Hamlet Act IV&V

In the final scene of Act III (Hamlet/Gertrude/Polonius in Gertrude’s bedroom) Hamlet makes Gertrude promise a couple of things, and she seems to agree. How is IV.i ambiguous regarding Gertrude’s promises from the previous scene? Gertrude told Clauidus about how Hamlet killed Polonius. She was also was with Claudius and said that she wouldn’t be.
What is the “bloody deed” Claudius refers to? How does he intend to deal with it? The “bloody deed is that Hamlet killed Polonius. Claudius plans to send Hamlet to England.
What does Claudius worry the public will say about Hamlet murdering Polonius? Claudius is worried that people will blame him for not having control over Hamle and that there will be a riot.
What is the apparent purpose of this brief scene? (Act IV, Scene ii) Hamlet is making fun of everyone in the scene.
Explain the sponge metaphor. Hamlet is calling R a sponge because he “soaks up” everything that the king wants him to find out. The king is just using R as a tool to find out what he needs to know.
Why can’t Claudius simply deal with Hamlet swiftly and harshly? The people of Denmark love Hamlet and if Claudius tries to get rid of him quickly there could be a riot. dd
How does this scene (Act 4 Scene 3) advance Hamlet’s developing awareness of death? Hamlet is saying that everyone dies. He is also not taking death seriously as he did early in the play.
What is Hamlet’s response when questioned by Claudius about Polonius’s body? Hamlet says if you are looking for the body send your scouts to heaven, if you can’t find him there look in hell yourself.
Do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern know the true purpose of their journey to England? What proof do we have that Claudius has ordered Hamlet’s death? R and G do/n’t. Claudius wrote a letter.
What is the apparent purpose of this brief scene? (Act IV, Scene iv) ******Hamlet sees Fortinbras and thinks that he could command an army himself.
Why is Fortinbras a strong foil to Hamlet? Fortinbras’s father is dead just like Hamlet’s is but he is doing well for himself in Hamlet’s eyes. Hamlet sees him leading an army and wonders why he is not doing that him self.
What important information does Claudius reveal about Laertes? Claudius revels that Laertes has returned from France.
What do Claudius and Gertrude assume is the cause of Ophelia’s apparent madness? They think the grief of her father’s death made her go mad.
Why do you suppose Ophelia’s madness takes on the form it does? Be ready to make distinctions between the representations of her madness across our three film versions. Ophelia uses the flowers because she can’t directly say what she wants to say because of the time period and she doesn’t know how the king would react so she could have to leave the castle. Opheila was singing for the same reason.
Describe Laertes’ response to his father’s death. How is he a foil for Hamlet? Laertes wants to get revenge for his father’ death. Hamlet wanted to get revenge for his father’s death as well.
How do the flowers Ophelia distributes relate to the characters and their actions? Rosemary is for remembering her father, pansies are for him being in her thoughts (to Laertes). Fennel and columbines for Claudius. Claudius needs to take back what he has done, his love with Gertrude is not good. They mean adultery. Gertrude was involved in such things with Hamlet so she got a Rue. For no one there is a daisy for innocense. She said that she would have gave out violets for faithfulness but they died when her father died. She doesn’t trust anyone.
What news is revealed in Hamlet’s letter to Horatio? What does this show about Hamlet? The ship Hamlet, R, and G were on was attacked by pirates. Hamlet was released from the ship. ****
Why does Claudius tell Laertes he will not kill Hamlet himself? Claudius won’t kill Hamlet himself because of Gertrude and public loves Hamlet. He loves Gertrude and knows that Hamlet is important to her. The public would not take what Claudius would do in a good way so it would hurt his reputation and not hurt Hamlet.
How does Claudius motivate Laertes to fight Hamlet? Claudius asks Leartes if he loved his father and if he was his father’s son.
Who decides to poison what in this scheme? Leartes decides put poison on the tip of his sword and Claudius decides to put poison in some wine so they have a back up plan.
In Gertrude’s description of Ophelia’s drowning, what suggests that Ophelia committed suicide? Ophelia floated in the water singing when she could have got out and saved herself.
In Gertrude’s description of Ophelia’s drowning, what suggests that Ophelia’s death was an accident? She was floating in the water and she may not have know that her clothes would become heavy and cause her to sink.
