Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is the relationship between the characters in Shakespeare's play Hamlet

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In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are a number of interesting relationships that help drive the plot forward. Central to the play is Hamlet’s family unit. Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet, is dead when the play begins. His mother, Gertrude, has remarried King Hamlet’s brother, and Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, by the time Hamlet returns to Denmark. Hamlet’s father’s death, and the overhasty remarriage of his mother to his uncle contribute to Hamlet’s melancholy at the start of the play.

We soon meet another family central to the plot. Polonius is Claudius’s advisor. His son Laertes is a foil for Hamlet. Polonius’s daughter, and Laertes’s sister, Ophelia, is romantically involved with Hamlet at the start of the play. Ophelia heeds her father’s advice and breaks off the relationship with Hamlet. Hamlet views this as a betrayal of sorts, and his cruelty towards her, along with his murder of her father, leads to her madness and eventual suicide.

Hamlet’s friends are also important...

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