“The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” The king’s hurried exit from the performance only convinces Hamlet of the action he must now take to fulfill his father’s ghostly command. In response to Hamlet’s actions, his mother confronts him, but finds herself verbally brutally condemned by her raging son. In a moment of assistance to the queen, Ophelia’s father Polonious, the chancellor, comes to her aid, but is stabbed by Hamlet in a case of mistaken identity. Ophelia, overcome by the death of her father by her lover’s hand, as well as his erratic behavior, commits suicide.
Her surviving brother, Laertes, swears revenge on both his own father and unfortunate sister. A duel is arranged with a secret poisoned sword between Laertes and Hamlet, and a second poisoned weapon is in waiting: a cup of wine. The queen, unknowing the plots of treachery, drinks the wine by mistake and dies. In the struggle of the sword fight, Hamlet receives a mortal wound, but the men exchange weapons, and Laertes is also killed. In a final gesture, Hamlet fulfills his horrible mission and stabs the king, then dies.