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  1. 1. HamletSummaries and Characters
  2. 2. Major CharactersHamlet- The Prince of Denmark, educated, son of the lateKing HamletClaudius- The King of Denmark, antagonist and uncle toHamlet, married Hamlet’s mother after Hamlet’s father diedGertrude- Hamlet’s mother, Queen, asserts her sexualityand makes Hamlet angryPolonius- Lord in Claudius’ court, father of Laertes andOpheliaHoratio- Hamlet’s best friend, loyal and supportiveOphelia- Hamlet’s love interest, maidenly and dependenton the men in her life (her father Polonius, her brotherLaertes)Laertes- Polonius’ son, passionate and impulsive
  3. 3. Minor CharactersFortinbras- Prince of Norway, wants to attackDenmark for revenge because Hamlet’s father killedhis fatherThe Ghost- Claims to be Hamlet’s dead father whosays that Claudius killed him, although no one is sureabout the Ghost’s identity, Hamlet believes it might bea devil trying to trick him into murdering ClaudiusRosencrantz and Guildenstern- Hamlet’s friends fromschool ordered by Claudius and Gertrude to figureout why Hamlet is acting strangelyMarcellus and Bernardo- Guards who first see theghost with Horatio
  4. 4. Act I Scene i: The RampartsBernardo and Marcellus are on guard duty andsummon Horatio, Hamlet’s friend, to witnesssomething strangeThey see The Ghost appear and believe that it isHamlet’s dead father because of his helmet andfrownThey try to talk to it, but it stays silentThey think that it will talk to Hamlet so they planto tell him about it
  5. 5. Act I Scene ii: The WeddingKing Claudius talks about how he mourns his brother’s death but thatthere is joy because he has married his brother’s widow, GertrudeClaudius also says that Fortinbras wants to attack Denmark toavenge his slain father, killed by the late King Hamlet, Hamlet’s fatherLaertes wants to go to France, his father Polonius and Claudius givetheir permissionHamlet is still mourning his father, even though his mother urges himto find peace and stop wearing blackClaudius and Gertrude want Hamlet to stay homeHamlet wishes suicide wasn’t a sin because he wants to dieHoratio, Bernardo and Marcellus come in and tell him about TheGhost and they plan to watch for it at night
  6. 6. Act I Scene iii: Polonius’ HouseLaertes talks with Ophelia in Polonius’ house,urging her to not fall in love with Hamlet becauseof his station and his emotional feelingsPolonius tells Laertes to be a good person inFrance, and wishes him offPolonius asks Ophelia what Laertes told herbefore he left, she says it was about Hamlet andPolonius tell her to stay away from him and thatHamlet does not love her- she obeys
  7. 7. Act I Scene iv: The RampartsHamlet, Horatio and Marcellus wait for The Ghostwhile Claudius celebrates with trumpets and gunfire,Hamlet mocks him and says he is making Denmarklook badThe Ghost appears and calls out to Hamlet, askingHamlet to follow himHamlet is unsure whether The Ghost is his father or ademon, but doesn’t care if he lives or dies anyway sohe follows itHis friends worry that it is a bad omen for Denmarkbut follow at a distance to protect Hamlet
  8. 8. Act I Scene v: With The GhostThe Ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered, thatClaudius had poured poison in his earHamlet feels like his feelings about Claudius are vindicatedThe Ghost tells Hamlet to avenge his death and killClaudius but leave his mother alone with her conscienceand disappears as dawn comesHamlet is very moved and promises to obey The GhostHamlet doesn’t tell his friends about his plan, but has thempromise to not reveal what they have seen and that hemight act like a madman to achieve a goal- they all swearon Hamlet’s sword
  9. 9. Act II Scene i: Polonius’ HousePolonius dispatches a man named Reynaldo tospy on his son Laertes in FranceOphelia comes in, visibly upset and says thatHamlet grabbed her and sighed, but didn’t sayanythingPolonius thinks that Hamlet is mad with lovesickness because Ophelia has distanced herselffrom himHe says he will go to Claudius to tell him aboutHamlet’s crazy behavior and his love sickness
  10. 10. Act II Scene ii: The Castle Claudius and Gertrude have called upon Hamlet’s school friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to spy on Hamlet to find out why he is acting so strangely Polonius comes in and says that Fortinbras will no longer attack Denmark on order from the King of Norway and instead will attack the Poles- he wants safe passage through Denmark and Claudius agrees, glad to have avoided war Polonius says that he thinks Hamlet is mad with love for Ophelia and he has a plan to see if its true
