Hamlet study guide

Why does Marcellus ask Horatio to speak w the ghost? He is a scholar
By “a little more than kin,” Hamlet means what? Claudius was his uncle and now he’s Hamlet’s stepdad
In response to Gertrude and Claudius’s criticism of his dress and behavior, Hamlet said “But I have that within which passeth show,” which means what? Basically they said that he needed to get over it…Hamlet was like even when I don’t wear black I’ll still be sad
Which of the following statements about Hamlet’s first soliloquy (O, That this too solid flesh would melt…) are accurate and which are not?He has considered suicideHe feels isolated his griefHis mother’s marriage to Claudius soured outlook on women He is trying to run away from Danish court TrueTrueTrueFalse
When he says “So excellent a king; that was, to this/Hyperion to a satyr,” Hamlet is suggesting/comparing/meaning what? Compares Father, as a god, to Claudius, as a goatman.
What does Laertes tell Ophelia to regard Hamlet’s protestations of love for her as passing fancy? Hamlet’s going to be king one day/He needs to provide for Denmark
Polonius gives Laertes what advice in this Act? What is the intention? Keep your thoughts to yourselfPolonius wants to preserve his family’s name
What is the nature/content of the exchange between Laertes and Polonius? Teasing/loving in nature. Laertes gives some advice about staying away from Hamlet and Ophelia’s like-You’re dumb
What does Polonius reveal about his character in his appearance in the play? Concerned mainly with appearance/reputation
The ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered when Claudius_____________ Poisoned him
What does the ghost’s command mean? “nor let they soul contrive/Against thy mother aught?” Leave Mama out of it..she doesn’t know anything
Hamlet swears Horatio and Marcellus to secrecy even if, in the future, he should “put an antic disposition on,” which means what? Even if he pretend to be crazy
How does Hamlet regard the tasks the ghost has assigned him? Look for evidence of your belief. Takes it seriously, ready to take it on – lines 112-117
How does Polonius interpret Hamlet’s encounter with Ophelia? Polonius thinks that Hamlet has gone mad b/c he’s in love with Ophelia
Why do Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? To spy on Hamlet and find out what’s wrong
What is ironic about Polonius’s statement “brevity is in the soul of wit”? He is never brief and always outspoken
What happens in the “fishmonger” scene between Hamlet and Polonius? How would you characterize their exchange? Hamlet makes fun of Polonius by pretending not to know who he is…Polonius is insulted w/o knowing
What idea is contained in the following lines: ” my uncle is king of Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while my father lived, give 20, 40, 50, and hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little?” People follow power, no matter if it is deserved or the leader is good
What is the point of the speech the actor recites about Hecuba’s behavior after her husband is killed? Hecuba’s the opposite of Gertrude
Act 2 ended with Hamlet’s long soliloquy “O, what a rogue and peasant I am!” Why does he call himself that? He hasn’t tried to carry out the ghost’s demands
What is the point of Hamlet’s remark on the actor’s performance “What’s Hecuba,/That he should weep for her?” Basically he’s saying that the actor’s acting is fake and that he would be better b/c of all the emotion he has running through him.
At the end of the Soliloquy Hamlet says that he needs to confirm the truth of what the ghost has told him. Why? Hamlet isn’t sure if the ghost is actually his father or the devil
Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy speculates about the advantages and disadvantages of what? Suicide
Hamlet says most people don’t take their own lives because __________________ They fear what happens after death
Why does Hamlet tell Ophelia “your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty”? Beauty corrupts putity, but birture can’t make beautiful people moral
Why does Gertrude say “she doth protest too much” about the actress in the play? It reminds her of how she quickly remarried
Why does Hamlet force Guildenstern to try to play the recorder? It was a metaphor for Hamlet himself – If G can’t play a recorder, then he can’t play Hamlet either
In her meeting with Claudius, Gertrude tells him what? Hamlet killed Polonius
What is the meaning behind Hamlet’s reference to Rosencrantz as a sponge? Insult? Compliment? What? Insult, he soaks up everything Claudius says with no thought…mindlessly follow
When the King asks Hamlet where Polonius’s body is Hamlet says, “In heaven; send thither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him i’ the other place yourself.” What is the main point of this remark? Hamlet is literally telling Claudius to go to hell
What prompts Hamlet’s soliloquy “How all occasions do inform against me”? Hamlet learn of the Norwegians plans to fight over worthless land and he’s reflecting over Polonius’ death
Of all the preceding soliloquies of Hamlet’s, which one does this most resemble in motivation and content? “O, what rogue and peasant slave I am!”
What idea does Hamlet express in these lines, “Rightly to be great/ is not to stir without great argument/But greatly to find quarrel in a straw/ when honors at the stake?” He’s comparing himself to Fortinbras…F is leading men to fight over worthless land and Hamlet can’t even avenge his father’s death
Which character is “passion’s slave” in Act Four? Laertes
Rue is a flower signifying sorrow. Ophelia gives rue to Gertrude, saying “you must wear your rue with a difference.” In what way is Ophelia’s remark appropriate? Gertrude can remedy her sorrow, but it is too late for Ophelia
What does the gravedigger’s conversation confirm about what most people regard as her cause of death? Ophelia killed herself
Why is Laertes angry at the priest? The priest won’t give full rights of passage b/c of his beliefs surrounding suicide
WHat does Hamlet mean when he tell Horatio “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends/ Rough-hew them how we will”? Circumstances shape us and can overpower our own will-causes unpredicted circumstnaces
What causes Horatio to say, “Why, what king is this!”? Claudius ordered Hamlet to be killed
What does Hamlet mean when he says he is sorry for his behavior to Laertes because “by the image of my cause, I see/The portraiture of his,”? They’re in the same situation – they both lost Ophelia as well as their fathers
What is the chief reason Hamlet dislikes Osric? All show, no substance
What is Hamlet’s state of mind before the fencing match with Laertes? Ready to accept what the future brings
As Hamlet is dying, Horatio comments. “I am more an antique Roman than a Dane .” What does this mean? He’d rather die with important people than be killed by the enemy
What does Hamlet ask Horatio to do just before Hamlet dies? Tell Fortinbras how everything happened/what happened
Of all the deaths in the course of the play, whose is not poetic justice? Ophelia

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