Hamlet is the melancholy prince of Denmark and grieving son to the recently deceased King in William Shakespeare 's monumental tragedy " Hamlet. From our first encounter with Hamlet, he is consumed by grief and obsessed by death. Although he is dressed in black to signify his mourning, his emotions run deeper than his appearance or words can convey. In Act 1, Scene 2, he says to his mother:. Hamlet is pained to think that everyone has forgotten his father so quickly—especially his mother, Gertrude.
What follows is an overview of the main characters in William Shakespeare 's Hamlet , followed by a list and summary of the minor characters from the play. Marcellus, Bernardo or Barnardo and Francisco are sentries at Elsinore. Francisco gives up his watch to Bernardo in the opening of the play, and it is Bernardo and Marcellus, who first alert Horatio to the appearance of King Hamlet's Ghost. He is a servant to Polonius.