William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Hamlet The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist. About thirty years old at the start of the play, Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius. Hamlet is 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, Hamlet is often indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts.
Polonius The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court, a pompous, conniving old man. Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia.
Horatio Hamlet’s close friend, who studied with the prince at the university in Wittenberg. Horatio is loyal and helpful to Hamlet throughout the play. After Hamlet’s death, Horatio remains alive to tell Hamlet’s story. Spies
Rosencrantz one of the two slightly bumbling courtiers, former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg, who are summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior. Spies
Soliloquy A speech of a character in a play…delivered when the speaker is alone or believes he or she is alone and calculated to inform the audience or reader of what the character is thinking.
Yorick (A mature acceptance of a common human fate.) In the infamous graveyard scene, where Hamlet holds up the unearthed skull of Yorick, a court jester Hamlet knew and loved as a young boy. The skull itself is a physical reminder of the finality of death. He sat on Yorick’s knee.
Decay, Rottenness Denmark itself.
King Claudius The King of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle, and the play’s antagonist. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power, but he occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling—his love for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere.
Ophelia Polonius’s daughter, a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. Ophelia is a 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. Even in her lapse into madness and death, she remains maidenly, singing songs about flowers and finally drowning in the river amid the flower garlands she had gathered.
Fortinbras The young Prince of Norway, whose father the king (also named Fortinbras) was killed by Hamlet’s father (also named Hamlet). Now Fortinbras wishes to attack Denmark to avenge his father’s honor, making him another foil for Prince Hamlet.
Guildenstern Another one of the two slightly bumbling courtiers, former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg, who are summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior.
Rosencrantz Death killed in England because Hamlet manipulated the message
Guildenstern Death Also killed in England because Hamlet manipulated the message
Polonius Death by Hamlet who accidentally killed him
Ophelius Death committed suicide
Laertes Death killed by his own poisoned sword in hands of Hamlet
Hamlet Death poisoned by the sword of Laertes
Claudius Death drank the poison he had for Hamlet
Gertrude Death accidentally drank the poison prepared by Claudius
Poison the instrument of murder in cases of the previous King Hamlet, the Queen, Hamlet, Laertes and King C
Queen Gertrude The Queen of Denmark, Hamlet’s mother, recently married to Claudius. Gertrude loves Hamlet deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status more urgently than moral rectitude or truth.
Laertes Polonius’s son and Ophelia’s brother, a young man who spends much of the play in France. Passionate and quick to action, Laertes is clearly a foil for the reflective Hamlet.
Ghost of Hamlet’s Father The specter of Hamlet’s recently deceased father. The ghost, who claims to have been murdered by Claudius, calls upon Hamlet to avenge him. However, it is not entirely certain whether the ghost is what it appears to be, or whether it is something else. Hamlet speculates that the ghost might be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder, and the question of what the ghost is or where it comes from is never definitively resolved.
Play within a play the play was orchestrated by Hamlet to test King C whether or not he actually convicted a murder against the previous King, King Hamlet Sr. The play within the play basically covered the whole murder scheme of the King and the adulterous queen for marrying the guy who murdered the previous King.
Revenge Hamlet revenges King C, Laertes avenges his father and his sister.
Duel: Two ways to get rid of Hamlet. A duel- was a point system. Honor. Laertes poisons the blade and Claudius poisons the cup by poisoning the pearl.

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