Hamlet

How many acts is Hamlet divided into? 5
Structure: Act 1 The Introduction: The setting (time and place of the action) is presented.We are introduced to the physical conflicts of the play, a son’s duty to avenge a father’s murder, and to the principal characters.
Structure: Act 2 Development of the Action:Hamlet’s feigned is another is shown in action. The Mouse Trap Play is shown and Hamlet’s bitter disappointment in Ophelia.
Structure: Act 3*** ??…public ally, the killing of Polonius, the queen’s breakdown under Hamlet’s merciless indictment.
Structure: Act 4 Results of the crisis and the swift procession of events toward the final catastrophe (the insanity and death of Ophelia), the return of Laertes and his attempt at revolution, and the banishment of Hamlet to England, the plot between Claudius and Laertes.
Structure: Act 5 The denouncement which takes the form of a catastrophe:The killing off of all the chief characters and leaving the faithful Horatio and the strong, successful Fortinbras.
Explain how Hamlet fits into the definition of tragedy and revenge tragedy. Hamlet is getting revenge for the murder of his father, his revenge is set in play by the ghost of his father telling Hamlet that he was murdered, Hamlet doesn’t know whether to believe the ghost and hesitates, Hamlet uses his insanity to distract, Hamlet gives many deep soliloquies, and there are murders on stage
Identify the character Claudius. King of DenmarkBrother of the former King Hamlet (Prince Hamlet’s father)Hamlet’s UncleQueen Gertrude’s (former wife of King Hamlet) current husband
Identify the character Hamlet. Prince of DenmarkSon of the deceased King and Queen GertrudeNephew to King Claudius
Identify the character Polonius. Advisor to the King (court member)PoliticianFather of Laertes and Ophelia
Identify the character Laertes. Son of PoloniusBrother of OpheliaTravels to Paris to study
Identify the character Gertrude. Queen of DenmarkMother of Prince HamletFormer wife of the deceased King HamletCurrent wife of Claudius
Identify the character Ophelia. Daughter of PoloniusSister of LaertesTook part in a romantic relationship with Prince Hamlet
Identify The Players. Actors sent for by Claudius to entertain HamletSpoken to by Hamlet to perform a play similar to the event in which Claudius killed his brother
Identify the character Yorick. One of the skulls dug up by the gravediggerSymbol to Hamlet of how final death isPreviously King Hamlet’s jester. Nostalgic companion from Prince Hamlet’s childhood.
Identify the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Old university friends of HamletHired as spies by Claudius and Gertrude to identify the source of Hamlet’s unusual behavior.
Identify the character Fortinbras. Prince of Norway who wishes to avenge his father’s honor by attacking Denmark
Ghost of King Hamlet Spirit of Prince Hamlet’s fatherReveals himself and the means by which he died to HamletInstructs Hamlet to avenge him by killing Claudius but to refrain from harming Gertrude
What are the external and internal conflicts of the play? External: Throughout the play Hamlet is trying to kill Claudius, the duel between Hamlet and LaertesInternal: Hamlet tries to decide whether or not to trust the ghost, whether or not to kill Claudius, when to kill Claudius, and whether or not he should kill himself.
Who is the Ghost? The father of Hamlet (former King of Denmark)
What does the Ghost reveal to Hamlet? Hamlet’s uncle Claudius killed him by pouring poison in his ear.
What does the ghost demand of Hamlet? Kill Claudius, but do not hurt Gertrude.
How does Hamlet react to hearing how his father died? Hamlet vows to get revenge, he changes from being a depressed person to a driven and confused person who doesn’t know what to believe causing him to make questionable decisions
In Act1, even before he sees the Ghost, Hamlet is angry about something. Why? Is his anger justified? Why did Claudius ignore Hamlet’s insults? Hamlet is angry about his mother being married to his uncle Claudius so quickly after the death of his father.His anger is justified. Claudius might have ignored Hamlet’s insults in order to maintain his appearance as a good king and to avoid giving Hamlet any further reason to resent him or draw any suspicion to himself.
