Hamlet Study Guides

How might Hamlet be considered too close to the “sun”? Because he is already someone’s son right after his dad died
What addition do Claudius and Gertrude want from Hamlet? They want him to go back to school
What is the effect of the major metaphor Hamlet uses in the first half of the soliloquy? He says that life is like an unweeded garden and feels he should just give up on caring about his life
What word describes Hamlet’s attitude towards women? He think women are frail
What does Hamlet infer from the description of the ghost’s appearance? He’s ready for battle
What warning does Polonius give to his daughter? He says she is immature, thinking of her as a baby, gullible.
What warning does Horatio give Hamlet? How is this similar to Macbeth? He says the ghost may trick him by tempting him to walk into water or off a cliff (commit suicide) because Banquo tries to protect Macbeth just like Horatio is doing for Hamlet.
What do the people of Denmark think happened to Hamlet’s father? What does the ghost say happened? People think he was bitten by a snake and died from it ,but actually Claudius killed him.
Why does the Ghost have to leave? Because the sun is about to rise
What does the Ghost want from Hamlet? Revenge against Claudius , but leave Gertrude alone
What does Hamlet ask Horatio, and how can we expect Hamlet to act from here on out? Ask him to keep it a secret and Hamlet will start acting crazy in order to investigate further
Who is Reynaldo? What is Polonius asking him to do? He is a spy hired by Polonius to check on Laertes
What reason does Polonius give for explaining Hamlet’s behavior? Thinks Hamlet is upset because Ophelia won’t return his love.
Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? What have they been asked to do? Old friends hired by the queen to spy on Hamlet
Explain why Hamlet berates himself in his soliloquy? He wishes he had the same passion for revenge that the actors had
How does Hamlet intend to use the Players? The actors will perform the death of Hamlet’s father (MouseTrap)
Give an example of comic relief in Hamlet? when Hamlet says he joined Polonius’s body with dust where it belonged
What are Claudius’s plans for Hamlet? He wants to kill him
How has Ophelia’s behavior changed? What might be the reason for this behavior? Ophelia is probably going to think about leaving Hamlet
Based on Ophelia’s lyrics, what can you infer about her prior relationship with Hamlet? That he seduced her and took advantage of her, maybe she is baring a child
Why has Laertes come back from France? How does he serve as a foil for Hamlet? To seek just for his father’s death, He takes charge, where Hamlet doesn’t
Explain the circumstances surrounding Hamlet’s return to Denmark? His ship was attacked by Pirates and he was taken hostage.
Explain the King’s and Laertes’ plan for Hamlet They both will duel, Laertes sword will be sharp, The sword will also be poisoned, Claudius will poison Hamlet’s drinking cup.
Whose skull is Hamlet holding on the cover of the book? Yorick
How does Hamlet die? By getting poked by the sword
Who becomes the King of Denmark? Fortinbras
How does Laertes die? He is cut by his own sword’s blade, he dies from the blade’s poison.
Who dies first in Hamlet and how? The queen and by drinking the poisoned wine
How does Hamlet behave childishly during the funeral at the end of this scene? He starts asking foolish questions like will you drink vinegar or eat crocodile.
What is Hamlet asking Laertes? For forgiveness
Whose grave is being dug? How is this dramatic irony? Ophelia’s because Hamlet doesn’t what is going on but the audience knows.
What is the answer to the Gravedigger’s answer to his riddle? Gravedigger
Who is killed last? Claudius
Claudius and Laertes father Polonius
What will be Polonius’ sad fate? He will be killed by Hamlet while spying on him behind a curtain
Barnardo, Marcellus, and Francisco Guards at castle Guards at castle Elsinore in Denmark
Who is still alive at end of the play? Horatio and Fortinbras
What advice does Laertes give to Ophelia? Stay away from Hamlet and protect her virtue
________ said, “Get thee to a nunnery” to _______ Hamlet to Ophelia
What reason does Polonius offer for Hamlet’s madness? He loves Ophelia
Who overhears the “To be or not to be” speech in Act III? Polonius and Claudius
What causes Ophelia’s death? Drowning
What does Hamlet consider in his famous, “To be or not to be” soliloquy? Hamlet is considering suicide and contemplating whether it is worth continuing in his vengeance or giving up
“But if the water / come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself Argal, he / that is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life” Speaker: Clown Context: Act VSignificance: If the man goes into the water and drowns himself, he’s the one doing it and causes his own death. But if the water comes to him and drowns him, then he doesn’t drown himself. Therefore, he who is innocent of his own death does not shorten his life.
“Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth” Speaker: PoloniusContext: Act llSignificance: It means using a lie to get the truth. This is important because It tells us Polonius is an unethical character that lies to get what he wants. He uses dishonest and deceptive methods to try to find out what he wants to know.
“For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune. / I have some rights of memory in this kingdom, / Which now, to claim my vantage doth invite me” Speaker: FortinbrasContext: Act VSignificance: Throughout the play, Fortinbras serves to provide a foil for Hamlet. His situation parallels Hamlet’s: his father has also been murdered, and his claim to the throne also has been passed over in favor of his uncle. Fortinbras does not seek revenge. He maintains his claim, and waits for his time to come. Eventually, when it does come, it comes with greater ease and greater rewards than he could have imagined.
“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” Speaker: HamletContext: Act lllSignificance: Whether he should simply endure the hardships of the situation he is in, or else take aggressive action to combat the problems like end his life.
“Get thee to a nunnery” Speaker: HamletContext: Act lllSignificance: He loves Ophelia so much that he wants to protect her from his increasing problems. Therefore, he puts up a harsh act so that she will not feel compelled to follow him.
“…. O, from this time forth, / My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” Speaker: HamletContext: Act IVSignificance: Hamlet is ashamed that these soldiers are more passionate about winning this plot of land than he has been about avenging his father. He decides that from this time on, he will begin to carry out his plan to kill Claudius.

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