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SHAKESPEAREAN CHARACTERS

STUDY
PLAY
He is the son of the Queen of Denmark and the present king´s nephew. A university student whose studies are interrupted by his father's death. His father, the late King, turns up as a ghost to tell him he was actually killed by his brother, the new king. This turns him into a melancholy, bitter, and thoughtful young man full of hatred for his uncle and disgust for his mother'. He becomes obsessed with proving his uncle's guilt before trying to act. He is extremely philosophical and contemplative and thinks about difficult questions that cannot be answered with any certainty. He has fascinated audiences and readers for centuries
Hamlet
He is the King of Denmark after his brother´s death. He killed his brother by pouring poison in his ear and he married his sister in law when she became a widow. When his nephew discovered the truth, he tried to murder him too. He is the villain of the play, a calculating, ambitious and corrupt politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power, but he occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling—his love for the new queen, for instance, seems sincere.
Claudius
She is a beautiful Queen of Denmark and she recently married her brother in law. She has a young son whom she loves deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status more urgently than morality or truth. She is worried because her son seems mad. He accuses her of being involved in the death of her former husband, his father.. He complains about her weakness with the famous sentence: "Frailty, thy name is woman!"
Gertrude
She is a beautiful young woman with whom a prince is in love. She is a sweet and innocent young girl, who obeys her father and her brother. She depends on men to tell her how to behave, she gives in to her father´s schemes to spy on her boyfriend. Even in her lapse into madness and death, she remains maidenly, singing songs about flowers and finally drowning in the river amid the flower garlands she had gathered.
Ophelia
He is a pretentious, cunning old man, the Lord Chamberlain of the court of Denmark. He is a chief counselor of the king, and the father of a son and a daughter. His daughter is in love with the prince and he plots with the new king to spy on this young man because they suspect that his strange behaviour hides something. He is accidentally killed by the prince provoking his daughter´s fit of madness, eventually resulting in her early death and the climax of the play: a duel between his son and the prince.
Polonius
He is a young man who spends much of the play in France. He is passionate and quick to action. He is the son of a counselor of the King of Denmark and the brother of the prince´s lover. He warns his sister against her romantic love for him. In the final scene, he has a duel and kills the prince with a poisoned sword when he is trying to avenge the deaths of his father and sister, for which he blamed him. While he is dying of the same poison, he confesses the truth and accuses the new King of plotting everything.
Laertes
He is a ghost who claims to have been murdered by new king and calls upon his son to avenge him. His wife has betrayed him by marrying his brother after his death. However, his son is not entirely certain if the ghost is what it appears to be, or whether it is something else. He could be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder.
The Ghost
He is a Scottish general and the thane of Glamis. He met three witches who led him to wicked thoughts after their prophecy that he will be the king of Scotland. He is a brave and violent soldier and a powerful man, but he is not a virtuous one. He is easily tempted into murder to fulfill his ambitions to the throne, and once he commits his first crime and is crowned King of Scotland, he embarks on further atrocities However, he is feels terribly guilty for his crimes and he is unable to bear the psychological consequences of his atrocities.
Macbeth
She is a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for power and position. Early in the play she seems to be stronger and more ruthless than her husband and she has a great influence over him as she pushes him into committing murder in order to become the king of Scotland. At one point, she wishes that she were not a woman so that she could do it herself. After the bloodshed begins, however, she feels even more guilt and madness than her husband. Her conscience affects her to such an extent that she eventually commits suicide.
Lady Macbeth
They are referred to as the "weird sisters" by many characters of the play. They are three witches. The mischief they cause stems from their supernatural powers. They understand human weakness and ambition very well.
Their beards, bizarre potions, and rhymed speech make them seem slightly ridiculous, like caricatures of the supernatural but they are clearly the most dangerous characters in the play, making prophecies and predictions which come true.
The Three Witches
He is a brave, noble general whose children, according to some witches' prophecy, will inherit the Scottish throne. He has ambitious thoughts, but he does not translate those thoughts into action. In a sense, he decides to take a path in which ambition does not lead to betrayal and murder. After being killed by the new king of Scotland, his former friend, his ghost haunts his murderer with guilt.
Banquo
The good King of Scotland whom a general, in his ambition for the crown, murders. He is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and fair ruler. His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when his family line occupies the throne once more.
