SparkNotes Blog

Sorting the Characters from Hamlet Into Hogwarts Houses

Much like Hamlet, I have an identity crisis just about once every ten minutes. Unlike Hamlet, I don’t try to solve this by committing murder, touching skulls, and punching people at funerals; instead, I constantly take Sorting quizzes to reassure myself that I am, in fact, a Ravenclaw.

I think knowing his Hogwarts house really could have helped Hamlet. At least then he would have known SOMETHING for certain in this crazy, mixed-up world of ours. It’s too late now, but oh well. Here are, in my opinion, the Hogwarts houses of everybody from Hamlet, retroactively.

Hamlet: Ravenclaw
How much do you know about philosophy? Not as much as Hamlet knows about philosophy, and you better believe he’d tell you that right to your face. Hamlet is reflective and intelligent. He’s also indecisive and obsessed with death, and exactly the kind of person who would come up to you at a party and respond to your cursory “Hey dude, what’s up?” with “NOT MUCH, BY THE WAY WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENS TO US AFTER WE DIE?”

Horatio: Hufflepuff
Horatio is loyal and has good sense; in fact, he’s pretty much the only one who winds up not-dead by the end of the play, but it’s not for lack of trying. When Hamlet’s dying in his arms, Horatio offers to commit suicide for him out of sheer devotion. Who in your life would ride or die for you this hard? Only a Hufflepuff.

Claudius: Slytherin
Claudius is a Machiavellian kingdom-stealer who commits fratricide for his own political gain and only feels sort of bad about it, which is a move straight out of the Slytherin handbook.

Gertrude: Slytherin
Does Gertrude marry Claudius stay in power? Does she do it because she truly loves him? Was she complicit in her husband’s death, or was she blissfully unaware? NOBODY KNOWS, but at the very least, I think we can all agree it takes a certain kind of audacious opportunism to have zero quibbles about marrying your husband’s brother immediately after said husband dies.

Polonius: Hufflepuff
Polonius is ridiculous and embarrassing. I can relate to him and it scares me. That said, you can’t say he shies away from drama. He’s pretty “unafraid of toil,” as the song goes, which is apparently a good way to get yourself stabbed through a curtain.

Ophelia: Ravenclaw
Though she embodies obedience and decorum, Ophelia is also smart. She can match Hamlet wit for wit and she parries her brother’s sexist remarks with ease. The only problem: Ophelia has the bad luck to be a woman caught up in Elizabethan court culture, which inevitably spells her doom.

Laertes: Gryffindor
Laertes is always operating at a 10. Despite needing to dial it back to a respectable 7, I can tell you Laertes has never dialed it back in his life. There’s no POINT in being a Gryffindor unless you are prepared to burn it all down at a moment’s notice. Unlike Hamlet, Laertes is truly IN HIS ELEMENT when he is making snap decisions. He’s like “CLAUDIUS MURDERED MY FATHER? BETTER KILL HIM,” and then “OH WAIT IT WAS ACTUALLY HAMLET WHO MURDERED MY FATHER? BETTER KILL HIM.” Like a shark, he must always be moving or else he will die. Of this, I am certain.