After his father’s untimely death, Hamlet is suspicious of his uncle Claudius, the new king, and his mother, Queen Gertrude. His suspicions are confirmed when he is visited by his father’s ghost, who demands that Hamlet take vengeance against them for his murder. Hamlet becomes so obsessed with the idea of taking a life that he neglects his other duties. One such duty was the care of his beloved Ophelie, who strays into madness believing that Hamlet no longer loves her. After spending such a long time considering the purpose of life, it is the reality of Ophelie’s death which finally persuades Hamlet to seek vengeance in his father’s name. He kills Claudius, sends his mother to a convent, and is crowned King of Denmark.
Ambroise Thomas’s operatic retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is a distilled version of this classic story, which focuses only on the important plot points in Hamlet’s life. Many of the original characters are removed, and the ending is fundamentally changed. Instead of dying from his own inaction, Hamlet realises the correct course of action, inspired by Laerte’s immediate desire for vengeance for his sister’s death, and another visit from his father’s ghost.
Hamlet guide sections