Hamlet Study Guide

1. Hamlet’s parents (including stepparents)(3 people) King Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius
2. Councillor to Claudius Polonius
3. Children of Polonius (2) Laertes and Ophelia
4. Hamlet’s confidant Horatio
5. Hamlet’s childhood friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
6. Prince of Norway Fortinbras
7. The country the play takes place in Denmark
8. What do Horatio and the soldiers see on the wall? Be specific. The ghost of Old Hamlet appears & startles the soldiers.
9. Who does Horatio plan to tell about what he has seen? Young Hamlet
10. Claudius is trying to diplomatically head off an attack by who, and for what reason is he attacking? Fortinbras; he wants to reclaim the lost property of his father
11. What does Laertes ask Claudius for his permission to do? To leave again & go back to France
12. What issue does Claudius have with Hamlet? His depression over his fathers death is still visible even after the months since his passing. He holds a bitter air.
13. What issue does Hamlet have with Gertrude? She remarried his fathers brother which is illegal
14. How does Laertes feel about Hamlet and Ophelia? That it wouldn’t work out & that she should just move on.
15. Who gives Laertes advice on how to act in France Polonius
16. Who is the only person the ghost will speak to? Hamlet
17. How do Horatio and Marcellus feel about Hamlet following the ghost? They think it’s a bad idea & that they shouldn’t be talking to the spector
18. What does the ghost finally reveal? And what does he want done about it? That Claudius is the one who murdered him.; He wants Claudius to be killed for his actions of marrying his ex wife & taking over his kingdom
19. What does Hamlet make Horatio and Marcellus swear to do (or not do)? Not to tell anyone about the ghost or the plan
20. Polonius sends Reynaldo where to do what? He sends him to France to spy on his son Laertes, to divert the attention from anything he does
21. Ophelia reports that Hamlet came to her acting in what way? That he was acting like a lunatic
22. Why does Polonius think Hamlet is behaving this way? Ophelia rejected his love. So he thinks hes gone mad from his heartbreak
23. Who do Claudius and Gertrude ask to try and find out why hamlet is behaving strangely? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
24. When Polonius tells his theory to the King, how does he say he will test it? They will send Ophelia to him and watch to see how he acts towards her
25. What do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern announce to Hamlet to distract him? They bring up the actors that are coming into town that Hamlet loves.
26. Explain Hamlet’s plan to test Claudius’s guilt/innocence. He is going to put on a play that plays out exactly how Claudius killed his father and is going to watch how he reacts to it
40. Does Hamlet reveal where the body is in THIS scene? No
27. Summarize the “to be or not to be” speech by Hamlet. Hamlet questions wether he should live or die through his current situation.
28. How does Hamlet respond to Ophelia’s pleas for him to continue with the sweet words he used to send her? He tells her that he never loved her and never will.
29. Claudius makes a plan to send Hamlet where after eavesdropping on his conversation with Ophelia? To England
30. Polonius wants one more shot to find out what is wrong with Hamlet by eavesdropping on another conversation, this time between Hamlet and who? Queen Gertrude
31. Who does Hamlet ask to watch Claudius to monitor his reaction to the scene he added to the play? Horatio
32. How does the King react? He is disturbed by it and gets up and asks for the lights to be turned on so he can leave.
33. What does that reaction do to hamlet’s suspicions? It confirms his suspicion that Claudius killed his father.
34. Claudius struggles with what that even keeps him from being able to pray? The killing of his brother to become king.
35. When presented with an easy opportunity to kill Claudius, why does Hamlet hesitate? Because Claudius is praying and he doesn’t want Claudius to go to heaven.
36. Explain how Hamlet “accidentally” kills Polonius. He thinks he is Claudius hiding in the curtains and stabs him hoping he could finally kill him.
37. What does Gertrude finally realize after Polonius’s death? That she married the brother of her previous husband who was not near as great as his brother and married very quickly and has dishonored him.
38. The ghost returns in this scene and urges Hamlet to do what? Help his mother through what she has just heard and make sure she understands.
39. Who does Claudius send to recover Polonius’s body? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
41. Where has Hamlet hidden the body? Under the stairs to the lobby
42. What does Claudius have planned for Hamlet when he gets to England? Death
43. Who does Hamlet encounter that reminds him he needs to take action? Fortinbras
44. When Ophelia goes mad, what does she do constantly? Sing
45. Who breaks down the door demanding revenge for his father? Laertes
46. Horatio is brought a letter from Hamlet in this scene. Explain what the letter says. That their ship was taken over by pirates and he surrendered himself to be prisoner
47. What are the two reasons Claudius has not taken action against Hamlet? – The people love Hamlet- He doesn’t want to hurt Gertrude
48. Explain the plot Laertes and Claudius hatch for Hamlet when they find out he has come back to Denmark. That they will make Hamlet fence Laertes but Laertes will play with an unsafe sword
49. What happens to Ophelia and how? She drowned because she wouldn’t stop singing
50. Why does Laertes get angry with the priest? He won’t give Ophelia a proper funeral
51. Where do Hamlet and Laertes end up wrestling? In Ophelia’s grave
52. Hamlet tells Horatio he found a letter giving orders for his death, but that he wrote his own version giving orders for what? execution of Guildenstern and Rosencrantz
53. Why is Hamlet willing to fence with Laertes even though he knows it is probably a set up? he has accepted that death is coming eventually
54. Explain how each of the deaths happen in the final scene. Queen accidentally drinks poison, Laertes gets cut by his own poisoned sword, King Claudius is stabbed and forced to drink poison, Hamlet was cut by poisoned blade

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