Hamlet Act 1

Where does the play take place? Denmark, Elsinore Castle
As the play opens, Horatio joins Marcellus and Bernardo at their night watch. Why has Horatio joined them? He came to the funeral, because he’s a scalder
In lines 71-73, how does Horatio interpret the appearance of the ghost? Something is really wrong in the country of Denmark
What three questions does Marcellus raise? Why are they working day and night? Why are they making cannons? Who else knows about this?
In a long speech, Horatio answers Marcellus. What events does he say have led to preparations for war? King Hamlet killed Fortinbras’s dad and took his land. Going to war with Norway and Young Fortinbras prepares for war with Denmark.
What three reasons does Horatio list as possible reasons of a ghost’s returning from the grave? To get ease of some trouble, help with battle, maybe buried treasure and want to tell us about it
Why do Horatio and Marcellus decide to tell Hamlet about the ghost? Good friends, it’s their duty. The ghost might talk to Hamlet.
What surprising news does King Claudius announce at the opening of scene 2? He and Gertrude got married.
Why does Claudius send Cornelius and Voltimand to Norway? They heard Lord Fortinbras is going to attack and they want to tattle on him.
What bothers Claudius and Gertrude about Hamlet’s dress? He’s still mourning and grieving
Why does Claudius want Hamlet to remain at court? He’s next in line to be king and they love him too much
About how long has Hamlet’s father been dead at this point? 2 months
Explain why Hamlet says, “Frailty, thy name is woman!” He thinks his mom is weak
At the end of scene 2, what is Hamlet’s plan? Between 11&12, he’s going to see if the ghost reappears and he wants to speak to the ghost.
Why does Laertes warn his sister Ophelia not to place too much hope in Hamlet’s attentions to her? He is the next king, his life is not his own, and he has to make decisions Ophelia might not like.
What does Laertes say must govern Hamlet’s marriage choice? Best interest of the country comes first (beneficial)
What advice does Ophelia in turn give to Laertes? Be careful, not too reckless, and practice what you preach.
“Give thy thoughts no tongue” Be careful with your words
“Nor any unproportion’d thought his act.” Think before you speak.
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” Be a listener
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be for loan oft loses both itself and friend” Don’t loan or borrow money, it causes you to lose friends
What are Polonius’s instructions to Ophelia about Hamlet? Stay away from Hamlet, Be careful and do not speak to him
What is happening at the court while Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus are on the platform? Danish tradition, staying up all night and drinking
Why does Hamlet denounce the custom of drunken celebration? Gives them a bad reputation as being drunkerds
What happens at the end of scene 4? Hamlet follows the ghost
What does the Ghost reveal about the manner of his death? Murder, Claudius wanted Gertrude, poured poison in King’s ear
In lines 82-89, what tasks does the Ghost tell Hamlet to undertake? Avenge his death, let his mother suffer, let her live
In lines 178-181, what does Hamlet imply he may decide to do?

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