A Hamlet timeline – chronicle of events

      Setting the Timeline – considerations

Claudius – planning my foul murder

King Hamlet's funeral – where was Hamlet?

Gertrude & Claudius – adultery or not?

Horatio – Hamlet's friend?

Horatio – is he passion's slave?

Polonius – the evil that men do

Ophelia's love? – did she love Hamlet?

Ophelia closetted – Polonius on love

      O help xxx ....... – Olivier's version

Ophelia's change – is Hamlet suspicious?

Hamlet feigns madness – protective "cover"

Is Hamlet mad? – Polonius's opinion

Hamlet kills Polonius – stabs the "Voice"

Laertes on Ophelia – madness & death

Ophelia's death – a recipe

Hamlet's age – digging up the past

Yorick – something rotting in Denmark

Betting on Hamlet – the fencing match

Hamlet's fencing skill – better than Laertes

King Hamlet's funeral

Where was Hamlet when his father died?

Hamlet was not in Elsinore when his father died, but was he there in time to attend his father's funeral? Naturally, the people would want Hamlet to attend and he would be sent for, but I believe he failed to arrive in time. Why? Claudius would not risk Hamlet examining the king's corpse. He would prevent Hamlet from getting word of his father's death and ensure there were delays and barriers to prevent his arrival for the funeral. If Hamlet had been there he may have seen his father's body.

Ghost: ....... Now, Hamlet, hear:
'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me;
Hamlet would likely wish to see where the serpent bit him and expect to see fang marks.
Ghost: ....... thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden vigour doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Had Hamlet arrived before the funeral he may well have called on the coroner and doctors to examine the corpse. This would have disclosed the cause of death and shown that the serpent story was a fiction. Clearly, Claudius took no chances. He made sure King Hamlet was well and truly buried before Hamlet returned to Elsinore. When Hamlet arrived the first thing he would have done would be to visit the sepulchre and there see his father's marble casket.
Hamlet: ....... but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws, .....