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HAMLET

Prince of Denmark

Characters

 

 
Hamlet: son of Old Hamlet and Gertrude. He is the Prince of Denmark, who must decide whether to kill his uncle Claudius and revenge his father's death. Hamlet is an indecisive character who does not know whether to trust the ghost of his father or not. He hates his mother for marrying Claudius so soon after his father's death, and he is in love with Ophelia until she rejects him.
 
Old Hamlet: the ghost of the late King of Denmark. The ghost appears several times, but only speaks to his son Hamlet. He demands that Hamlet revenge his murder by killing Claudius.
 
Claudius: the brother of the late King of Denmark and the uncle to Hamlet. He murdered his brother in order to seize the throne, and subsequently married Gertrude, the Queen of Denmark.
 
Gertrude: the widow of the late King Hamlet, and the current wife of Claudius. She seems unaware that Claudius killed her former husband until Hamlet confronts her directly. However, she also believes that Hamlet is mad after he sees the ghost of his father in her presence, a ghost she cannot see.
 
Polonius: a lord who is the father of Laertes and Ophelia. He is the first to believe that Hamlet's madness is the result of Ophelia rejecting him. Polonius is accidentally killed by Hamlet while eavesdropping on a conversation between Hamlet and Gertrude.
 
Laertes: the son of Polonius, he is at school in France when he learns that his father has been killed. He fights Hamlet in a fencing match at the end, and kills Hamlet by slashing him with a poisoned sword.
 
Ophelia: the daughter of Polonius, she is in love with Hamlet but rejects him after her father orders her to do so. She later goes mad after Polonius is killed, and commits suicide by drowning herself.
 
Horatio: a friend of Hamlet who is the first to inform him about the ghost of Old Hamlet. He is the only friend Hamlet trusts by the end of the play, and he is ordered to reveal the true story of why Hamlet killed Claudius.
 
Guildenstern: a friend of Hamlet who is invited to the court by Claudius. He and Rosencrantz try to find out what is wrong with Hamlet at Claudius' request, and they later serve as escorts for Hamlet to England. Hamlet discovers that he should be killed in England, and instead puts Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to death.
 
Rosencrantz: a friend of Hamlet who is invited to the court by Claudius. He and Guildenstern try to find out what is wrong with Hamlet at Claudius' request, and they later serve as escorts for Hamlet to England. Hamlet discovers that he should be killed in England, and instead puts Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to death.
 
Fortinbras: the Prince of Norway. In order to revenge his father's death at the hands of Old Hamlet, he is marching an army through Denmark pretending to go to Poland. Instead, he attacks the Danish palace and conquers Denmark.