From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Hamlet Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more. This week’s episode is Hamlet, by William Shakespeare.
Hamlet (1603) | Written by: William Shakespeare | Published by: Folger Library
Hamlet – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What’s happenin yo? This week on Thug Notes we gettin regal with Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
Da sh**’s gone wack up in the kingdom of Elsinore. The old King’s brother Claudius gone and married the king’s old breezy Gertrude, and Queen Gertrude’s son Hamlet gettin all crunk since his mama actin like a ho.
Things get straight stupid when some guards peep the ghost of the old King Hamlet creepin up on the castle. Then them guards holler at Hamlet and tell him he gotta check this ghost.
So Hamlet step up to his ghost daddy who tell him that his brotha Claudius was plottin on the crown and straight iced his ass cold blooded. Ghost daddy tell Hamlet that he gotta strap up and put a toe tag on that fool Claudius. Street justice, naw mean?
Back in the castle, Hamlet’s boo Ophelia gettin an earful from her daddy Polonius and her brotha Laertes. They say she need to steer clear of Hamlet since he might just hit it and quit it. Ophelia says “good lookin out” and ignores all of Hamlet’s hollerin. So when Hamet actin cray-cray at the thought of glocking Claudius, errybody just think he love-sick.
Later, Hamlet decides he gonna put on a play that reenacts how Claudius ghosted the old King.
When Claudius sees his crime happenin on stage, he books it for the exit. Now Hamlet knows FO SHO ghost-daddy been spittin the truth.
Later, Hammy rolls up to his mama’s crib where she aks him why he be disrespectin the king. All the while, Polonius be hiding listening in. When Hamlet and Gertrude get all up in eachother’s grill, Polonious screams like a bitch. Thinkin it’s that fool Claudius, Hamlet shanks that fool right through the curtain.
Now Laertes gettin crunk about Hamlet killin his father, and Ophelia starts losing her sh**. So Claudius comes up with a plan that Laertes should dip his sword’s tip in poison and challenge Hamlet to a duel. And if that don’t work, Claudius gonna put some poison in Hamlet’s wine. sh** gets even more real when the Queen busts in and says Ophelia dun drowned!
As Laertes and Hamlet bang out, the queen toasts to Hamlet but accidentally slams some o dat poison joose. Then Laertes and Hamlet both stab eachother with dat poison blade.
Just then, Gertrude bites the dust and Laertes starts snitchin to Hamlet how Claudius be trying to poison him. So Hamlet stabs Claudius AND makes him drink from that poison cup. Mmmm. Elizabethan haterade.
In the end, the royal family all layin in chalk, so the kingdom goes to some other soldier boy named Fortinbras.
Now all throughout this play Hamlet be all torn up bout the task of puttin one in Claudius’s dome, and keeps delayin’. His procrastination is one of the most debated subjects in all of Shakespeare.
Some ballas think it’s because Hamlet be too much of a sensitive bitch to kick it in a world of gangstas playin dirty on tha street. Others thinkin that Hamlet got mad Oedipal Complex all up in this motherfu**er. Since Hamlet wanna get freaky with his mama, he can’t bring himself to gat the man who doin what he wanna do: kill his pop and get down with his old lady. Some cats even think that Hamlet just trying to buck the system and bring down a crooked kingdom overflowin with lies and treachery.
And speakin of lies, you might have spotted our bard Willy Shakes slingin images of skin disease all up in this heezy. When Hamlet dissin his mama in Act 3, he be talkin bout the body and soul’s “ulcerous places” and “blisters”. And, in 5.1 the clown-gravediffers be yappin about pocky corpses. All this nasty ass sh** showin how although these fools be frontin lookin righteous, they aint got nothing but ruin and corruption underneath.
Now you just ain’t goin hard in the paint unless you realize how this play captures the ambiguity of modernity. Like the modern man, Hamlet ain’t got a clear devotion to a code. In fact Hamlet be trippin up cuz of his divided mind and will. How’s a brotha gonna keep it real on the streets with all these ethical and metaphysical uncertainties, my man?
We peepin that uncertainty in my boy’s famous “to be or not to be” speech. Some OGs think this speech mean Hamlet can’t decide whether he wanna live or die. But my other brothas think that he trying to chose between the Christian ideal of denyin the self or spillin some blood to claim his throne.
But Hamlet ain’t the only one who be confused. In the play of life, the bard gone and even cast us as characters of uncertainty. I mean, check all thee uncertainties, playa: “Can we really trust Hamlet’s ghost daddy? Was Gertrude in on the whole thing? Can errybody see the ghost at the beginning but only my boy Hamlet in Act 3? Is Hamlet just pretending to be crazy? Or has his mad fiction become fact? Looks like Ol’ Willy’s gone and made Hamlets of us all.
Yo I hope you feelin educated today, playa. Tune in next week!