“Who’s there?” – Barnardo (1.1.1)
Dark, macabre, mourning, skeptical, (self)tortured, tragic, uneasy, weary, worried, wretched.

In the start of this Shakespearean play, the gloomy and dark mood is ever present. The King is dead and his ghost lingers at the castle, which signals there is something strange at play here.

When he speaks to the ghost, Hamlet discovers that his father was killed “unnaturally” (1.5.31) and is told to avenge him.

From there, Hamlet begins his descent into madness. Once someone who was full of pure intentions, his anger and despair for vengeance corrupts his soul.

Like Hamlet, the moon in the header represents Hamlet’s purity. However with a large impact event, it changes to become red, a color often associated negative beliefs of war and bloodshed.


I’ve also came up with a color palette for each main character in Act 1 of Hamlet:



Currently, Hamlet seems to be gloomy and sad from the death of the king, his father. Angry and weary, he is unwilling to partake in a celebration celebrating the marriage of his mom and his uncle. The light blue shows how he is wants to hang in the background like a ghost, but the darker end of the spectrum symbolizes the storm that is blooming in Hamlet’s mind.

Francisco, Marcellus, and Barnardo:


These colors represent a portion of the Denmark Guard’s uniform. The cerulean color, on the right, represent the bright blue parts of the uniforms— which contrast with the denim color, imitating the darkness of the night.

The Ghost (aka the former King):


I used part of the palette to symbolize the ghost, whose life was unjustly taking. It also reflects the gloom and terror that the ghost would bring upon passersby.



Laertes is controversial. Although he shares a very strong bond with his father, symbolized by the dark colors, he is very condescending towards his sister and offers adviser that he would not take himself, represented by the pale colors of how flaky he is.



She is said to be pretty but innocent. The pastel colors represent how she is overlooked as a decoration, but the darker colors represent how she is a real person who is doubtful of herself and Hamlet’s love.



While he is shown to be a doting father, having an especially close relationship with his son, he can be condescending to his daughter, Ophelia. His caring spirit shows his bright light, yellow, but he is also shrouded in politics and mind games, which were symbolized by dark, cloudy colors.



As royalty, she acts like a queen with dignified behavior (symbolized by the purple and magenta). However, she seems inconsiderate (symbolized by the lighter colors) when she supports Claudius to keep Hamlet home from going to Wittenberg, on the excuse of wanting Hamlet closer to her, instead of convincing Claudius to give her son some space.



He is a king and seemingly likes to throw and participate in parties, which hints of his lively spirit (symbolized by the brighter colors of the spectrum). He pressures Hamlet to treat him like a father when he fails to to reach out to him. Because of this, he is as inconsiderate as Gertrude, if more. This is act may hint of something more sinister, as represented by the purple colors.



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