Other Main Characters
These brief discriptions of main characters in Hamlet along with some Hamlet character analysis will help you impress your friends and neighbors with your knowledge of literature.
Claudius: Hamlet's uncle and murderer of Hamlet's father--Claudius is a cunning politician whose lust for power and the queen set the play's tragic acts in motion. We see Claudius' human side in the love he bears for his wife and his acknowledgment of wrong-doing as he attempts to pray, but his unwillingness to give up those things he gains from his treachery speaks to his rotten character. Hamlet frequently contrasts Claudius, the smooth-talking, corrupt politician to the fierce, honorable, warrior king he unlawfully replaces.
Gertrude: Hamlet's mother--it is unclear what role Gertrude has in the death of her first husband and whether or not she and Claudius had aldulterous relations before King Hamlet's death. It is clear, however, that the queen places great importance on social and political status and uses the men in her life to secure it.
Polonius: The father of Laertes and Ophelia--Polonius speaks some of the plays most famous and profound lines. Ironically, he's a blowhard buffoon who fails to follow his own advice. Hamlet recognizes him for the hypocrite he is and scolds him in his madness. Hamlet accidentally kills Polonius with his sword as Polonius hides behind a curtain in the Queen's room spying despite Polonius' warning to his son to stay out of others' quarrels.
Ophelia: Ophelia is Hamlet's love interest, whom she spurns on the advice of her father. She becomes her father's pawn in his efforts to spy on Hamlet and demonstrates no will of her own, allowing herself to be manipulated by her father and brother and both loved and scorned by Hamlet. Like Hamlet, Ophelia goes mad after her father's death and drowns herself.