English IB Hamlet Act I Questions

Give line evidence that Horatio doesn’t believe in ghosts. “Tush, tush twill not appear.”
Describe the looks and behavior of the ghost The ghost, wearing battle armor, does not speak to Bernardo, Marcellus and Horatio.
5) Interpret the lines 83-90 spoken by Marcellus. Denmark is in preparation for what? 6) Marcellus asks why Denmark is rushing to produce weapons. The country is in preparation of war.
7) What is Horatio’s answer to Marcellus’ question? (ll. 93-101, 108-120) 8) Horatio has heard rumors that Prince Fortinbras of Norway is gathering a mercenary army to attack Denmark to reclaim land lost by his father King Fortinbras to the late King Hamlet.
9) What seems to scare the ghost away? a) The rooster crows, signaling the arrival of the morning.
10) For what reason does Horatio decide to tell Hamlet of the ghost? a) Horatio thinks the ghost will speak to Prince Hamlet.
11) Interpret the lines 17-20 in scene 2 spoken by Claudius. a) Claudius reveals that the King of Norway is “impotent and bedrid” meaning the king is old and feeble. Claudius will take advantage of this weakness to convince the King of Norway to avoid a war with Denmark. The assumption is that Claudius, the stronger, more effective ruler, will defeat the weaker king.
12) Why has King Claudius written to Norway? a) Claudius sends his ambassadors to Norway with a letter demanding the King put a stop to Prince Fortinbras’ plans to attack Denmark.
13) Laertes seeks the King’s permission to do what? a) Laertes wishes to return to his studies of the court in Paris, France.
14) Explain the hidden meaning in Hamlet’s lines to Claudius. (l. 67, 69) a) Hamlet is “more than kin,” related to Claudius TWICE as nephew and now son, and it is “less than kind,” or UNNATURAL (against the laws of nature) or incestuous. b) “Too much in the son” is a sarcastic remark to Hamlet’s disdain for the new-found attention he receives as Claudius’ step-son. It is also a pun on “sun” or having a cheery disposition. Gertrude has asked Hamlet to cheer up. This is his response. Very PUNNY!
15) Select 5 or 6 lines in which Claudius is critical of Hamlet (concerning the grief Hamlet feels over his father’s death). a) Hamlet’s grief is a fault against reason, a fault against religion, a fault against the dead, and unmanly (i.e., womanish!!)
16) Where does Hamlet attend school? a) Wittenberg, Germany
17) Interpret the following lines from Hamlet’s opening soliloquy: ll. 133-164) a) Hamlet wishes to leave behind his “solid,” or “sullied” flesh. He contemplates suicide. However, suicide is against God’s laws and a damnable sin.
18) Note the sarcasm in Hamlet’s lines to Horatio: ll. 187-191 a) Hamlet mocks Gertrude’s thriftiness by saying she uses the same food for the funeral reception for her wedding reception. What a way to recycle!!
19) Interpret Laertes’ lines to Ophelia: scene 3 ll. 14-48 a) Laertes tells Ophelia Hamlet will never marry her; Hamlet cannot chose his bride since he is nobility and can only marry another noble. Laertes also warns Ophelia of young men’s desire to seduce innocent women only to throw them away. He tells Ophelia to protect her virtue!
20) Interpret Ophelia’s lines to her brother: ll. 49-54 a) She tells Laertes to not use a double standard on her. He should practice what he preaches. She tells him not to be the libertine, someone with loose morals.
21) List a minimum of three bits of advice that Polonius gives to his son Laertes in Act I, scene 3. a) Listen to everyone, but hold your tongue. b) Be observant!c) Don’t enter a quarrel, but if you do, make sure you win.d) Dress tastefully, but not flashy or vulgar. e) “To thine ownself be true!”
22) What is Polonius’ advice to Ophelia in Act I, scene 3? How does the scene close? a) Polonius accuses of Ophelia of being “green” or na├»ve. He doesn’t want her “tendering him a fool” – damaging his reputation or giving him a grandchild out of wedlock. He says men can roam but girls are on a short tether. To Polonius, Ophelia is property and her virginity is her bargaining price. She cannot lose it.
23) Explain why Hamlet threatens to kill Horatio or Marcellus. a) Horatio and Marcellus try to prevent Hamlet from following the ghost. They fear it might tempt Hamlet to do something rash like kill himself.
24) Who says the famous line “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”? a) Marcellus
25) The people of Denmark thought King Hamlet had died how? How did he truly die? a) The people Denmark thought the king was bitten by a poisonous snake while taking his nap in the garden. The ghost tells Hamlet he dies from poison poured in his ear by his brother Claudius who did so to steal the queen, the crown and the country from King Hamlet.
26) Who hears the voice of the ghost in Act I, scene 5 other than Hamlet? a) Horatio and Marcellus

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