Sc. 5, Lines 35–71: How does the real cause of King Hamlet’s death differ from the “official” version? Consider the connotations of the word serpent. What ideas about Claudius are suggested by this word? Recall Claudius’s words about the dead king and his

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King Hamlet sr. was thought to have died naturally while he was taking a nap in his garden. In reality, his evil brother Claudius poisoned him in order to usurp the thrown. The ghost of King Hamlet describes his brother as a serpent that stung him, Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me. The serpent motif is an allusion to the snake in the Garden of Eden, who takes paradise away from Adam and Eve. Claudius deprives Denmark of her just and sovereign leader.