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Conflicts in “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare


The play Hamlet is one of the appealing literary works of the world’s renowned play writer, William Shakespeare. The play is about one character that is, Hamlet who is the prince and son of the late king who was allegedly murdered by the current king Claudia. After his father’s death, Hamlet developed an erratic behavior trying to comprehend what could have been the cause of his father’s death.

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In scene one, the ghost appeared to him and informed him that the wicked uncle that is, the present king Claudia caused his father’s death, Hamlet was agitated and swore to avenge his father’s death (Shakespeare 1). In scene four, King Claudia realized the intentions of Hamlet and plotted to kill him. What come out in the play are plots of death from the two main antagonists, Hamlet and King Claudia. The plots finally yield fruit when the play ends but none of them escapes death. Both of them died in the process.

The Conflicts

A number of conflicts come out clearly in this play. The first conflict that comes out is the internal conflict on the side of Hamlet. He is perturbed by his father’s death and develops an erratic behavior. The conflict that Hamlet has with himself is first manifested when he visits Ophelia, the woman she was in love with. Despite his urge to tell her how much he was in love with her, he says nothing to her. He decided to walk away. The conflict is magnified after his encounter with the ghost.

In scene five, the ghost of his late father appeared to him urging him to kill the uncle, King Claudia, to avenge the death of his father, the former king. Immediately after the discussion, he was convinced and strongly resolved to kill the uncle. However, there ensued a deliberation in his mind. The mind was disturbed. His conscience was in agreement with his intentions. On one side, the mind told him that the ghost was genuine and that Claudia deserved death for his malicious acts against the former king. However, the other conscious was in doubt, questioning how genuine the ghost was.

Disturbed by this, he organized a play that involved a murder scheme following what the ghost had told him and ensured the uncle was there to witness the play. This would help him confirm or dispel the idea that the uncle was actually involved in the father’s murder. The uncle’s behavior when he realized the theme of the play left no doubt in Hamlet’s mind that he was the culprit. He planned to kill him. The internal conflict is once again reflected when he found the uncle praying. The uncle was in a prayer position. He wanted to kill him in that position but decided otherwise because the conscience could not allow him to do that. He was convinced that killing him when he was praying would send him straight to heaven, a place he did not belong.

He postponed his plans. His disturbed mind led him to visit Gertrude, the queen. They were involved in a heated debate. By bad luck, Polonius appeared. He killed Polonius, Ophelia’s father whom he suspected to be spying on him. He immediately regretted to have killed the father of the girl he loved. This piled more pressure on him.

Another conflict that comes out in this play is the conflict between Hamlet and King Claudia. Hamlet was convinced that King Claudia was solely responsible for his father’s death. He therefore planned to kill him to avenge his father’s death. King Claudia also realized that Hamlet was convinced that he was responsible for the late r king’s death. He realized the sinister plans Hamlet had against him and planned a counter attack.

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The king sent Hamlet to sea and planned to murder him while there but Hamlet survived and came back home safe. As Hamlet looked for the best ways to eliminate the King, the King was also planning for the best means to launch a counter attack. The two were both on the run, each trying to eliminate the other in the best way possible. This conflict was brought to an end when the two characters died by the poison sword.

There is a conflict between Hamlet and his mother, Queen Gertrude. Gertrude was convinced that the son was hysterical after the death of his father while Hamlet wondered the role the queen could have played in the death of his father. Another conflict is between Hamlet and Lord Polonius and his sons. Lord Polonius and the sons were convinced that Hamlet was not actually in love with Ophelia, Lord Polonius’ daughter (Shakespeare 2). However, Hamlet was sure that he was in love with Ophelia. Polonius ensured that Hamlet stayed away from his daughter. He decided to work closely with the king to ensure Hamlet was finished. However, when Hamlet realized that Polonius was spying on him, he killed him instantly. This brings another serious conflict between Hamlet and Laertes, Polonius father.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 1993.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Conflicts in “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare'. 12 November.

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