In the hall of the castle, Hamlet tells Horatio how he discovered the king’s plot against him and how he turned the tables on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Osric enters to ask, on Claudius’s behalf, that Hamlet fence with Laertes. Hamlet agrees to the contest, despite his misgivings.
Hamlet is winning the match when Gertrude drinks from the poisoned cup that Claudius has prepared for Hamlet. Laertes then wounds Hamlet with the poisoned rapier. In the scuffle that follows, Hamlet forces an exchange of rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. As Gertrude dies, Laertes, himself dying, discloses his and Claudius’s plot against Hamlet. Hamlet kills Claudius. Before Hamlet dies, he asks Horatio to tell the full story that has led to these deaths and gives Fortinbras his support for the kingship. After Hamlet’s death, Fortinbras arrives, claims the crown, and orders a military funeral for Hamlet.