Act I Questions and Answers
- According to Marcellus and Barnardo, whom does the ghost resemble?
- What happened between the late king of Norway and the late king of Denmark?
- Who is young Fortinbras and what is he doing?
- Who is Horatio?
- Who is Claudius?
- Who is Gertrude?
- Who is Prince Hamlet?
- Who are Polonius and Laertes?
- Who is Ophelia?
- According to the ghost, how did Hamlet’s father really die?
- They think the ghost resembles the late King Hamlet in his battle armor.
- Many years ago, King Fortinbras of Norway challenged King Hamlet of Denmark to a one-on-one duel for some land. King Hamlet killed King Fortinbras during the duel and won the land.
- Young Fortinbras is the son of the late King Fortinbras of Norway. Unbeknownst to his uncle (the current king of Norway), young Fortinbras is assembling men to attack Denmark and reclaim the lands that his father lost in a duel.
- Horatio is Prince Hamlet’s friend from school.
- Claudius is the current king of Denmark and the brother of the late King Hamlet. He is now married to his brother’s wife, Queen Gertrude.
- Gertrude is Prince Hamlet’s mother and the wife of the late King Hamlet. Soon after King Hamlet’s death, she married his brother, Claudius.
- Prince Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet. He is grief-stricken by his father’s recent death and upset over his mother’s hasty remarriage to his uncle.
- Polonius is one of the king’s favorite courtiers and the father of Laertes and Ophelia. Laertes is a young nobleman who wishes to return to France.
- The daughter of Polonius and the sister of Laertes, Ophelia is a beautiful young noblewoman. Prince Hamlet has been romantically pursuing her, but Laertes and Polonius urge her to break off the relationship and remain chaste.
- The ghost reveals that Claudius poured poison into King Hamlet’s ear while he slept. Therefore, King Hamlet’s death was a murder and not an accident.