Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, returns home from university to discover the world-shattering news that, not only is his father (Old Hamlet) newly dead, but that his mother, Gertrude, has married Old Hamlet’s brother, Claudius, and that Claudius is now king. The resultant instability has also led to threats of invasion by a solider from a neighboring state, Fortinbras. Late one night, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to him, accusing Claudius of his murder and urging Hamlet to revenge. This sets in motion a train of events that destroys both family and state.
“For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.”
— Autolycus —
The Winter’s Tail | Act IV, Scene II