Shakespeare – Module 6: Tragedy: Hamlet Character Study – 5 of 5

WHAT: Today you will describe the character, Hamlet.

By the end of this study session you will be able to:

✔ Use adjectives to describe Hamlet .
✔ Write Hamlet’s obituary

Today you will need:
✎ A pen
☰ Some paper to write on
♫ Some headphones or a space where you can play videos out loud

1) Watch this summary/recap of the play from the BBC website just to revise the plot and characters. The video is 3 minutes long and then underneath it there is a really quick plot summary you can read.

I DO: What is Hamlet’s character like?

The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist. About thirty years old at the start of the play, Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius. Hamlet is melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle’s scheming and disgust for his mother’s sexuality. A reflective and thoughtful young man who has studied at the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet is often indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts. (From

2) Watch this 4 minute video about Hamlet’s character. As you watch, try to list any words used to describe Hamlet. E.g. He’s indecisive.

2) Which character traits (aspects of his personality) are positive and which ones are negative? This is not necessarily straightforward. For example, being hesitant might be a good thing as it might prevent someone from doing stupid things! But on the other hand it might mean you miss out on opportunities in life.

Positives things about Hamlet:

Negative aspects of Hamlet:

3) Give your reasons for the words you have chosen to describe Hamlet.

YOU DO: Fancy a challenge?
4) You are going to write an obituary for Hamlet. An obituary is a notice of a death, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person.

Look at this Prezi presentation which includes some fake obituary examples for characters in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth:

Write an obituary for Hamlet. You will need to include:
– His name, age, date and time of death
– Who his closest family members are / his role
– How he died / where
– Information about the kind of man he was