Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play, and is ranked among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature, with a story capable of "seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others". The play likely was one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime, and still ranks among his most performed, topping the performance list of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its predecessors in Stratford-upon-Avon since 1879. It has inspired many other writers. (wikipedia)
(verbs in red; connectors in green)
Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is a troubled young man. His father, the king. has been murdered, and his mother has married his father´s brother, Claudius, after only a few weeks.
One night, the ghost of the king appears to Hamlet and reveals that Claudius murdered him. He asks Hamlet to seek revenge, but Hamlet wants to find more proof of the murder first. To do this, he pretends to be driven mad by grief, and puts on a play for Claudius that tells the story of a murder similar to that of the king´s. It makes it very clear that the king has been murdered by his brother. When Claudius reacts nervously to the play, Hamlet is convinced he is guilty.
Hamlet goes to comfort his mother in her room, but he thinks he can hear Claudius hiding behind a curtain and stubs at him. Sadly, he has not killed Claudius. He has murdered Polonius, the father of Ophelia,a girl Hamlet once loved. The news drives Ophelia mad and she drowns herself.
These terrible events lead to more revenge and this time Polonius´son, Laertes (pronounced "Layer-tees), decides to punish Hamlet. Claudius sets up a duel between Hamlet and Laertes, but he gives Laertes a poisoned sword to make sure that Hamlet dies. Laertes fatally stabs Hamlet, but during the fight, the two men accidentally switch weapons and Hamlet also wounds Laertes with the poisoned sword.
A wounded Hamlet then manages to stab Claudius, but at that moment his mother drinks from the poisoned wine that Hamlet had prepared for Claudius. Laertes, Hamlet, his mother and Claudius all die --not really a happy ending.
(from I wish I know that, Steve Martin, Mike Goldsmith, Marianne Taylor, Buster Books, 2010)