Hamlet Act 5, Scene 1
At Ophelia’s freshly dug grave, Hamlet contemplates the lives belonging to the graveyard’s skulls and their dignity in life compared to their apparent treatment in death. Hamlet addresses the skull of Yorick, the King’s jester, who he once knew.
The funeral procession enters to bury Ophelia. Hamlet, observing, realizes who they are burying and confronts Laertes. As Hamlet professes his love for Ophelia, Claudius announces that Hamlet is mad.
Hamlet Act 5, Scene 2
Hamlet tells Horatio that Claudius had ordered his death in England. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern unsuspectingly carried the orders in a letter; which he replaced with an order for their deaths.
A duel between Laertes and Hamlet is fought. Hamlet fights well, so Claudius offers him the poison cup – which he refuses. Unknowingly, Gertrude drinks from the cup. In the fight, Laertes and Hamlet swap rapiers and Laertes is injured with his own rapier. He dies from the poison. In his dying moments, Laertes informs Hamlet of Claudius’ plan and forgives him for killing his father.
A fatally wounded Hamlet kills Claudius before drinking the poison to take the agony out of his death. Fortinbras, whose army has invaded Denmark, enters just as Hamlet is dying. Hamlet bequeaths the throne to Fortinbras and is promised a soldier’s send off by the new King.