Who dies in “Hamlet”?

In William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet,” revenge, mortality, and betrayal are explored. Polonius, a counselor to King Claudius, is the first to die, killed by Hamlet who mistakenly stabs him while he is hiding behind a curtain. This leads to the death of Ophelia, Polonius’ daughter and Hamlet’s love interest, who drowns in a river after going mad with grief. Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, dies during the final duel with Hamlet. Both men are wounded by a poisoned sword, and Laertes confesses to his role in the plot to kill Hamlet before he passes away. Finally, Hamlet himself dies after being wounded by Laertes’ sword and poisoned by the same blade. His death is a tragic consequence of his obsession with revenge and his inability to let go of his grief and anger, his last words being, “The rest is silence.”


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