King Duncan
A Scottish nobleman hostile to the Scottish new king from the start. He eventually becomes a leader of the campaign to overthrow him. His mission is to place the rightful king on the throne, but he also desires vengeance for the murder of his wife and young son. He is the man, who was not "of woman born", since he was torn from his mother's womb, born by cesarean, who, as three witches foresaw, would beat the tyrannical king.
Macduff
The son of the murdered king of Scotland, whose restoration to the throne signals Scotland's return to order following a reign of terror. He appears weak and uncertain of his own power when he and his brother flee Scotland after their father's murder but finally, with the help of a brave Scottish nobleman and the English, he becomes a serious challenge to the new king.
Malcolm
He is a Christian Moor and general of the armies of Venice, he is an eloquent and physically powerful man, respected by all those around him. Although He is a cultural and racial outsider in Venice, his skill as a soldier and leader is very valuable and necessary to the state, In spite of his high status and his exotic appeal, he is insecure because of his age, his life as a soldier, and his race. He has a free and passionate personality, which is used by a manipulative enemy to twist his love for his wife into a powerful and destructive jealousy. His jealousy drive him mad and makes him kill his wife.
Othello
She is the daughter of a Venetian senator. She married a Moor general secretly, against her father´s will. Although she is stereotypically weak and gentle, she is also determined, independent and self-confident. She is equally capable of defending her marriage, responding with dignity to her husband´s irrational jealousy.
As she tries to persuade her husband to forgive a friend, she makes him believe that she is being unfaithful with him and this is why she eventually dies. She is murdered suffocated by a pillow in her bed covered in her wedding sheets.
Desdemona
He is the villain of a play. He is obsessive, manipulative, evil and destructive. He is willing to take revenge on anyone and enjoys the pain and damage he causes
He is angry with a young general because he passed him over for promotion to lieutenant. He also suspects that the same man has slept with his wife and he hates him for this reason too. He takes a handkerchief from his wife and convinces the general that this handkerchief is the evidence that his wife is being unfaithful to him.
Iago
He is a lieutenant. He is a young and inexperienced soldier, whose high position is much envied by another soldier. Truly devoted to his general, He is extremely ashamed after being involved in a drunken fight in Cyprus and losing his place as lieutenant. An evil mate uses his youth, good looks, and friendship with his general´s wife to convince him that they are lovers.
Michael Cassio
She is a soldier´s wife and the general´s wife´s attendant. A suspicious, experienced and intelligent woman, she is deeply attached to her mistress and distrustful of her husband. She discovers that her husband is plotting against her mistress to take revenge of her husband but she can´t stop the final tragedy.
Emilia
He is the son and heir of a noble family from Verona called Montague. He is a young handsome, intelligent, and sensitive man He is also impulsive and immature. He lives in the middle of a violent feud between his family and the Capulets, but he is not at all interested in violence. His only interest is love, roaming around the city, climbing over walls in the middle of the night, or getting into swordfights. At the beginning he is madly in love with Rosaline, a woman who does not return his affections. Then he meets a more beautiful one and immediately falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. It turns out that she is the daughter of his father's worst enemy. He secretly marries her.
Romeo
He is a Franciscan friar, friend to a young couple. He is kind, reasonable, moderate, and always ready with a plan, He secretly marries the impassioned lovers in the hope that the union might eventually bring peace to Verona. As well as being a Catholic holy man, he is also an expert in the use of apparently mystical potions and herbs.
Friar Lawrence
She is a beautiful thirteen-year-old girl, a naïve child who has thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly after falling in love with a young man, the son of her family's great enemy. Her closest friend and confidant is her nurse, though she's willing to shut the Nurse out of her life as soon as she turns against her lover. Because she is a girl in an aristocratic family, she has no freedom, her parents expect her to marry a good match. Nevertheless, she shows amazing courage in trusting her whole life and future to the young man she is in love with. At the end, they both kill themselves accidentally by drinking poison.
Juliet
He us the patriarch of a noble family, father of young girl and enemy, for unexplained reasons, of another noble family from Verona. He truly loves his daughter, though he is not well acquainted with his thoughts or feelings, and seems to think that what is best for her is a "good" match with a man Paris. He is often sensible and cautious, but he commands respect and good manners, but he usually flies into a rage when either is lacking.
Capulet