In A subplot is a strand of the main

In all well written novels, there is never one problem rather there are multiple conflicts that lead to the main plot. The plot along with the subplot work together to craft the story. A subplot is a strand of the main plot and that runs parallel to and supports it. In the novel, Hamlet written by William Shakespeare, the author goes further to depict that every conflict carries with it a “snowball effect.” This is where one conflict is added to the next and continues to build up until it reaches a point known as the climax. Ultimately, the entire plot of this novel is crafted around what would be known as, Freytag’s Pyramid. The creator, Gustav Freytag concluded that in order for a story to be classified as a narrative there must be five basic components- the exposition, rising  action, climax, falling action, and resolution or dénouement. The exposition is seen as the the setting scene, where the reader is introduced to the characters and background of the story. The rising action is the building of the story, usually where the readers start to get intrigued more. The climax carries the most tension in the story, this is where the most exciting event occurs. Furthermore, the falling action are the events that follow the climax; it is the unraveling of the great tension seen in the climax. Finally, the resolution concludes the story where the main conflict is solved. With all of these elements in place, a successful story is underway. During the seventeenth century in the complicated city of Elsinore, Denmark, lived the royal court. Main character, Prince Hamlet is extremely upset after concluding that his uncle, Claudius, current king of Denmark, has murdered Hamlet’s father, the former king. Hamlet dedicates himself to avenging his father’s poisonous murder. With plans of vengeance, Hamlet proceeds to ruin multiple relationships. The effects of these relationships are seen as a way to get revenge.The main plot of the story is critically dependent on the subplots of the King Claudius, Ophelia, and Horatio which all contribute to bring forward the story line. Ophelia is a crucial subplot woven into the novel that helps to move along the main plot and further connect to the theme of revenge. Ophelia is a simple young woman who carries a love interest with Hamlet. Although the story is not known as a romance, Shakespeare was clever with the way he wove this into the novel. Ophelia is very obedient in the sense that she obeys her father, Polonius’ commands to  reject her true love. However, her character is the most dynamic as she transforms completely. Soon after the death of her father, Ophelia’s sanity is taken into question by those around her. Her brother, Laertes, finds her speaking to imaginary objects and singing aimlessly during inappropriate times. When Ophelia, the King, and the Queen meet in the banquet room Ophelia proceeds to sing, “They bore him barefaced on the bier, and in his grave rained many a tear. Fare you well, my dove” (IV.v.188-191). Not only is she mourning her father’s death during her free time but she expliciting explains to the king that she could not bring the violets because, “they withered all when her father died” (IV.v.208-209). Ophelia’s madness is directly related to Polonius’ death caused by Hamlet’s blade. Later in the novel, two gravediggers notice Ophelia singing old hymns, dangling over the brook in the willow tree. The tragic event of Ophelia’s death occurs as the branch she sits on breaks, and she ultimately drowns. Ophelia’s subplot doesn’t end here; her death affects Hamlet and Laertes’ attitudes towards each other.  Laertes begins the novel talking down upon Hamlet, “perhaps he loves you now, and now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch the virtue of his will; but you must fear, his greatness weighed, his will is not his own, for he himself is subject to his his birth. Hay may not, as unvalued persons do, carve for himself, for on his choice depends the safety and the health of this whole state” (I.iii.17-25). According to Laertes, Hamlet thinks very highly of himself; his fate is already predestined so he and Ophelia will never  work out together, because they come from two different worlds. Hamlet is seen to be selfish and dependent on others. This event acts as a wedge that drives apart Laertes and Hamlet. Furthermore at Ophelia’s funeral, Hamlet is seen jumping into her gave. Hamlet sees this a sign of his love whereas Laertes sees this as a sign of disrespect. The love they both share for Ophelia conflict against one another, almost competing for the title of Ophelia’s true love. This conflict surpases death as it further advances the main plot and drives the revenge theme forward.More evidently shown in the novel is the subplot of King Claudius. King Claudius is the current king of Denmark, preceding his deceased brother Hamlet. The audience finds out that Claudius poisoned his brother, resulting in the murder of the king, and his subsequent marriage to his sister-in-law, Queen Gertrude. This initial conflict in the narrative is the driving force behind the whole plot. After the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to him with the news of his death, Hamlet has a plan for revenge. In order to conclude if Claudius truly murdered his father, he and Horatio organize and alter a play which portrays the murder of King Hamlet. The only change to this is that the player king is now being murder by his nephew where he pours poison in his uncle’s ear. Since this is such a bizarre and unique way to die, King Claudius becomes frightened that Hamlet is aware of his sinister