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Hamlet

Short Answer Quiz

  1. In the first act, Hamlet is upset by issues both personal and political that influence his actions throughout the play. Explain those issues and how they affect his actions in the play.

  1. The way many people interpret the relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet is influenced by the Mel Gibson film version. Based solely on the text, describe the relationship between the two characters, being mindful of how Europeans are more physically expressive than most Americans.

  1. Describe the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. Be sure to consider: (1) what it was before Hamlet Sr.'s death; (2) why Hamlet spurns her; (3) what her father requests her to do about Hamlet; (4) the reason for her suicide; and (5) Hamlet's reaction to it.

  1. Pick three incidents from the play that demonstrate what a sly courtier Polonius is.

  1. Describe Laertes's good and bad qualities. How does he compromise his honor? What do you think about the information he learns during his duel with Hamlet? How do you feel about his death?

  1. Gertrude is torn between her love for Claudius and her love for Hamlet. Explain how these two loves influence her actions toward both men, as well as toward Ophelia and Polonius.

  1. If Hamlet were mad, there would be no point to the play. Explain how Hamlet uses feigned madness to accomplish his goals in his interactions with Claudius, Polonius, and Ophelia.

  1. Played against the story of Hamlet is a political intrigue involving Fortinbras. How does the timely arrival of Fortinbras at the end of the play affect the kingdom of Denmark?

  1. Hamlet is often criticized for his hesitancy in obeying the command of his father's ghost. Explain why he is reluctant to obey and how that reluctance influences his actions.

  1. Why do you think Hamlet is always on the list of the top ten greatest works of literature?

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