Hamlet Acts IV-V

“My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth!” identify the speaker and context HamletNorway vs Poles over a small bit of landin comparison, Hamlet is disgusted with himself for not yet killing Claudius, he vows to be equally violent
Who does Hamlet believe should be the next king of Denmark? Fortinbras
Describe the death of Ophelia. drowned after climbing on a tree whose limb broke off
What does Hamlet learn about from his encounter with Fortinbras in Act 4? How does Hamlet compare himself to Fortinbras and his plans? he learns that Fortinbras (of Norway) is fighting the Poles over “a little patch of land / That hath in it no profit but the name”Hamlet is ashamed that he cannot fight for something much more worthy than a small patch of land
Why does Hamlet jump into Ophelia’s grave? Do you think that his words of love towards Ophelia are genuine? Why or why not? Hamlet cries that he would do things for Ophelia that Laertes could not dream of—he would eat a crocodile for her, he would be buried alive with her.He leaps into the grave and fights with Laertes, saying that “forty thousand brothers / Could not, with all their quantity of love, / make up my sum”
“Is she to be buried in Christian burial, when she willfully seeks her own salvation?” (V.i 1-2) Explain the context of this quote. gravedigger says this about Ophelia because people who commit suicide are not allowed a christian burial
(Act 4 lines 58-62) Why does Hamlet say “farewell, dear mother” to Claudius when he finds out his true intentions? Is he foreshadowing anything when he says they are one flesh? “My mother: father and mother is man and wife; manand wife is one flesh; and so, my mother.”You’re my mother. When you married my mother, the two of you became one flesh, so if you’re my father you’re also my mother.he knows that C is sending him to England to have him killedforeshadows that when C dies, so will G
What does Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 4 tell us about his mental state at the time? “I do not knowWhy yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do;’Sith I have cause and will and strength and meansTo do’t.”yet again his need to kill Claudius arises, but to no action”My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!”notice thoughts, not actions are bloody
What insists about Hamlet’s character can we gather from the way that he kills Claudius? he kills Claudius once with a poisoned sword and again with a poison drinkcharacter= desperate, won’t do anything until the last minute (when he himself is about to die)
(IV.iv 35) “How all occasions do inform against me and spur my dull revenge.” Hamletsaid during his soliloquy after discovering that Fortinbras was attacking Poland for a small amount of landhe is lamenting his inability to kill Claudius= My God! Everything I see shows me how wrong I am and tells me to hurry up and get on with my revenge.
(IV.vii.10-25) What two reasons does the King present as to why he will not publicly punish Hamlet for killing Polonius? 1. The queen, his mother, is devoted to him. And (for better or worse, whichever it is) she is such a part of my life and soul that I can’t live apart from her2. the public loves him. In their affection they overlook all his faults. Like magic, they convert them into virtues, so whatever I said against him would end up hurting me, not him.
What is Horatio’s role in the ending scene? What is the significance of him being the only one that lives? to say goodbye to Hamlet (Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!)to tell Hamlet’s story and the story of everyones death
“His liberty is full of threats to all–To you yourself, to us, to everyone” (15-16). Identify the speaker, to whom he/she is speaking, and whose “liberty” he/she considers dangerous. said by Claudius speaking to Gertrudehe considers Hamlet’s liberty dangerous
Let four captains Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage; For he was likely, had he been put on, To have prov’d most royally; and for his passage The soldiers’ music and the rites of war Speak loudly for him. Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this 4070Becomes the field but here shows much amiss. Go, bid the soldiers shoot. said by Fortinbras Meaning: Let four captains carry Hamlet like a soldier onto the stage. He would have been a great king if he had had the chance to prove himself. Military music and military rites will speak for his heroic qualities. Pick up the corpses. A sight like this suits a battlefield, but here at court it shows that much went wrong. Go outside and tell the soldiers to fire their guns in honor of Hamlet.
How were Rosencrantz and Guildenstern killed? What role did Hamlet play in their deaths? Claudius recruits Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to escort Hamlet to England, providing them with a letter for the King of England instructing him to have Hamlet killed.Hamlet discovers the letter and changes it so that the king kills them insteadHamlet seals the letter with the official seal from this father so England believes him
Critic Roland Barthes has said, “Literature is the question minus the answer.” What question does Hamlet pose? Choosing just one, please elaborate. Is the ghost satisfied – is revenge fulfilled First line is a question – “who’s there”to be or not to be: Is it better to live a life of anguish or to die?
