Tear Jerker / Hamlet

  • The ending of Hamlet.
    Hamlet: The rest is silence.
  • Horatio's attempt to drink the poisoned wine. Suicide would have ensured that he would never get to enter heaven, but he'd rather die and be damned to hell forever than live one day without Hamlet. It's even sadder when Hamlet stops him.
  • Hamlet's opening monolouge, especially the last line - "break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue"
  • The real context of the "what a piece of work is man" line - What Hamlet's really saying is that he's so depressed, no matter how lovely the world is, he cannot appreciate it.
  • The particular version I saw played Hamlet as The Stoic around all others; even the scene with Gertrude was done in an almost blank, totally unnerving near-monotone. Then when Horatio goes for the goblet, Hamlet gets hold of it and says "As thou'rt a man, give me the cup." Horatio does not. Hamlet's control wavers as he demands "Let go!" and yet Horatio fights for the poisoned chalice. The next sentence is startlingly anguished, so much so that Horatio releases the cup on reflex and Hamlet flings it away, proceeding to give his last sets of lines with an overwhelming emotion that seems to have been bottled up throughout the entire play. It could easily have gone over-the-top, but somehow it worked.
  • The scene when Insane!Ophelia comes wandering onstage, right as the newly-returned Laertes is flipping out at Claudius about his father Polonius' death. So his father's been murdered, and now his sister has lost it. A couple scenes later, he learns that she's drowned.
    • Seconded. The Ophelia in the production I saw had a heartbreakingly plaintive voice—and there was an extra dimension added to the scene by the fact that the guy who played Laertes was really her brother.
    • In the Kenneth Branagh version, if your heart hasn't already been broken after Ophelia's finished singing 'And will a not come again', it's going to shatter when you see her calmly get up and walk back into her padded cell... and just stand there, staring at the wall.
  • The 2008 RSC version is even worse about this— rather than an epic, tragic moment, the end is filmed very intimately between Hamlet and Horatio. After Hamlet's death, Horatio, in tears, delivers his famous line, kisses him on the forehead, and gently rocks his body. And that's where they end it.
    • Also in that version, the mad Ophelia just looks so pathetic, all bloody and dirty, in only a slip, dwarfed by armfuls of plants- and then you realize she isn't even holding the herbs she's talking about. Not only is she insane enough to be handing out herbs, she's insane enough to pretend that random bulrushes are different herbs.
      • A Korean comic had her handing out different household objects - such as scissors for her and Gertrude's rues -, which is Played for Laughs but somewhat even more tearjerking.
  • The closet scene with Gertrude, especially when Hamlet presents her with the pictures of his dead father and his uncle and shouts at her for breaking her vows to his father.
  • Another interpretation-based tearjerker moment: If it is true that Hamlet purposefully pushes Ophelia away to protect her from the madness he intends to create, then one can only imagine the hell he puts himself through when he rages against her.
    • Taken further after when she commits suicide, and he realizes he has failed. The resulting anger against Laertes, as well as his attitude throughout the remainder of the play, shows just how important Ophelia was to him.
    • Fridge Brilliance: In Shakespeare's time, as well as in many other modern religions, suicide resulted in a seat in Hell. So did Murder. Perhaps Ophelia's suicide was all Hamlet needed to finally go through with his revenge, as it would allow him to be with his beloved despite the fact that the two would end up in Hell.
    • Let's not forget that Ophelia is the one character in the play who is 100% innocent, yet she is manipulated by Claudius and her own father, shoved away and persecuted by her supposed beloved, and abandoned by her brother (though not by his own intentions), not to mention having her father murdered by her beloved, all in the midst of an impending attack by the nation's enemy. For all her resolve, she eventually cracks. Her final scene is a complete heartbreaker, seeing her regress to an innocent, child-like demeanor rather than turn into a manipulative jerk or blind-rage asshole (or both, in Hamlet's case), like most other characters in the play aside from Horatio and Fortinbras, and maybe Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, depending on whether or not you believe in Tom Stoppard's follow-up play (there is some speculation that even Gertrude is manipulating emotions, though it is probably more out of guilt than greed).
  • Sian Brooke's Ophelia (2015 National Theatre production) just sounds so devastated as Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet raged at her in the "nunnery" scene.
  • For me, it's the scene with Yorick. Hamlet just found the skull of one of friends who died a long time ago bring so much joy to Hamlet, but now he's dead.