Hamlet Character

Horatio Close friend to Hamlet; last nobleman in Denmark; studied with the prince at the university in Wittenberg;loyal and helpful to Hamlet;After Hamlet’s death, Horatio remains alive to tell Hamlet’s story
Marcellus and Bernardo The officers who first see the ghost;summon Horatio to witness it;Marcellus is present when Hamlet first sees ghost
The Ghost spirit of Hamlet’s recently dead father; claims to have been murdered by Claudius;calls upon Hamlet to avenge him; not certain whether the ghost is what it appears to be, or whether it is something else;Hamlet believes the ghost might be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder
Cornelius and Voltemand Claudius sends them to Norway to persuade the king to prevent Fortinbras from attacking.
Laertes son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia; spends much of the play in France;Passionate and quick to action, Laertes is clearly a foil for the reflective Hamlet; one to kill hamlet with the poison on his sword
Hamlet The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist; 30 yrs old; son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius; melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle’s scheming and disgust for his mother’s sexuality; foil to character Laertes, uses reason and logic to make decisions and plot;studied at the University of Wittenberg; kills Polonius although believes he has killed Claudius; falls to his demise by being cut by sword of poison
Ophelia daughter of Polonius and sister of Laertes; young girl, who obeys her father and her brother, Laertes. Dependent on men to tell her how to behave; gives in to Polonius’s schemes to spy on Hamlet; false into the trap of madness and insanity singing songs about flowers; drowns in the river amid the flower garlands she had gathered
Claudius The King of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle, and the play’s antagonist. The villain of the play; driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power; shows signs of guilt and human feeling—his love for Gertrude; he is outed during the play of “the Murder of Gonzaga”; his guilt takes over but he would rather live with it for the crown and wife; tries to kill Hamlet by sending him to ENgland; is forced to drink his own poisonous drink and dies
Gertrude The Queen of Denmark, Hamlet’s mother, recently married to Claudius;loves Hamlet deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status; dependent upon a man to make decisions; is killed by drinking the poisonous wine destined to kill Hamlet
Polonius the father of Laertes and Ophelia; The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court; believes that Ophelia is the reason behind Hamlets madness; uses it to improve social status; works along side Claudius to “help” Hamlet; is killed by Hamlet behind tapestry
Osric courtier who summons Hamlet to his duel with Laertes
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern courtiers, former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg; used by Claudius and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet; Hamlet calls Rosencrantz a sponge because he was spying; killed on the way to go to England with Hamlet
Francisco A soldier and guardsman at Elsinore.
Reynaldo polonius’s servant, who is sent to France by Polonius to check up on and spy on Laertes
Fortinbras Prince of Norway, whose father the king was king by the former king of Denmark, King Hamlet; wishes to attack Denmark to avenge his father’s honor, making him another foil for Prince Hamlet

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