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Hamlet Characters

Claudius, King of Denmark

Claudius is Old Hamlet’s brother, uncle to Hamlet, and the present King of Denmark. He murdered the latter out of love or lust for Gertrude and the crown. 

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Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. Devastated by his father’s death, he had nevertheless hoped to succeed him, only to see his uncle Claudius both be chosen as king and marry his mother. This does nothing for his depression.

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Francisco is a guard at Elsinore. He is slightly depressed, or at least unhappy about having to work cold nights.

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Reynaldo is a servant and spy of Polonius’s able to put up with the latter’s absent-minded wanderings. 

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First Ambassador

The First Ambassador from England arrives at Elsinore with the news of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s execution just after everyone dies. 

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Ophelia is Polonius’s daughter. In love with Hamlet, she is obedient to her father and listens to her brother, though she is spirited enough to accuse him of potential hypocrisy.

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Ghost of Hamlet's Father

The Ghost of Old Hamlet haunts the castle of Elsinore. Having been murdered by his brother, he wanders the night, waiting for a chance to speak with his son. 

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First Sailor

The First Sailor is one of the pirate crew that captures Hamlet. He brings letters from the prince to Horatio, the King, and the Queen.

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A Gentleman brings the sailors to Horatio.


A Lord comes to double-check that Hamlet is still planning to fence with Laertes, and to ask the prince on the Queen’s behalf to be nice to Laertes before the bout begins.

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A Messenger, possibly a member of Claudius’s Swiss guard, bursts in to tell the King to flee from the mob that Laertes has roused and which is breaking in to the palace. 

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Player Queen

The Player Queen is an adolescent boy who has recently had a growth spurt, but whose voice has not yet broken.

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