  11. 11. Act II Scene ii: The Castle, ContinuedPolonius says that he will hide behind an arras(curtain) and have Ophelia confront Hamlet and listento what they say to decide if Hamlet is truly mad withlovePolonius sees Hamlet coming and starts talking tohim, Hamlet responds crazily and irrationallyPolonius tells Hamlet he is obviously mad but that herealizes Hamlet’s crazy responses are actually insultsPolonius goes to set up the meeting with Hamlet andOphelia
  12. 12. Act II Scene ii: The Castle, ContinuedRosencrantz and Guildenstern see Hamlet and come overto visit with him- Hamlet asks why they have come andrealized that his “aunt-mother” and “uncle-father” have putthem up to itHamlet says that he is depressed and melancholy, butinsists that he only mad some of the time and is perfectlysane at other timesThey introduce him to a group of actors who have comeand Hamlet comes up with a planHamlet decides to set a trap for Claudius- he will have theactors act out a play that is very similar to the murder of hisfather, if the king acts guilty, Hamlet will know the truth andthen can kill him
  13. 13. Act III Scene i: The Castle Rosencrantz and Guildenstern meet with Claudius and Gertrude and tell them that they don’t know what makes Hamlet so crazy and depressed- but he was very excited for a play tonight and they all decide to go Claudius and Polonius tell the rest to go out because they are preparing to spy on Ophelia’s confrontation with Hamlet They hear Hamlet coming so they both hide Hamlet comes in talking about suicide- whether or not to commit the act and end the pain of living and experiencing things Ophelia approaches and tells Hamlet that she has come to return the things he gave her, the love tokens
  14. 14. Act III Scene i: The Castle Continued Hamlet says, bitterly, that he never gave her anything- that he loved her once and never loved her at all He says that beauty and love shouldn’t be trusted, that she should go to be a nun He also says that women are dishonest because they paint their faces and make men act like monsters He storms out and Ophelia says she feels sorry for the “noble mind” that has gone completely crazy Polonius says he will set up a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia to see what is making Hamlet crazy and eavesdrop on them Claudius says if it doesn’t work he will send Hamlet to England because he is a threat
  15. 15. Act III Scene ii: The PlayHamlet is instructing the actors how to deliver the lines hewrote for them when Horatio appearsHamlet tells Horatio he is a good man, and tells him the secretthat Claudius killed his father- he asks Horatio to watchClaudius for signs of guilt during the playHamlet sees Claudius and slips into his madness routine,spouting some crazy lines and sends some erotic punsOphelia’s wayThe play starts and when the events unfold, Claudius gets upand shouts for lights when the nephew in the play kills hismurderous uncleHamlet and Horatio agree that Claudius is guilty and Hamletstarts to act even madder- spouting little poems and strangeresponsesGertrude calls Hamlet to her chamber and Hamlet says he will“speak daggers to her, but use none.”
  16. 16. Act III Scene iii: The Castle Polonius comes in and says he is going to hide and listen to Gertrude and Hamlet’s conversation Claudius tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to take Hamlet to England because he is afraid for his life after seeing the play After everyone leaves, Claudius starts to pray and confesses that he did, in fact, kill his brother but doesn’t want to give up the crown or the queen Hamlet enters and is ready to kill him, but realizes he can’t kill Claudius in the middle of asking for forgiveness- he will wait until Claudius is in the middle of sinning again Claudius says that he wasn’t able to pray sincerely
  17. 17. Act III Scene iv: Gertrude’s Chamber Polonius tells Gertrude to be harsh with Hamlet and hides behind a curtain to hear their conversation Gertrude tells Hamlet that she has offended his stepfather with the play and Hamlet tells her that she has offended his real father by marrying his murderer Hamlet gets violent with Gertrude and Polonius cries out for help from behind the curtain Thinking it was Claudius, Hamlet stabs through the curtain and kills Polonius
  18. 18. Act III Scene iv: Gertrude’s Chamber Continued Hamlet holds a dying Polonius and says he was an intruding fool He shows Gertrude a picture of his father and his uncle and demands to know why she took part in this horrible arrangement The Queen says she is looking at herself and doesn’t like what she sees and Hamlet continues to yell at her The Ghost appears and talks to Hamlet but Gertrude cannot see it so she thinks Hamlet is super crazy The Ghost reminds Hamlet of his goal, to kill Claudius The Queen still can’t see it and Hamlet assures her that he has been faking madness all along to catch Claudius and asks her to keep his secret, she agrees