In Act 2, Hamlet pretends to be something he is not. What does he pretend to be? How does Claudius attempt to discover if Hamlet’s behavior is true or false? What is Polonius’s explanation for Hamlet’s behavior? CrazyClaudius hired Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to try to find out why Hamlet is acting strangely. Polonius thinks that it is because of his love for Ophelia whom he has been unable to see because of a Polonius’s restrictions.
What is Hamlet’s plan to prove his uncle’s guilt? Does the plan succeed? Hamlet plans to have the players act out the “Murder of Gonzago” and to insert stem new liens, making the performance very similar to what actually occurred when King Hamlet was killed. He will then look at Claudius’s reaction to see whether or not he appears guilty. The plan does succeed.
Why doesn’t Hamlet act immediately on upon the Ghost’s revelation? He first wanted to prove that Claudius had killed his father. He considered the possibility of the ghost being the devil, and wanted to make sure he could trust what it told him.
After Hamlet had evidence of Claudius’s guilt, why doesn’t he act when he has the first opportunity? Hamlet approaches Claudius from behind, but he his knelt over and apparently repenting. Hamlet wanted Claudius to go to hell, so he decided to wait when he was in a state of sin.
In Act 3, King Claudius sends Hamlet to England. What is Claudius’s plot against Hamlet? How does Hamlet avoid his uncle’s plot. Does he display an “indecisive” nature? Claudius wished to send Hamlet along with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the King of England with an official letter ordering Hamlet to be executed. Hamlet avoids his uncle’s plot by discovering the letters, rewriting them, and resealing them with the royal seal. The new letters order Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to be put to death instead. Hamlet did not think twice about this and showed no signs of guilt or remorse. He thought the two deserved it for plotting against him.
What arrangements do Claudius and Laertes make to destroy Hamlet? How well does this scheme work?*** Claudius asks Laertes to challenge Hamlet in a fencing match. Hamlet would tire out and would drink the poisoned wine offered to him by Claudius. In addition, Laertes decided to cover the tip of his sword with poison so that even a mere scratch from the blade would be fatal. This plan works because Hamlet does get scratched by the poison blade, but failed because Laertes also does and he dies. Also, the plan fails because Gertrude drinks the poison wine and dies.
In what ways are the situations of Hamlet and Laertes alike? How do these two young men differ in their reactions to the similar situations in which they find themselves?***
What are the 3 father-son relationships in the play? How does each son react to the death of his father? Fortinbras and young Fortinbras (young Fortinbras wants to avenge his father’s honor and waits until he is old enough and tries to attack Denmark)King Hamlet and Hamlet (Hamlet is grief- stricken and then outraged. He seeks revenge and wants to kill Claudius.)Polonius and Laertes (Laertes is extremely angry and plots with Claudius to kill Hamlet in order to get revenge.)
Hamlet is dominated throughout the play by a desire “not to be”. Why does he feel this way? Hamlet had previously considered suicide but no’s is even more depressed with the recent news of his father’s death and his mother’s new marriage. He wants his emotional pain and problems from this life to end. He ultimately decides not to kill himself for fear of the unknown and what potentially more treacherous problems could exist in the next life.
What was Hamlet like before his father’s death? Cheerful young boy studying at college
How does Hamlet feel about life in general? Hamlet described life as wild, terrible, gross, etc.
How does Hamlet feel about Ophelia? He really loved her, but was angry when he thought she was a part of the plot against him.
Is Hamlet really insane or just putting on an act? Hamlet was putting on an act.
What is Hamlet’s tragic flaw? Procrastination: Hamlet put off killing Claudius and ultimately caused the deaths of several other characters and himself.
What motive(s) did Claudius have for killing his brother? Power and the throneGertrude
Does Claudius feel remorseful for killing his brother? Yes, but he cannot be forgiven completely because he cannot give up the fruits (power and Gertrude) of his sin.
What does Claudius’s rebuttal and future pact with Fortinbras reveal about him as King? It reveals that Claudius is a good King trying to avoid war.
How does Claudius compare to King Hamlet? King Hamlet treated Gertrude far better according to Hamlet.
What advice did Polonius give to Laertes and to Ophelia? Laertes: Be true to yourself, and you will in turn be true to everyone else.Ophelia: Hamlet is in line for the throne and is way out of your league. He is likely only interested in a physical relationship with you, so you are no longer allowed to see him or spend time with him.
