Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3

Laertes is packing his things to go somewhere. Where? France
Why is Laertes going to this place? He is going back to school there.
Laertes speaks to his sister. What is her name? Ophelia
What does Laertes ask Ophelia to do every day while he is gone? He wants her to write him a letter.
Laertes wants to warn Ophelia about something. What? He wants to warn her not to get too close to Prince Hamlet.
Why does Laertes think Ophelia may not ever be able to marry Prince Hamlet? Prince Hamlet is royalty, and he may be forced to marry someone else of his parents’ choosing.
Laertes warns Ophelia that young men will say anything to get something. What? sex
Laertes also warns Ophelia that Prince Hamlet also has a big responsibility to something else. What? his country–Denmark
Laertes tells Ophelia that her reputation could be ruined if she allows something to happen. What? having a baby with Hamlet without being married
Laertes refers to Ophelia’s “chaste treasure.” What is this “treasure”? her virginity
Laertes refers to “contagious blastments.” What “disease” might these “blastments” cause? pregnancy
What does Ophelia say to all of Laertes advice? She will follow it.
Ophelia then gives Laertes some advice. What is it? to follow his own advice and stay pure over in France
Polonius enters just as his children, Laertes and Ophelia, are ending their conversation. How does Laertes react to the opportunity to see his father one last time before leaving for France? He wishes he had gotten on the boat sooner (but he puts on a smile and pretends to be happy).
Polonius scolds Laertes for something. What? He scolds him for not being on the boat already.
How does Polonius cause Laertes to be even later for his trip to France? He offers him some lengthy advice.
What are some of the pieces of advice Polonius gives Laertes? Don’t speak without thinking. Don’t act without thinking. Pay attention to your own character. Be friendly, but not too friendly. Don’t become best buds with everyone you meet. Avoid fights. However, if you have to fight, make your opponent fear you–fight tough. Don’t borrow money and don’t lend money–especially from or to friends, because if the money can’t be repaid, the friendship may be over. Don’t spend more money than you can afford. Buy good quality clothing, not fancy or gaudy. Borrowing money makes it hard to be thrifty. Be true to yourself, because if you are true to yourself, you will never be false to anyone else.
After Laertes leaves, Polonius want Ophelia to tell him something. What? Polonius wants Ophelia to tell him what she and Laertes were talking about before he (Polonius) came in.
When Ophelia tells her father that she and Laertes were discussing her relationship with Prince Hamlet, Polonius says he has noticed something lately. What? He has noticed that Ophelia and Hamlet have been spending a lot of time together–often alone.
Polonius is concerned about Ophelia’s relationship with Prince Hamlet. About whom is Polonius most concerned? He is most concerned about what would happen to his (Polonius’) own reputation if Ophelia were to become pregnant out of wedlock by Prince Hamlet. (And he is also a little concerned about Ophelia’s rep.)
What does Polonius mean when he calls Ophelia a “green girl”? He is saying she is inexperience, naive, immature.
To what does Polonius compare the sweet words and expressions Hamlet has given Ophelia? He says they are like “springes to catch woodcocks,” or traps to catch birds. Hamlet is using his sweet words and looks to catch her “chaste treasures,” according to Polonius.
What does Polonius mean when he tells Ophelia to Set your entreatments at a higher rate than a command to parley”? He is using this fencing metaphor to say that Ophelia should not sleep with Hamlet just because he asks her to do so.
What is Polonius saying about Hamlet’s sweet words to Ophelia when he says, “When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul lends the tongue vows”? He is saying men will say anything to get what they want.
Polonius tells Ophelia that Hamlet may walk with a “larger tether” than she. What does this mean? He can go a lot farther than she can without getting into trouble. He is the prince, after all, and he’s a man, too. Royalty and men can get away with a lot more than a common woman can.
As the scene ends, Polonius gives Ophelia an order. What is it? He orders her to cut off all contact with Prince Hamlet.
What does Ophelia say to this order? She will obey. She is a good girl and will do what her father says.

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