Do you think Hamlet is responsible for the death of Ophelia? Why or why not? Yes, his complete disregard of his love for her (whether he completely meant it or not) made her feel regret about herself since she is so used to taking men’s words as the truth – also his murder of Polonius left her without a male guide in her life (with Hamlet hating on her and Laertes in another country), therefore feeling incapable of directing herself; also Hamlet killed her father – she was sad and that may have caused her to kill herself
What is significant about the relationship between violets and Polonius’ death in relation to Ophelia? violets represent faithfulness and Hamlet killed Polonius so Ophelia is no longer faithful to him
Consider Act IV Scene III, “Not where he eats, but where he is eaten […] that’s the end” (22-28). What do Hamlet’s words suggest about this “end,” or death? Death is the great equalizerthere is no social hierarchy in death as we are all worm’s meat
(IV. v. 204-209) Consider the symbolism of flowers in Ophelia’s life and their role in her death. “There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue for you; and here’s some for me: we may call it herb-grace o’ Sundays: O you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy: I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died: they say he made a good end,–“Fennel & Columbines for Gertrude symbolize adulteryRue for Claudius symbolizes repentance Daisy symbolizes unhappy loveOphelia used flowers as a way to directly judge people and as her own personal form of justice, something Hamlet never had the courage to doFlowers role in her death: “There with fantastic garlands did she come Of crow flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples” Ophelia made wreaths of flowers and leaves to hang in the tree, where she fell off and drownedflowers symbolic of the death of her judgements (?)
What differs in Hamlet’s reactions to the deaths that have occurred so far? Polonius – didn’t really care – tried to take the blame off of himself by saying that it was Polonius’ fault for spyingRosencrantz and Guildenstern – he planned their deaths – he was just trying to make sure he didn’t get killed until he fulfilled his ultimate plan of killing Claudius – he obviously didn’t really care about them or he lost all of his trust in them because of how much they spied on himLaertes – wants his forgiveness but otherwise doesn’t really careOphelia – the one he showed the most emotion about (see question above)Claudius – happy and relieved to have finally gotten revenge
Is the return of Prince Fortinbras meaningful? Did you expect his return? What role does he play both in plot development and as an external influence? acts as a direct foil to Hamlet shows the other side – what can happen if you take action (Fortinbras attacked Poland and gained land, and gained the crown of Denmark)
Describe the death of Queen Gertrude. Were you expecting this? Does it fit her character to die amidst her son’s crazy mission for revenge? What do you think was Shakespeare’s’ purpose in killing her this way? Queen Gertrude dies after drinking wine from the poisoned cup that was supposed to kill Hamlet. This cup kills most of their family and the royal court, so maybe it symbolizes their communal sin of pride, anger and need for revenge?Shakespeare maybe meant to portray the fact that she is merely disposable and a character dependent on Claudius and Hamlet. It would not have fit the general plot of the play for her to be alive after this scene. Gertrude has been doing everything that the king tells her and seeking shelter under the care of men for her entire life, so it makes sense for her to die once the king dies.
Note the replacement of body imagery in Act IV scene II. Why does Hamlet refer to Rosencrantz as a “sponge”? Is it significant that Hamlet refers to King Claudius as a “thing”? mentions jaw, ear, and refers to R’s body as a spongeSponge = soaks up the king’s approval, his rewards, and his decisions; but when C needs it, he will squeeze him dryThing = considers C of no importance, aka not scared of him
What is the significance of Laertes’ return? Are there any similarities between him and Hamlet? How are they different? Was Laertes’ plot against Hamlet justified? could signify the turning of a new leaf for Laertes – seemed like he was running away from responsibilities, but his return could be his way of assuming the roles his father left behindboth are sons who have lost their fathers — murdered by those who were close. both are upset and want to avenge the murders. both are rather young, they seemed to have a brotherly relationshipLaertes seems to be the more outgoing of the pair – he is known to cause trouble/scandal in questionable environments. Hamlet, however, is characterized by his nightly colored clothes and eyes that search the floor – he also is awkward at love, but it is implied that Laertes is quite proficient in that area (brothels, prostitutes). Another difference is that Laertes has more freedom than Hamlet does – Polonius allows his son to travel back to France despite his previous transgression. Claudius, however, “requests” that Hamlet stay in Denmark instead of returning to Wittenberg – this may have something to do with the fact that Hamlet is the prince and must be held to a certain standard/image.(opinion – I would never murder any of you) I think that his plot was justified because Laertes is acting in order to avenge his father’s murder. Hamlet shares the same intention against Claudius. Although Laertes and Hamlet share an almost familiar bond, Hamlet and Claudius actually are kin – if Hamlet can justify killing his father’s brother because of a ghost, then Laertes can justify his plot against a friend because of his immense grief and anger

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