Definition of Hamlet from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



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the main character in the play of the same name by William Shakespeare, written in about 1601. Many people consider it Shakespeare's finest play. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, becomes very sad when his father, the king, dies and his uncle, Claudius, becomes king. His father's ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius has killed him, and makes Hamlet promise to kill Claudius. Hamlet wants to do this but delays too long. The play is long and complicated, and all the main characters die in the end: Hamlet, his mother Gertrude, Claudius, Ophelia (the woman Hamlet loves), her father Polonius and her brother Laertes. The character of Hamlet has a lot of doubts about himself, and in his most famous speech considers killing himself. see also Yorick
To be or not to be: that is the question:Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortuneOr to take arms against a sea of troublesAnd by opposing end them?
Shakespeare Hamlet

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