Character Analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet (Hamlet, Claudius, and Ophelia)

Essay by PrincessBrat0903High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2004

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Within the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, there are many famous quotes, like the famous, "To be, or not to be: (III, i, 56*)" soliloquy by Hamlet, and also many famous characters that lots of people today recognize without knowing the whole story. The play revolves around the main character, Hamlet, who is trying to get revenge on his uncle who killed his father to become king. Hamlet and his friend, Horatio, are the only ones who know about the murder because the ghost of Hamlet's father, Old Hamlet, came one evening and spoke to him about it, saying that he was drifting in purgatory because he was murdered without confessing his sins, and to also get revenge on Claudius, Hamlet's uncle and new king. Quickly after Old Hamlet's death, Claudius marries Hamlet's mother, and old queen, Gertrude. Hamlet is very despondent with the situation and is determined to get revenge on his uncle, but can't get his chance to kill him.

Hamlet's patience slowly dwindles when foils to his character, Laertes and Fortinbras, attempt to take their revenge on the murderers of their fathers; he sees that two others can do it and wants to be like them. Throughout the rest of the play, Hamlet acts crazy so Claudius can't dispose of him first, and so he can get close enough to kill him. Claudius' friend, and advisor, Polonius, believes the reason to Hamlet's insanity is because of rejection from his daughter, Ophelia. In the end, Polonius spies on Gertrude and Hamlet, who stabs him through a tapestry, thinking it was Claudius, and Claudius makes one last effort to get rid of Hamlet, by making him battle Laertes with a poison sword and later poisoning his drink. However,


* Line number from following: Shakespeare, W. (Ed: Hubler,