules Denmark has taken King Hamlets wife Queen Gertrude as his new wife and Queen of Denmark King Claudius fearing Young Fortinbras of Norway may invade has sent ambassadors to Norway to urge the King of Norway to restrain Young Fortinbras Young Hamlet distrusts King Claudius The King and Queen do not understand why Hamlet still mourns his fathers death over two months ago In his first soliloquy Hamlet explains that he does not like his mother marrying the next King of Denmark so quickly within a month of his fathers death Laertes the son of Lord Chamberlain Polonius gives his sister Ophelia some brotherly advice He warns Ophelia not to fall in love with Young Hamlet she will only be hurt Polonius tells his daughter Ophelia not to return Hamlets affections for her since he fears Hamlet is only using her Hamlet meets the Ghost of his father King Hamlet and follows it to learn more Hamlet learns from King Hamlets 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 Hamlets place and her conscience and heaven will judge her Hamlet swears Horatio and Marcellus to silence over Hamlet meeting the Ghost Act II Polonius tells Reynaldo to spy on his son Laertes in Paris Polonius learns
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