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Hamlet basics

STUDY
PLAY
Hamlet
Prince of Denmark; his father the king was killed shortly before the play begins. He was known to be a good, benevolent king.
The Ghost
King Hamlet, former king of Denmark; Prince Hamlet's father
Claudius
Hamlet's uncle. He married Gertrude, King Hamlet's wife, his former sister-in-law. He is now the king of Denmark.He's a cunning politician
Gertrude
Queen of Denmark. Hamlet's mother. She married Claudius, her former brother-in-law two months after her first husband, the king died.
Polonious
Claudius' advisor. Father to Ophelia and Laertes. Some productions make him a bumbling idiot, others a devout servant.
Ophelia
Polonious' daughter. Hamlet's girlfriend. Laertes' sister.
Laertes
Polonious' son, Ophelia's sister. At the beginning of the play he goes to France. He later comes back to Denmark to take care of a family situation. He's close to his sister.
Horatio
Hamlet's closest friend. He's devoted to Hamlet and is the one who tells him about his father's ghost. He is new to the court at Denmark only recently have come with Hamlet after the death of his father.
Fortinbras
Prince of Norway who is attempting to invade Denmark. He wants revenge on Denmark because King Hamlet killed his father.
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern
Older friends of Hamlet's from college. They are summoned by the King and Queen to spy on Hamlet. They are often confused for one another.
Yoric
The skull; a former jester who Hamlet remembers. He dies and his skull is dug up later in the play.