Character Analysis of Hamlet

“Hamlet” is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, centered around the character Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, whose internal conflict and quest for vengeance drive the narrative.

Character analysis of Hamlet, Ophelia, and other key figures in the play helps students delve into the complexity of these characters and explore the central themes of madness, revenge, and the existential questions that permeate the story.

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Character Analysis of Hamlet

Character List of Hamlet

πŸ‘‘ King Hamlet (Deceased) πŸ‘‘
β”‚
β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘‘ King Claudius (Brother of King Hamlet, New King) πŸ‘‘
β”‚ β”‚
β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘‘ Queen Gertrude (Widow of King Hamlet, Married to Claudius) πŸ‘‘
β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Polonius (Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s Court) πŸ’”
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘€πŸ€΄πŸ» Prince Hamlet (Son of King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude)
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Horatio (Hamlet’s Loyal Friend)
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Laertes (Polonius’s Son)
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ └── πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄ Fortinbras (Prince of Norway, Aspiring to Regain Lands)
β”‚
β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘‘ King Fortinbras (Deceased) πŸ‘‘
β”‚
β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘‘ Queen Gertrude (Widow of King Fortinbras) πŸ‘‘
β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Lord Chamberlain (Polonius’s predecessor)
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘€πŸ€΄πŸ» Young Fortinbras (Son of King Fortinbras)
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Gertrude (Daughter of Polonius, Not to be confused with Queen Gertrude)
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ Ophelia (Polonius’s Daughter, In Love with Hamlet) πŸ’”
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚
β”‚ └── πŸ’€ Marcellus (A Guard at Elsinore Castle)
β”‚
β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Rosencrantz (Former Schoolmate of Hamlet)
β”‚ β”‚
β”œβ”€β”€ πŸ’€ Guildenstern (Former Schoolmate of Hamlet)
β”‚ β”‚
└── πŸ’€ Bernardo (A Guard at Elsinore Castle)

Key Relationships

  1. Hamlet and King Claudius: Nephew Hamlet suspects Uncle Claudius of foul play in his father’s death.
  2. Hamlet and Ophelia: Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is entangled with his inner turmoil.
  3. Hamlet and Gertrude: Hamlet’s relationship with his mother, Gertrude, is strained due to her marriage to Claudius.
  4. Hamlet and Horatio: Horatio is Hamlet’s loyal friend and confidant.
  5. Hamlet and Laertes: Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, becomes a rival in the quest for vengeance.
  6. Hamlet and the Ghost: Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s ghost sets the play’s events in motion.

Character Analysis of Hamlet

CharacterRelationship with HamletCharacter Details
HamletProtagonistPrince of Denmark, grieving son of King Hamlet, deeply introspective, feigns madness to avenge his father’s death.
King ClaudiusUncle/StepfatherNew king of Denmark, ambitious, manipulative, poisoned King Hamlet, antagonist to Hamlet.
Queen GertrudeMotherQueen of Denmark, widow of King Hamlet, marries Claudius, conflicted and passive.
OpheliaLove InterestDaughter of Polonius, Hamlet’s love interest, driven to madness and suicide.
PoloniusLord, Ophelia’s FatherLord Chamberlain of Denmark, Polonius is a busybody and a foolish courtier.
LaertesSon of PoloniusOphelia’s brother, impulsive and seeks revenge on Hamlet for his sister’s madness and death.
HoratioClose FriendHamlet’s loyal and trusted friend, the voice of reason throughout the play.
Rosencrantz & GuildensternChildhood FriendsSent by Claudius to spy on Hamlet, eventually meet their demise.
The Ghost of King HamletFather’s SpiritAppears to Hamlet, urges him to seek revenge for his murder.

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