What 3 spy arrangements was Polonius involved in? Sending Reynolds to spy on Laertes in ParisListening to Hamlet and Gertrude’s heated conversation behind the tapestrySending Ophelia to talk to Hamlet while he, Claudius, and Gertrude listened
What were Polonius’s convictions concerning Hamlet?***
What is Polonius’s character flaw? Always in everyone’s business
Is Gertrude without guilt? No
What is Gertrude’s character flaw? Her reliance on men
Describe Ophelia’s relationship with her father and her brother? Polonius: She is obedient to him when he told her to stay away from Hamlet. Laertes: She genuinely listens to his warning about Hamlet’s intentions, and stays away from him.
How does Ophelia feel about Hamlet? She loved him, but was frightened and confused when he began acting crazy.
What caused Ophelia’s insanity and death? Ophelia went mad after her father was killed by Hamlet whom she loved. She later drowned herself in a brook because of this.
What is the fate/destiny of Polonius? He was stabbed and killed by Hamlet when he cried out from behind the tapestry in Gertrude’s bedroom where he had been eavesdropping on their argument.
What is the fate/destiny of Ophelia? She went mad after her father’s death and drowned herself in a brook.
What is the fate/destiny of Laertes? He was stabbed and was killed by Hamlet with his own sword
What is the fate/destiny of Gertrude? She died by drinking the wine Claudius had poisoned and intended to give to Hamlet.
What is the fate/destiny of Claudius? Hamlet stabs him and forces him to drink the poisoned wine.
What is the fate/destiny of Hamlet? Laertes stabs and kills him with his sword with the poisoned tip.
What is the fate/destiny of Horatio? He survives.
What is the fate/destiny of Fortinbras? Fortinbras is one of the few characters to survive and discovers the mayhem after returning in victory from Poland
What is the fate/destiny of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? They were executed because of the fake letters Hamlet wrote to the King of England.
“A little more than kin, and less than king.” (Act 1, Scene 2) Hamlet- himself (aside)This means that he is too closely related to Claudius who is both his uncle and now his stepfather. This is important because it shows the audience how Hamlet feels about the situation.
“Frailty, thy name is woman.” (Act 1, Scene 2) Hamlet-himself (soliloquy)This means that women are weak. This is important because it gives the audience a sense of how angry Hamlet is about his mother remarrying so quickly after his father’s death.
“This above all… to Rhine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Act 1, Scene 3) Polonius-LaertesThis means to always be true to yourself and to not be fake to anyone else. This is important because it shows Polonius does have good values, loves his son, and wants him to be successful in college.
“Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d, bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, be thy intents wicked or charitable…” (Act 1, Scene 4) Hamlet-GhostThis means that Hamlet is uncertain of the ghost’s origin so addresses it as both good and bad, saying it could be a good spirit or an evil demon, bringing winds from heaven or fires from hell with righteous or evil intentions. This is important because it shows that Hamlet cannot yet place full trust in the ghost without knowing more but is open to listen to what it has to say.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” (Act 1, Scene 4) Marcellus-HoratioThis means that something peculiar and potentially bad is happening in Denmark. This is important because it shows the uncertainty the men have about the presence of the ghost that might bring unfavorable consequences, especially for Marcellus who is a soldier.
“Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” (Act 1, Scene 5) Ghost-HamletThis means that Hamlet should get revenge for the horrible murder that caused his father’s death. This is important because it reveals to Hamlet how his father died which presents the major conflict in the play.
“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right.” (Act 1, Scene 5) Hamlet-Horatio and MarcellusThis means that right now everything is out of sorts, and he is angry that he is the one destined to fix it all. This is important because Hamlet indicaras that he will be taking responsibility of his task and will kill Claudius to avenge his father.
