Hamlet Exam Notes

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Hamlet Characters

Hamlet- (protagonist)
More to him then meets the eye
Extremely philosophical
Stabs Polonius (didn’t know it was him)- then becomes very angry, and gets the role of a madman. He upsets other characters with this angry approach •Extremely sad, bitter- disconnected with the state of affairs in Denmark, and his family •Upset with his mother marrying his uncle (Gertrude marries Claudius) •Tells Ophelia he doesn’t love her, and she gets very sad • Considers the option of suicide

Son of queen Gertrude, and late King Hamlet
Cant make a decision, and waits to long to make decisions

Claudius – (antagonist)
The King of Denmark
Hamlet’s uncle
The villain of the play
Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power •Occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling—his love for Gertrude, for instance

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 •Does care how she gets attention, just wants it (could be negative or positive attention)

Polonius
The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court
A cocky, pig headed, full of himself old man
Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia.

Horatio
Hamlet’s close friend
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.

Ophelia
Polonius’s daughter, a beautiful young woman
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 journey into madness and death, she remains maidenly, singing songs about flowers and finally drowning in the river amid...
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