Who is Yorick? Yorick is a skull that the grave digger dug up. He also was the jester of the castle when Hamlet was a child.
Explain some of the “gallows humor” of this scene. Why do you think Shakespeare chose to include comedy in the first part of this scene? The Gravedigger said “What do you call a person who builds stronger things than a stonemason, a shipbuilder, or a carpenter does?” The other guy said “The one who builds the gallows to hang people on, since his structures outlives a thousands inhabitants.” This joke means the person who makes the gallows that hang people makes the best thing because the gallows out last all of the people that it hangs. I think Shakespeare chose to include comedy in this part of the scene to help lighten the mood sounding the death of Ophelia.
What is the ethical conflict between Laertes and the priest? How was Claudius able to intervene? Laertes believes that Ophelia deserves a better funeral then what the priest if giving her because she committed suicide. Claudius offers the priest money so that he will do a better job.
Why do you think Hamlet and Laertes got into an altercation? Leartes and Hamlet were fighting over who loved Ophelia more.
Explain Hamlet’s actions aboard the England-bound ship before the arrival of the pirates. Hamlet found the letter that Claudius wrote that said to kill him. Hamlet wrote another letter from the kind asking England england for love so that the two countries can flourish and that there can be peace between them. He also so said to kill whoeveer delivers the letters.
What is the purpose of Osric being introduced now? Osric’s purpose is to tell Hamlet about the duel that is to be between him and Laertes.
Explain the sequence of events in the final fencing scene: who dies, in what order, how, etc. R and G; Die in England because the letter Hamlet wrote said to kill who ever delivered it. Queen; she drank the poisoned wine, Claudius; He drank the wine and was stabbed by the poisoned sword by Hamlet, Laertes; hit my the poisoned sword by Hamlet, Hamlet: hit with the sword by Laertes
Why do you think Shakespeare “lets” certain characters live? I think Shakespeare lets certain characters live because they didn’t do to many things that were considered bad or wrong. Horatio lived, he may have kept some things from Hamlet like Ophleia’s madness and death but for the most part he did everything Hamlet wanted him to do.
“Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service – two dishes but to one table.” Hamlet said this to Claudius when he asked him where Polonius’s body was. Class structure doesn’t matter when you are dead. We all get eaten by worms in the end. I think it was said because Hamlet was trying to make a smart remark and he realized that all people die so it doesn’t matter what your social status is like.
“Twere good she were spoken with, for she may strew dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.” Horatio said this to Gertrude. It means it is a good idea to speak to Ophelia because she has evil thoughts that could lead to evil conclusions. I think it was said because Gertrude didn’t want to speak to Ophelia because she was acting crazy but Horatio felt like it was a good idea for Gertrude to speak to Ophelia even though she may have not wanted to.
“To my sick soul (as sin’s true nature is), each toy seems prologue to some great amiss. So full of artless jealousy is guilt, it spills itself in fearing to be spilt.” Gertrude said this to herself and it means that guilt makes you feel stupid suspicions that you make yourself go crazy when you are trying not to. I think she said this because she was thinking about Ophelia and how she mad herself go crazy over her father’s death.
“Lord, we know what we are but know not what we may be.” Ophelia said this Claudius and it means that we know what we are now but not what we will become. I think it was said because Ophelia knows that Claudius will change for the worse. He will do things later on that he would not do now.
“Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, and therefore I forbid my tears. But yet it is our trick; nature her custom holds, Let shame say what it will. When these are gone, the woman will be out.” Leartes is saying this to Ophelia. It means that Ophelia has had to much water already but he is going to cry because it is what humans do. I think it was said because Laertes was saying goobye to Ophelia.
“Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her; let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.” Hamlet said this to Yorick. It means you don’t make anybody smile now, does that make you sad? Tell her no matter how much makeup she puts on she will end up like you. I think this was said because hamlet misses Ophelia and was trying to make himself come to terms with her death.
“I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. Here’s yet some liquor left.” Horatio said this to Hamlet when Hamlet was dying. It means I am no more like an ancient Roman then I am a person from Denmark. There is some liquor left. Horatio said this because he feels like he had failed Hamlet as a friend.

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