“More matter, with less art.” (Act 2, Scene 2) Queen Gertrude-PoloniusThis means that Polonius needs to get to the point and quit dancing around what he has to tell her. This is important because it shows the Politician in Polonius who can’t give a direct answer right away. It also shows Gertrude’s concern for Hamlet and her frustration with Polonius.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” (Act 2, Scene 2) Polonius-himself (aside) This means that Hamlet has some reason and thought behind his apparent craziness. This is important because it makes Polonius suspicious of Hamlet , and he knows he can work to find out why he’s acting this way.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.” (Act 2, Scene 2) Hamlet-Rosencrantz and Guildenstern This means that Denmark does not seem to be a prison to R. and G. Since everything is only a certain way based in how people perceive it, but Denmark is a prison to Hamlet. This is important because Hamlet indicates his distress because he knows something is not right but cannot escape.
“I am but mad north-north-west when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” (Act 2, Scene 2) Hamlet-Rosencrantz and Guildenstern This means that his craziness is fickle, and he is well aware of what’s going on around him. This is important because it shows R. and G. that he still has his sense and is capable of understanding the plot against him. It is a warning to R. and G. because Hamlet knows that they are spying on him.
“Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.” (Act 3, Scene 1) Ophelia-HamletThis means that nice gifts mean a lot less when the giver is not mind. This is important because the conversation is being listened to, and she is rejecting him if he fails to change his behavior.
“Get thee to a nunnery.” (Act 3, Scene 1) Hamlet-Ophelia This means that she should go join a convent. This is important because Hamlet is rejecting Ophelia even though he loves her but must disprove Polonius’s theory about his madness.
“Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.” (Act 3, Scene 1) Claudius-PoloniusThis means that they must keep a close watch on Hamlet who is normally so bright from now on. This is important because now Claudius and Polonius will be even more observant and careful with Hamlet as they try to figure out what is causing his strange behavior.
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” (Act 2, Scene 2) Gertrude-HamletThis means that the Player acting as the queen is overacting and making a bigger deal about the situation with her marriage. This is important because it shows Gertrude doesn’t feel at all guilty about remarrying so quickly to Claudius.
“O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven.” (Act 3, Scene 3) Claudius-himself (soliloquy)This means that his crime was horrible and is made known to God in Heaven. This is important because Claudius is showing remorse, and Hamlet hears him say this so now wants to wait to kill him.
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below words without thoughts never to heaven go.” (Act 2, Scene 3) Claudius-himself This means that his words speak of good intentions to repent, but his thoughts remain controlled by his selfish earthly desires. If he cannot get these two to agree, his words mean nothing. This is important because it shows that Claudius is skeet for what he did but cannot be forgiven since he still wants to keep the crown and Gertrude. It is also ironic because Hamlet wants Claudius to go to hell, and he would have had he chosen to kill him in that moment.
“I must be cruel, only to be mind; thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.” (Act 3, Scene 4) Hamlet-Gertrude this means that he must be blunt in order to be kind in saying that though things bad norm they will soon become even worse. This is important because it indicates that there are still terrible things to come, Hamlet has a plan to carry out, and warms Gertrude to stay away from Claudius.
“O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” (Act 4, Scene 4) Hamlet-himself (soliloquy)This means that from now on, his thoughts will be violent in order for them to be worth something. This is important because it shows that Hamlet still has a desire for revenge and will kill Claudius.
“We must be patient; but I cannot choose but weep to think they would lay him i’ the cold ground.” (Act 4, Scene 5) Ophelia-all characters presentThis means that they must be patient, but she cannot help that she cries when she thinks about Polonius’s dead body being laid in the cold ground. This is important because it shows Ophelia’s sorrow for her father’s death and indicates that she would have reason to resent Hamlet. It also explains why she goes insane.
“I am justly kill’d with with my own treachery.” (Act 5, Scene 2) Laertes-all characters present (mostly Hamlet)This means that his wickedness brought about his own demise. This is important because it shows how all of the plans constructed by Claudius against Hamlet failed and punished many people because of the king’s ill intentions.
“Now cracks a noble heart.” (Act 5, Scene 2) Horatio-all characters present (mostly Hamlet)This means that a good and noble heart has been broken. This is important because it shows that Horario saw Hamlet as honorable since he had the country’s best interest in mind and is grief stricken now that Hamlet is dead.
“Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage:…” (Act 5, Scene 2) Fortinbras-HoratioThis means that Hamlet’s body should be carried by four people as if he were an honorable soldier. This is important because it shows that Hamlet received the honor he was fighting for and that Hamlet was well-liked and well-respected.

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