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Hamlet Study Guide:

Anticipation Interview for Hamlet 1-Strongly Agree 2 -Unsure/Indifferent 5-Strongly Disagree Statement: Mark in the column to the left a number between 1 and 5 indicating whether you agree or disagree with the statement. Revenge is sweet. Dont do today what you can put off until tomorrow. Every son subconsciously wishes to kill his father and marry his mother. Omens like black cats crossing your path are silly superstitions. You should not feel guilty if a friend or loved one commits suicide. It is wrong to commit suicide. It is wrong to kill another human being for any reason. There is no such thing as pure evil; every human being has a conscience. You can spot a lie if you watch the liar closely. Hatred is a useless emotion. I would rather be a prince than his advisor. Murder can be an impulsive response to instinct. Killing can be done as an act of conscience. Parents usually do know best. Only the good die young. Shakespearean language is very difficult to understand. Based on previous Shakespearean plays I have read, I can relate to the characters and situations.


Hamlet: Act I Quiz 1. Identify Bernardo, Francisco, Marcellus, Horatio, and King Hamlet. 2. What had Bernardo seen at a prior watch? 3. Why does Marcellus think Horatio should speak to the ghost? 4. What does young Fortinbras want to do? 5. Who do the soldiers/guards want to tell about the ghost? 6. Identify King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Laertes, and Polonius. 7. Where does Claudius send Cornelius and Voltimand? 8. What does the King tell Hamlet? 9. Hamlet is upset for two reasons. What are they? 10. What news does Horatio bring Hamlet? 11. What does Hamlet decide to do after he hears Horatio's news? 12. What is Laertes' advice to Ophelia? 1

Name: _______________________________________ 13. What is Polonius' advice to Laertes? 14. At the end of Scene III, Ophelia agrees to "obey." What will she do? 15. What did the ghost tell Hamlet? 16. Hamlet swears Horatio to two things. What are they? Hamlet: Act II Quiz 1. In the beginning of the act who does Polonius send to spy on Laertes? Why? 2. What is Polonious's excuse for Hamlet's behavior and why does he think this? 3. Why is Denmark a prison to Hamlet? What is really stopping him from simply leaving Elsinore? 4. "This most excellent canopy...-why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors." Who said it and to what is the significance? 5. Do you think that Hamlet has been procrastinating his revenge on his uncle or is he just being careful? Explain. 6. Why does Hamlet tell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern they are welcome [to Elsinore] three times in this act? Hamlet: Act III Quiz 1. King: O, tis true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience. The harlots cheek beautied with plastring art Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it Than is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden! What does this speech show about the king? Do you feel the king is evil? Why or why not? 2. Why does Hamlet repeatedly tell Ophelia to go to a nunnery? 3. What does Hamlet ask Horatio to do during the play? 4. O heavens, die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then theres hope a great mans memory may outlive his life half a year. What is Hamlets intention when he speaks this to Ophelia right before the play starts? 5. From the scene of the play we see, focusing purely on the words of the script, who does it actually appear Hamlet is targeting in his satirical lines? What does it show about his true feelings for that character? 6. Why does Hamlet refuse to kill the king when he has a chance to? When does he decide will be the best time to do so? 7. Polonius is always quick to eavesdrop on others. How does this nosy characteristic get him in trouble in Scene 4? 8. What is the irony of the character he played when he was a former actor? 9. What does Hamlet tell the Queen he will do on his upcoming journey with his friends? What character trait is revealed by his actions? Do you think was always a part of his personality or did it recently evolve because of his fathers death? Hamlet: Act IV Quiz 1. What does Hamlet think of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? 2. Why must the King "not put the strong arm on" Hamlet? 3. When the King asks Hamlet where Polonius is, what is Hamlet's answer? 4. What is the content of the letters the King sends with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to England with Hamlet? 5. What prompts Hamlet to say, "My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth!"? 2

Name: _______________________________________ 6. What has happened to Ophelia and why? 7. Why does Laertes force his way in? What does he want? 8. What is the content of Hamlet's letter to Horatio? 9. What plan do the King and Laertes discuss to kill Hamlet? 10. What news does the Queen bring Laertes? Hamlet: Act V Quiz 1. What insight does Ophelias funeral give about how the lower classes feel about nobles? 2. At the funeral Hamlet proclaims his love for Ophelia. How does his description of his love insult Laertes? 3. What reason was there for Hamlet to kill Rosencratz and Gilderstern? 4. Osric seems quick to agree with Hamlet about everything. How is his quick agreement contrary to Hamlets character? 5. When the Queen drinks the wine, why does the King not tell her it was poison? 6. What does Horatio mean when he says, I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. 7. How does Hamlets recommendation of young Fortinbras to the throne restore a hope of order to the kingdom? 8. What is Horatios final function in the play? Whole Play Questions I. Characters A. Lord Chamberlain and chief counselor to Claudius B. Umpired the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes C. Ophelia's brother D. Came to Elsinore to help the King find out what Hamlet's trouble was E. Student and loyal friend of Hamlet F. Polonius sends him to Paris to report on Laertes' conduct G. Hamlet's mother H. Prince of Norway, has lost his father I. Hamlet's uncle J. Daughter of Polonius K. Prince of Denmark, has lost his father, his uncle is King

____1. Hamlet ____2. Claudius ____3. Gertrude ____4. Polonius ____5. Horatio ____6. Laertes ____7. Ophelia ____8. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern ____9. Osric ____10. Fortinbras ____11. Reynaldo II. Short Answer

12. Describe the relationship between Hamlet and his mother. 13. Compare and contrast Hamlet and Horatio. 14. Describe Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia. 15. Explain why Hamlet is a tragedy. 16. Explain what Hamlet's main problems are. 17. Who is the most important character in the play (besides Hamlet)? Defend your answer. 18. What is one theme in Hamlet? Give specific examples of it from the text. 19. What is the main conflict in Hamlet? Justify your answer. 20. Was Hamlet "mad"? Defend your answer. 21. Explain Ophelia's role in the play.

Name: _______________________________________ III. Quotations Significance

22. A little more than kin and less than kind. (I.ii,64) Speaker Situation

23. 2. Seems, madam! Nay, it is. I know not "seems." (I.ii,76) Speaker Situation Significance

24. Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral baked meats/Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. I.ii,179180) Speaker Situation Significance

25. The time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spite/That ever I was born to set it right! (I.v,189-190) Speaker Situation Significance

26. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me -- no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so. (II.ii,315-321) Speaker Situation Significance

27. The play's the thing/Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King. (II.ii,633-634) Speaker Situation Significance

28. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive? (III.ii,297-298) Speaker Situation Significance

Name: _______________________________________ 29. I am justly killed with mine own treachery. (V.ii,318) Speaker Situation Significance

30. The King, the King's to blame. (V.ii,331) Speaker Situation


Translation: Arguably, though not really, the most famous speech from the most famous play of all of Western Literature. What does it mean? IV. Translation: Translate the speech into modern English being sure to capture the essence and subtlety of the passage.

Ham.: To be, or not to be,that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?To die,to sleep, No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die,to sleep; To sleep! perchance to dream:ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make 5 80 75 70 65

Name: _______________________________________ With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn No traveller returns,puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought; And enterprises of great pith and moment, With this regard, their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.Soft you now! The fair Ophelia!Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd. Themes of Hamlet: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The impossibility of certainty The complexity of action The mystery of death The complexity of the mother/son relationship The importance/believability of the supernatural _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ Motifs/Symbols in Hamlet: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Incest Misogyny Yoricks Skull ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ 95 90 85