Hamlet : Act V

What are the three purposes of the Gravedigger’s scene? 1. Comic relief. 2. Provides the commoners’ viewpoint on the events that have happened in the castle. 3. Prepares the audience for death.
Whose skull does Hamlet hold and reminisce about? Yorick, who was a court jester while Hamlet’s father was king
Why doesn’t the priest (Doctor) give Ophelia a complete burial? There are suspicions surrounding the circumstances of Ophelia’s death. If it had been a suicide, she would not have a Christian burial at all, and only at the urging of the king was this procedure overruled.
What does Laertes do after Ophelia’s body is placed in the grave? He jumps into the grave to hold her one last time
How does Hamlet react when Laertes jumps into Ophelia’s grave? Hamlet becomes very upset and wrestles with Laertes, proclaiming that he loved Ophelia more.
What is sad, pathetic if you will, about Laertes and Hamlet fighting over Ophelia’s dead body? Nobody showed that much care for her while she was alive, and even after her death, she is being used as Laertes and Hamlet argue over which one’s love was greater.
What thoughts about the fencing match does Hamlet reveal to Horatio? Hamlet is suspicious and ponders that he may even die. He also says that God controls death, and it must happen sooner or later, so now is as good a time as any. “The readiness is all”
What does the queen do after the second bout? The queen takes a drink from the cup that Claudius had poisoned. This is sometimes portrayed as Gertrude saving Hamlet from having to drink from it.
Describe what happens during the third bout. Laertes wounds Hamlet with the poisoned sword. In the ensuing scuffle, they exchange swords and Hamlet wounds Laertes.
Who does Laertes say is responsible for their deaths? How does Hamlet react? Laertes says the king arranged the match so Hamlet would be killed. Hamlet wounds the king with the poisoned sword and forces some of the poisoned wine down his throat.
What do Hamlet and Laertes do just before they die? They exchange forgiveness for each other’s deaths and the death of Polonius
What two good decisions does Hamlet make in his short time as king of Denmark before he dies? 1. He stops Horatio from drinking what remained of the poisoned wine so he can tell about what transpired. 2. He names Fortinbras to be king of Denmark
Who else arrives at the castle after everybody has died? Fortinbras arrives on his way back from Poland. The English ambassadors have come to report the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Briefly defend the interpretation that Hamlet is motivated by ambition and will do anything to be king. The key example is when he sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England with a letter he swapped in place of the king’s.
Briefly defend the interpretation that Hamlet is misled by the ghost. The ghost only wants revenge on Claudius perhaps and cares nothing about Hamlet’s fate.
How does this play incorporate the Shakespearean element of a tragic hero, flaw, and mistake? Hamlet is the tragic hero with the flaw of not being able to take action on his thoughts, and his mistake is not killing Claudius when he has the opportunity and instead mistakenly killing Polonius.
How does this play incorporate the Shakespearean element of comic relief? Comedy is present in the Gravedigger’s scene, in Hamlet’s conversation with Osric, and whenever Hamlet makes fun of Polonius.
How does this play incorporate the Shakespearean element of internal and external conflicts? Hamlet’s internal conflict is whether or not to take action, particularly in the scene where he chooses not to kill Claudius. Some external conflicts include Hamlet vs Claudius, Hamlet vs Laertes, and Hamlet vs Gertrude (Oedipus complex scene).
How does this play incorporate the Shakespearean element of revenge motives? Hamlet seeks revenge on Claudius for murdering his father, Laertes seeks revenge on Hamlet for murdering his father, Fortinbras seeks revenge on Denmark for taking some of Norway’s land.
How does this play incorporate the Shakespearean element of chance happenings? Hamlet’s ship to England meets a pirate ship that takes him back to Denmark, Ophelia’s burial takes place in the exact location where Hamlet is hiding after returning to Denmark.
What are the seven major themes found in Hamlet? Justice and revenge, destiny and the purpose of life, madness and sanity, appearance vs reality, role of women, rights and duties of kingship, poison and corruption/decay and disease (I would guess we’ll have to discuss one in depth rather than an example of each, so that’s too much for me to add to this quizlet.)
Name all the characters who are dead at the end of the play. Polonius, Ophelia, Gertrude, Claudius, Laertes, Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern
How does Polonius die? How is his death fitting? Polonius is stabbed by Hamlet through a curtain while spying on Hamlet’s meeting with Gertrude. This fits because Polonius is the king of spying, and he dies just as he lived.
How does Ophelia die? How is her death fitting? Ophelia falls from a willow tree and is drowned in a river. This fits because of her connection to nature (think flowers), and because nobody is there to help her, just as nobody was every there for her while she lived.
How do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die? How are their deaths fitting? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are killed upon arriving in England because of the letter Hamlet sent with them asking for their death. This fits because they are even to their deaths entirely oblivious and incompetent to how Hamlet has teased them, and now, manipulated them unto their own demise.
How does Gertrude die? How is her death fitting? Gertrude drinks from the poisoned cup which Claudius had intended to be drunk by Hamlet. This fits because Gertrude has always acted blindly towards Claudius’ malicious deeds, and even to her death she tries to protect Hamlet as she cries out to him that the drink is poisoned.
How does Claudius die? How is his death fitting? Hamlet wounds Claudius with the poisoned fencing sword, and he also forces him to drink the poisoned wine. This fits because Claudius is killed by both of the traps he had designed in order to kill Hamlet, and Hamlet has successfully avenged his father’s death.
How does Laertes die? How is his death fitting? Laertes is wounded and poisoned by his own sword after he and Hamlet exchange swords amidst a scuffle. This is fitting because in the fight, he does avenge his father’s death by killing Hamlet, but his own treachery also backfires on himself. (In Laertes’ case, “fitting” does not really mean his death is related to his character, rather he is getting what he deserves)
How does Hamlet die? How is his death fitting? Hamlet is wounded by Laertes, who wields a poisoned fencing sword. His death is fitting because Laertes exacts his revenge on him, but he also gets to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius. (Again, “fitting” in this case represents Hamlet’s just desserts)
Who are the three primary foils to Hamlet? Fortinbras, Horatio, Laertes
How is Fortinbras a foil to Hamlet? Fortinbras risks the lives of many soldiers in fighting for a small piece of land owned by Poland which is inconsequential in its worth but representative of Fortinbras’ honor in all circumstances. Hamlet, by contrast, cannot bring himself to take honorable action in the avenging of his father’s death, which is a much more significant and personal conflict.
How is Horatio a foil to Hamlet? While Hamlet is driven by his emotions and mad at times, Horatio is a level-headed man of good judgment. Horatio is not “passion’s slave.”
How is Laertes a foil to Hamlet? After hearing of his father’s death, Laertes rushes to Denmark and storms the castle with a militia, demanding to know who is responsible. Hamlet, by contrast, is extremely sloooooow to act on his own father’s murder.

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