English II Honors – Hamlet characters

Horatio Scholar who is called to verify the existence of the ghost
Marcellus “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (1.4.100)
The Ghost This character appears in a “fair and warlike form/ In which the majesty of buried Denmark/ Did sometimes march” (1.1.55-57)
Cornelius and Voltemand Dispatched by the king to bring a message to Norway
Laertes Returns to France to continue his education
Polonius Adviser to the king
Polonius Father of Laertes and Ophelia
Hamlet “A little more than kin and less than kind” (1.2.67)
Gertrude Queen of Denmark
Hamlet “frailty, thy name is woman!” (1.2.150)
Laertes First one to warn Ophelia of the danger of her relationship to Hamlet
Polonius Instructs Ophelia to sever contact with Hamlet
Claudius This character is “the serpent that did sting thy father’s life” (1.5.46)
The Ghost “Let not the royal bed of Denmark be/ A couch for luxury and damned incest” (1.5.89-90)
Hamlet Only one the ghost will speak to
Horatio and Marcellus These two swear to tell no one about the ghost appearing to Hamlet
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Instructed to find the body of Polonius
Rosencrantz Hamlet calls this character a “sponge” that “soaks up the king’s countenance” (4.2.14-15)
England Claudius plans to send Hamlet to his death in this country
Young Fortinbras Sends his captain to the Danish King before marching through to Poland
Hamlet First person met by the captain from Norway
Young Fortinbras This character is the “delicate and tender prince/ whose spirit with divine ambition puffed/ makes mouths at the invisible event (4.4.51-53)
Hamlet “Rightly to be great/ Is not to stir without great argument,/ But greatly to find quarrel in a straw/ When honor’s at the stake” (4.5.56-59)
Ophelia Becomes insane after her father’s death
Madness (Insanity) Shakespeare communicates that this state of being often brings forward truth
Laertes “To hell, allegiance! Vows to the blackest death!/ Conscience and grace to the profoundest pit!” (4.5.149-150)
Ophelia Passes out flowers to the other characters
Claudius “where the offense is, let the great ax fall” (4.5.244)
Hamlet Survivor of a pirate attack on his ship; is taken hostage
Reynaldo Polonius’ man who goes to question Laertes in France
Polonius “By indirections find directions out” (2.1.73)
Love Polonius thinks Hamlet is mad for this
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Sent to find out what makes Hamlet mad
Hamlet “Denmark’s a prison” (2.2.262)
Pyrrhus and Priam’s slaughter (name not specifically mentioned) The play Hamlet acts out for the players
The Murder of Gonzago Hamlet asks the players to act this play
Hamlet “The play is the thing/ Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King” (2.2.634)
Laertes (careful- Hamlet says something similar) “And so have I a noble father lost” (4.7.27)
Claudius “Revenge should have no bounds” (4.7.146)
Laertes and Claudius These two create the plan to ensure Hamlet’s death
Ophelia Character who drowns
Gertrude Reports news of Ophelia’s death in great detail
Gertrude Asked to leave when Claudius and Ophelia are about to spy on Hamlet
Tapestry (Arras) Claudius and Polonius hide behind this while spying on Hamlet
Hamlet “To be or not to be- that is the question” (3.1.64)
Hamlet “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer/ The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune/ Or to take arms against a sea of troubles/ And, by opposing, end them” (3.1.65-68)
Death Hamlet calls this the “undiscovered country from whose bourn/ No traveler returns” (3.1.87-88)
Convent or Brothel The “nunnery” mentioned by Hamlet could refer to either of these two places
Claudius “Love? His affections do not that way tend.” (3.1.176)
Claudius “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.” (3.1.203)
Horatio This character “hast been/ As one in suffering all that suffers nothing,/ A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards/ Hast ta’en with equal thanks” (3.2.69-72)
Hamlet This character has a secret passion for acting
Hamlet “What, frighted with false fire?” (3.2.292)
Hamlet “Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me” (3.2.401-402)
Gertrude Hamlet “will speak daggers” to this character
The Ghost “This visitation/ Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose” (3.4.126-127)
The Grave-Maker (Not the gallows-maker) This person build stronger houses than the mason, the shipwright, and the carpenter
Gravedigger First person Hamlet meets who can match him when it comes to wit and wordplay
Gravedigger “‘Twill not be seen in him [in England]. There are men as mas as he” (5.1.159-160)
30 Hamlet’s age
Yorick The Jester at the royal court, Hamlet holds his skull
Hamlet the Dane Title that Hamlet calls himself when he fights over Ophelia’s grave
Hamlet “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends” (5.2.11)
Osric Young lord who is “spacious in the possession of dirt”
Horatio “You will lose, my lord” (5.2.223)
Laertes “I am justly killed with mine own treachery” (5.2.337)
Hell Hamlet suggests that Gertrude goes here after death
Heaven Horatio suggests that Hamlet goes here after he dies
Young Fortinbras King of Denmark at the end of the play

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