What would you like to do?

What poison killed King Hamlet?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

In the play, the poison is called "hebenon," and no one knows for sure what that equates to.
In the Second Quarto of 'Hamlet', printed 1604-5, the poison is called "Hebona." The word "Hebenon," as mentioned, is the spelling in the First Folio, 1623. That leaves it unclear exactly which word Shakespeare, himself, used. He might even have used both spellings, at different times, since the play printings are nearly 20 years apart.

Other writers, in the same era, used "heben" or "hebon" for the name of a deadly poison, or for something that was considered especially deadly. Christopher Marlowe, in his play 'The Jew of Malta,' wrote: "... the blood of Hydra, Lerna's bane, The juice of hebon, and Cocytus breath, And all the poisons of the Stygian pool ..."
Shakespeare may have simply gotten the word from reading what Marlowe wrote, but changed it slightly to fit his verse. Marlowe's word "hebon" becomes Shakespeare's word "hebona," as it was printed in the Second Quarto, just by adding an 'a' to the end. Nobody will ever know for sure, but it might be just that easy: Shakespeare read Marlowe's writing, and got the basic word from that. Maybe.
7 people found this useful
Thanks for the feedback!

How was king Hamlet killed?

He was poisoned with a poison called hebenon which Claudius poured in his ear when he was sleeping in the orchard.

What plan do the king and laertes discuss to kill Hamlet?

They have three plans actually. They plan to challenge Hamlet to a duel with Laertes, in which Laertes will have a sharp, lethal and unbaited sword so he can actually stab Ham

Why did King Claudius kill King Hamlet?

Claudius tells us the reasons for his crime in Act 3 Scene 3. "I am still possessed of those effects for which I did the murder: my crown, my own ambition, and my queen." So,

Who killed King Hamlet?

  King Hamlet, in Shakespeare's play, was poisoned by his brother Claudius.

Why doesn't Hamlet kill the king when the king was kneeling?

In what's called the Prayer Scene, in Act 3 scene 3, Hamlet has Claudius alone, but Claudius is praying. Hamlet expresses worry that Claudius might be forgiven for his sins, s

Why does Hamlet not kill King Claudius when he sees him praying because?

Because, if Hamlet kills King Claudius while he is "praying" (it turns out he was not praying at all), he would have sent Claudius to heaven, for doing such a holy act such as