actions and storms up in the  theatre screaming, “Give me some light. Away!” (III.ii.295) which is depicted as the climax. King Claudius incriminates himself during this scene because now Horatio and Hamlet are aware that the ghost was indeed telling the truth; Claudius murdered his own brother. Advancing further into the novel, Hamlet’s motives are now accelerated to seek revenge on his uncle. Both Claudius and Hamlet go back and forth on depicting ways to kill one another which intensifies the falling action. When Hamlet sees Claudius alone, praying by his bed, he draws his sword, believing that this is his opportunity to strike his selfish uncle. However, Hamlet stops himself, “a villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven” (III.iii.81-83). Hamlet believes if he were to kill his uncle in this moment of prayer that Claudius would simply go to heaven. Now, his plan must be halted. Likewise, this gives Claudius another opportunity to brainwash Laertes into trying to kill Hamlet. In act IV, Claudius’ subplot is further enhanced when he and Laertes devise a plan to strike Hamlet with a venom-tipped sword which will kill him. The subplot of Claudius is crucial to the play, for with it the critical theme of revenge is ever-present. Integrated within Hamlet’s storyline is the constant presence of Horatio, a scholar of Wittenberg college and Hamlet’s most loyal friend. Horatio is the glue that holds together the entire tragedy. Shakespeare specifically created this character in order to advance the main plot. In the beginning of the novel, Horatio signifies that the ghost truly is the former king. “And I with them the third night kept watch…I knew your father…as I do live my honored lord, ’tis true” (I.ii.218-235). Horatio is very analytical, always wanting the best for Prince Hamlet and remaining loyal. If it wasn’t for this indication of the ghost, Hamlet would’ve never taken time to talk to his father, and discover the truth behind his death.  In the novel, Horatio is seen as the connector; he reveals to the king that Hamlet is returning home from England on a pirate ship. “Come I will you way for these your letters and do’t the speedier that you may direct me to him from whom you brought them” ( In this sense, Hamlet is antagonizing the king, giving off a careless yet courageous attitude. He wants the king to know he is not afraid of him. This advances the plot because Hamlet’s bravery angers King Claudius and drives their hatred for one another, moving along the falling action. Horatio is also the preacher; if Horatio was not present at the end of the novel, this story would not have of been told. “If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain to tell my story” (V.ii.381-384). Originally, Horatio offers to die with Hamlet as being a loyal friend. Hamlet admires Horatio because he sees qualities in Horatio that he himself does not possess. Since the majority of characters die at the end of the tragedy, Hamlet needs someone to keep his name honorable. Ultimately, Horatio is the voice of reason for most instances in the play, and he is the dénouement. Not only is Hamlet a play that has been performed worldwide, it also exhibits how subplots are used in order advance the main plot of the story. The prominent subplots of Ophelia, King Claudius, and Horatio are crucial in relation to the flow of the main plot. Seen in the Hamlet, main character, Prince Hamlet’s actions along with the critical subplots solely revolve around to his plan for revenge. In the play, Hamlet drives the love of his life to insanity, kills an innocent man, and murders King Claudius which results in the death of his mother, Laertes, and himself as well. The subplot of Ophelia was directly related to the horrendous actions of her love. Hamlet caused the death of her father Polonius, and pushed her to the point of losing her mind. Similar to Hamlet, Ophelia too went to all ends trying to please her father; when he died, so did Ophelia’s spirit. In addition,  Hamlet’s constant duel with King Claudius caused chaos upon the whole city of Elsinore. Once Hamlet decided to stand up against the King, there was constant tension. In the climax of the text, Claudius incriminated himself by admitting his murderous actions of killing his brother unknowingly. He then goes on to drag in Laertes into crafting a sinister plan to stab Hamlet with the venomous sword, creating increased tension between Laertes and Hamlet. Similar to Hamlet, Laertes wanted nothing more than justice for his father, Polonius. Once Polonius died, Laertes too was out for revenge. Finally, Hamlet’s one loyal friend Horatio is the one character who is present through all the commotion. He is the preacher; he lives to tell the true story. Horatio, is the only character who takes Hamlet’s best interest into consideration. He analyzes each situation with cleverness and caution. Ultimately, Shakespeare wants to teach his audience a lesson. Most readers see the common theme in the story as revenge, but they often do not recognize how little getting revenge is worth.  Seen in the text, Hamlet ends up wreaking havoc upon himself. Each subplot Hamlet affects ends up seeking revenge as well just as he does and in the end none of the characters get true justice. Hamlet may believe he avenges his father because he killed King Claudius, however, he dies alongside him achieving ultimately nothing. Personally seeking out revenge is not worth it. It’s important to realize being the bigger person is the best thing you can do. Those who have done wrong will have it coming to them in the future.


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