Hamlet Act 1 Review Questions

What have Barnardo and Marcellus seen twice before during their watch? an apparition (ghost)
Why does Marcellus ask Horatio to join in the watch? to prove to Horatio that the ghost really appeared
What has young Fortinbras of Norway recently done? He is building up an army to take away the lands that King Hamlet rightfully conquered (under a contract) during King Fortinbras reign
Why are the people of Denmark preparing for war? to prepare for war against young Fortinbras
According to Horatio, what happened in Rome shortly before Julius Caesar was assassinated? bad omens, solar flares and eclipses
What possible explanation comes to Barnardo for the appearance of the ghost at this time? The “portentous” (vocab word) figure appeared in arms because there is a threat of war
Who has recently died? What has this person’s widow done? King Hamlet has recently died. The widow, Gertrude, married King Hamlet’s brother, Claudius.
How does Hamlet feel about these events? How do you know? He does not like it at all. Hamlet says to Claudius “A little more than kin, and less than kind” (The use of the word “kind” here is ambiguous. It means both affectionate, and natural. Hamlet is saying that Claudius not only has been unkind to him, but is also saying that Claudius is not of the same “kind” as Hamlet is. Hamlet views the marriage of Claudius to Queen Gertrude as unnatural.)
What requests do Claudius and Gertrude make of Hamlet? They want Hamlet to stop grieving over his dead father. Gertrude goes to say that everyone must die, and Claudius says that what Hamlet is doing is obstinate and unmanly. They also do not want Hamlet to go to school in Wittenberg.
Does Hamlet intend to honor the request of Claudius and Gertrude? He does not intend to get over his father. But he does obey there request to not go to school in Wittenberg.
What advice does Laertes give to Ophelia before departing for France? Do not take Hamlet seriously because his affection will fade
What view of Hamlet, does Laertes advice imply? untrustworthy, uncaring, “player”
Why does Polonius detain his son shortly after chiding him for not being aboard the ship already? He wants to give Laertes advice, the most important being “be true to yourself”
What sort of man is Polonius? (This is a more opinionated question, so I guess you can answer it for yourself.)
What does Polonius tell his daughter that she must do, and why? He tells her to not talk to Hamlet at all because he believes Hamlet is deceiving.
Is Polonius right to inquire his daughter to not talk to Hamlet? (This is a more opinionated question, so I guess you can answer it for yourself.)
What does the ghost reveal to Hamlet, what does it ask Hamlet to do? The ghost reveals that Claudius killed King Hamlet by pouring poison into his ear, it asks Hamlet to avenge his father by murdering Claudius, but do nothing to Gertrude
Why does Hamlet decide to put on an “antic disposition” or pretend to be insane? So that no one could really tell why Hamlet was doing the things he was about to do.

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