The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in the Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

, recounts how Prince Hamlet
Prince Hamlet
Prince Hamlet is a fictional character, the protagonist in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. He is the Prince of Denmark, nephew to the usurping Claudius and son of the previous King of Denmark, Old Hamlet. Throughout the play he struggles with whether, and how, to avenge the murder of his father, and...

 exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius
King Claudius
King Claudius is a character and the antagonist from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. He is the brother to King Hamlet, second husband to Gertrude and uncle to Hamlet. He obtained the throne of Denmark by murdering his own brother with poison and then marrying the late king's widow...

, firstly for murdering the old King Hamlet
King Hamlet
The ghost of Hamlet's father is a character from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, also known as The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In the stage directions he is referred to as "Ghost."...

 (Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father) and secondly for then succeeding to the throne and marrying Gertrude
Gertrude (Hamlet)
In William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Gertrude is Hamlet's mother and Queen of Denmark. Her relationship with Hamlet is somewhat turbulent, since he resents her for marrying her husband's brother Claudius after he murdered the King...

 (King Hamlet's widow and mother of Prince Hamlet).

Our sometime sister, now our Queen.

Claudius, scene ii

Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not "seems."

Hamlet, scene ii

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew.

Hamlet, scene ii

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitableSeem to me all the uses of this world.

Hamlet, scene ii

Frailty, thy name is woman!

Hamlet, scene ii

But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

Hamlet, scene ii

Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral bak'd meatsDid coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Hamlet, scene ii

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

Horatio, scene ii

I'll speak to it though Hell itself should gapeAnd bid me hold my peace.

Hamlet, scene ii