Hamlet (summary)

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Hamlet William Shakespeare Grameray Books 152 pages Characters: · Hamlet was the Prince of Denmark, nephew to the present king. Hamlet has logical thoughts but could be considered insane.

· Claudius is the King of Denmark when the play begins. He is trying to prove himself to Hamlet and his country.

· Polonius is the Lord Chamberlain. Polonius is not a main character but he is crucial to the plot.

· Laertes is the son of Polonius and a comrade of Hamlet.

· Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius. We know Hamlet loves her but Shakespeare gives no indication if they have had an ongoing relationship or if it is just an attraction between the two of them.

· Horatio is a friend and confidant of Hamlet. He is the only one, other than the guards, who knows of the ghost.

· Gertrude, the mother of Hamlet, married Claudius after her husband died.

We are not sure if there was an ongoing love affair between them or if she married him as a political move.

Hamlet begins with 2 guards, Bernado and Francisco, on their watch. It is quiet and it is about time for the officers to change. Horatio and Marcellus, another guard, enter. Marcellus begins to speak of a ghost who has visited for several nights.

Horatio does not believe him until the ghost appears. They try to talk to him but the ghost does not respond. All the men agree the ghost must be the former king who had just died. Horatio suggests telling Hamlet so the ghost may speak to him.

Hamlet had not yet gotten over his father's death. He stayed in his mourning clothes long after anyone else in the court. When Horatio tells Hamlet about the ghost Hamlet does not believe him,