Hamlet Character Study

Hamlet The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist. About thirty years old at the start of the play; son of Queen Gertrude and the late King; 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. A reflective and thoughtful young man who has studied at the University of Wittenberg; indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts.
Horatio Hamlet’s close friend (BFF 4ever!); loyal and helpful to Hamlet throughout the play; tells the tragedy of Hamlet at the end of the play.
Ghost of King Hamlet Former King of Denmark; assassinated by his brother; asks Hamlet to avenge his murder.
Barnardo, Francisco, Marcellus Officers of the Watch;The first to see the ghost.
King Claudius Brother to the late King Hamlet; uncle to Hamlet; former brother-in-law, now husband to Queen Gertrude
Laertes Son of Pelonius; sister to Ophelia
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 more urgently than the truth.
Ophelia Polonius’s daughter, a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. She’s sweet and innocent young girl, who obeys her father and her brother, Laertes. Dependent on men to tell her how to behave, she gives in to Polonius’s schemes to spy on Hamlet.
Polonius Adviser to King Claudius; father of Ophelia and Laertes; a windbag and a rambler of wisdom, thinks Hamlet is driven mad with lust for his daughter; spies on Hamlet for the king.

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