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The prince of Denmark, and a student at the University of Wittenberg.
At times Hamlet is indecisive and hesitant, but at other times he is prone to rash and impulsive acts of violence.
The king of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, adept at manipulating others for his own ends and willing to execute, assassinate, or murder to stay in power.
Claudius does occasionally show signs of remorse and human feeling—his affection for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere.
The queen of Denmark, Hamlet’s mother, recently married to Claudius. We never get to observe Gertrude on her own, so we know much more about how Hamlet feels about her than about how she sees herself.
Hamlet has such strong feelings about her sex life that he becomes momentarily distracted from his revenge quest, urging her toward a life of chastity.
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