  19. 19. Act IV Scene i: The Castle Gertrude runs to Claudius and tells him that Hamlet is mad as the sea during a storm and that he has killed Polonius Claudius says that they have to ship Hamlet to England and wrap up this scandal so they don’t lose power Claudius sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find Hamlet
  20. 20. Act IV Scene ii: The Castle Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find Hamlet and ask where Polonius’ body is and Hamlet brushes them off He says that they are only loyal to Claudius and that he does not trust them Hamlet agrees to go with them to see Claudius
  21. 21. Act IV Scene iii: The Castle Rosencrantz and Guildenstern bring Hamlet to Claudius Claudius tells Hamlet that he must be sent to England and Hamlet agrees Claudius sends a sealed envelope with orders in it for England to kill Hamlet Rosencrantz and Guildenstern take the envelope and escort Hamlet to the ship for England
  22. 22. Act IV Scene iv: DenmarkOn the way to the ship for England, Hamlet runsinto Fortinbras, who is coming to ask the King ofDenmark for passage through his lands on theway to fight the PolesFortinbras tells Hamlet that the war is just for asmall patch of land and Hamlet is shocked thatpeople are willing to get bloody and violent overseemingly nothingHe vows to have bloody and violent thoughtsafter realizing how his inaction has led him to notachieving his revenge
  23. 23. Act IV Scene v: The Castle Gertrude and Horatio talk about Ophelia and Ophelia enters, acting crazy with flowers on her head, singing strange songs Horatio says that Ophelia is sad over her father’s death, which itself was a very suspicious event that has people talking Laertes has returned from France and storms the castle, furious about his father’s death Laertes sees a mad Ophelia and gets even angrier and wants revenge Claudius says that Laertes must punish the right person, Hamlet, and he and Gertrude had nothing to do with Polonius’ death
  24. 24. Act IV Scene vi: Hamlet ReturnsHoratio receives a message from Hamlet sayingthat Hamlet is back in Denmark because his shipwas attacked by piratesHoratio meets Hamlet in the castle grounds tohear news of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
  25. 25. Act IV Scene vii: The CastleClaudius meets with Laertes and explains that he buriedPolonius in secret to protect Hamlet because the people andthe queen love himClaudius tells Laertes that he deserves to get revenge onHamlet and get rid of the risk of having him around as wellClaudius tells Laertes that they need to come up with a waythat will allow him to kill Hamlet fairly- a duel to show off hissword skills would be a good coverLaertes says he will poison the tip of his swordClaudius says that, for insurance, they will have a cup ofpoison for Hamlet to drink if he wins the “duel”Gertrude enters and tells Laertes that his sister, Ophelia, hasdrowned
  26. 26. Act V Scene i: The GraveyardTwo grave-diggers are preparing Ophelia’s graveHamlet watches and wonders about all of the skulls beingunearthed for the new graveHamlet talks to the gravediggers and asks about aparticular skull and the man says that it was young PrinceHamlet’s jester, YorickHamlet talks to Horatio about knowing Yorick and that allmen must become dust at some pointThe funeral procession comes in and Hamlet realizesOphelia is the one being buried, he jumps out and tellsLaertes that he loves her more than Laertes ever couldClaudius reminds Laertes to wait for their revenge plan
  27. 27. Act V Scene ii: The DuelHamlet tells Horatio that he replaced Claudius’envelope of orders to kill him with an envelope withorders to kill Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, whobetrayed himHamlet also says he feels connected to Laertes andwants to get back in his good favorA courtier names Osric comes in and tells Hamlet ofduel in a contradictory and strange mannerHamlet heads to the duel and sees Laertes, he tellsLaertes he is sorry that his “madness” killed Poloniusand asks for love and forgivenessLaertes offers love but not forgiveness yet
  28. 28. Act V Scene ii: The Duel ContinuedThey get their fencing swords (foils) and Claudiustells Hamlet if he wins, he will give him a cup withwine and a valuable gem (actually the poison)Hamlet gets a hit but doesn’t drink from the cup-instead Gertrude doesLaertes gets a hit on Hamlet with his poison-tippedblade and Hamlet comes back to him with Laertes’own swordThe Queen dies, crying for HamletLaertes tells Hamlet the whole thing was Claudius’idea and Hamlet runs him through with the poisonsword and makes him drink the rest of the poison
  29. 29. Act V Scene ii: The Duel ContinuedHamlet calls to Horatio and tells him he is dyingFortinbras comes through looking for Englishambassadors to fightHamlet and Laertes forgive each otherFortinbras tells everyone that Rosencrantz andGuildenstern are deadHamlet tells Horatio to live on and tell their storyand to make Fortinbras King of Denmark