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Hamlet: Characters

By Isabel Smith-Bernstein

Hamlet, the son of the late king and the nephew of the present king. A student and a philosopher by nature.

Claudius, the king of Denmark and brother to the former king. A masterful politician.

Gertrude, the queen of Denmark and Hamlet’s mother. A compassionate queen and mother.

Polonius, a politician and Claudius’s most trusted advisor. Father to Ophelia and Laertes. A Machiavel.

Ophelia, Hamlet’s true love, Polonius’s daughter. Quick-witted, headstrong, and intelligent.

Laertes, Polonius’s son and Ophelia’s brother. A student in France, dedicated to family, and a gifted fencer.

Horatio, Hamlet’s best friend and fellow student at Wittenberg. A great thinker guided by reason.

Voltemand and Cornelia, Danish ambassadors who are skilled diplomats and seek to negotiate peace with Norway.

Marcellus, a Danish military officer and casual friend of Hamlet’s. A no-nonsense skeptic.

Francisco and Bernardo, members of the Danish guard.

Ghost, an other-worldly presence who has taken the form of old King Hamlet.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two ofHamlet’s friends from long ago.

Reynaldo, Polonius’s servant who sees all that happens in Elsinore.

Players, a group of actors who come to Elsinore to perform a play partially written by Hamlet.

Fortinbras, the prince of Norway whose father was skilled by Old King Hamlet.

Osric, a courtier and duel referee.

Gravediggers, a pair of church groundskeepers who know a thing or two about life and death.

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