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Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
Tools of Characterization
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Table of Contents
AP English Language
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Meet the Cast
What's Up with Hamlet?Hamlet is a teenager... right? After all, he sure acts like one. He's a moody and smart-alecky kid with suicidal tendencies, a penchant for wearing black mourning clothes, and...
Ghosts are a common element in revenge tragedy (which you can read more about by going to "Genre") so it's not terribly surprising that the specter shows up in the play. What is surprisi...
Uneasy lies the Head that Wears the Crown…Especially if he got it through sibling-cide and quasi-incest. That's our man Claudius, the current king of Denmark. He's married to his dead brother's w...
Poor Hamlet. All he wants is a mom who bakes cookies for the PTA bake sale and stays true to his dad's memory—but instead, she marries her dead husband's brother, King Claudius. Is this really an...
A Danish lord, Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia. And he's exactly the kind of dad who's so embarrassing that you don't even want to bring friends to meet him: he's self-absorbed, long-...
Good Girl Gone BadYour parents only wish they had a daughter like Ophelia. When her father orders her to quit seeing Hamlet, she agrees —"I shall obey my Lord" (1.4.10). Later, when Polonius uses...
Laertes, a young Danish lord, is the son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. He spends most of his time off at college, but, like a lot of college students, he manages to pack a lot of action into...
Horatio is Hamlet's closest friend, and he's the only one who really seems to deserve the title. Unlike Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (also Hamlet's old chums), Horatio's loyalty and common sense ar...
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern seem incapable of functioning independently, so they're basically one character, no matter what they might say. They show up in Denmark to serve as paid informants on t...
We like to think it's no coincidence that Fortinbras's name makes a great chant: "FortinBRAS! FortinBRAS." He's a Norwegian prince with a trigger finger (or a trigger army) who seems to be able to...
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