Hamlet Relationships

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Character Relationships for "Hamlet"
Character: Claudius
Claudius's Introduction in the story:
Act 1, Scene 2, commences with Claudius holding court. He quickly dispenses with the memory of King Hamlet, asserting his position as the new leader of Denmark with decisive authority. Claudius's dismissal from the story:

Claudius dies at Hamlet's hand: "Here, thou incestuous, (murd'rous,) damned Dane, Drink off this potion. Is (thy union) here? (Forcing him to drink the poison.) Follow my mother. (King dies.) (5.2.356-58) Claudius's relationship with Hamlet

Hamlet and Claudius have an antagonistic relationship. ". . . from the very beginning, his [Hamlet] struggle with Claudius has been conceived as a struggle for the control of language--a battle to determine what can and cannot be uttered" (Neill 316). "Obviously, Hamlet deeply resents Claudius referring to him as his son" (Lowers 20). Claudius's relationship with Laertes

"Claudius and Laertes plot to rid themselves of young Hamlet" (Bevington xix). Claudius's relationship with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern . . . are boyhood friends of Hamlet, but are now dependent on the favor of King Claudius. Despite their seeming concern for their one-time comrade, and Hamlet's initial pleasure in receiving them, they are faceless courtiers whose very names, like their personalities, are virtually interchangeable. "Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern," says the King, and "Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz," echoes the Queen (2.2.33-34) (Bevington xxi). Claudius's relationship with The Ghost

The Ghost represents King Hamlet, the brother Claudius has slain. The Ghost will not rest until Claudius dies as well. Hamlet's father and Claudius typify what is best and worst in humanity; one is the sun-god Hyperion, the other a satyr. Claudius is a "serpent" and a "mildewed ear, / Blasting his wholesome brother" (1.5.40; 3.4.65-66). Character: Fortinbras

Fortinbras's Introduction in the story:
Claudius introduces the character of Fortinbras in Act 1, Scene 2, when, holding court, he announces that the young Norwegian prince has "collected an army to win back by force the territory fairly won by the Danes . . ." (Bevington xxvi). Fortinbras's dismissal from the story:

Fortinbras speaks last in the play, stating: "Let four captains/Bear Hamlet, like a soldier to the stage,/For he was likely, had he been put on,/To have proved most royal; . . . " (5.2.441-44). Fortinbras's relationship with Hamlet

" . . . the young Norwegian Prince, who, like Hamlet, has lost a father and who, unlike Hamlet, has promptly taken positive action to avenge his father's death. But Fortinbras . . . has mastered passion; he will obey his royal uncle, rejecting the idea of revenge, and will expend his energy in an attack upon Poland. Fortinbras . . . is emerging as a foil to Hamlet" (Lowers 38). Character: Francisco; Barnardo; Marcellus

Francisco; Barnardo; Marcellus's Introduction in the story:
"It is symbolically appropriate that the play should begin with a group of anxious watchers on the battlemented walls of the castle, for nothing and no one in Claudius's Denmark is allowed to go "unwatched" . . . (Neill 312). "The setting is the royal castle at Elsinore. On a platform before the castle, Francisco, a soldier on guard duty, challenges Bernardo, an officer who appears to relieve Francisco at midnight. . . .Horatio and Marcellus, who are to join Bernardo in the watch, arrive and identify themselves as loyal Danes" Lowers 15) Francisco; Barnardo; Marcellus's dismissal from the story:

Francisco exits Act 1, Scene 1, when relieved from his watch; Barnardo exits Act 1, Scene 2, after, with Horatio and Marcellus, telling Hamlet about the Ghost; Marcellus exits Act 1, Scene 5, after, with Horatio, swearing to Hamlet he will not speak of the Ghost. Character: Gertrude

Gertrude's Introduction in the story:
Gertrude stands loyally by Claudius' side in Act 1, Scene 2,...
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