Hamlet: Key Facts
Why is Reynaldo obligated to follow Polonius’s instructions?
Polonius is Reynaldo’s social superior.
What does Polonius advise Reynaldo to do?
spread rumors about Laertes
Polonius’s instructions to Reynaldo demonstrate his belief that __________.
one can use deception to uncover the truth
Why are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern summoned to Elsinore?
Claudius and Gertrude want them to find out what is wrong with Hamlet.
Both Hamlet’s letters to Ophelia and his behavior during their meeting convince Polonius that Hamlet’s madness is __________.
rooted in lovesickness
The language that Hamlet uses when talking to Polonius is filled with __________.
Polonius’s idea for uncovering the truth about Hamlet’s apparent madness is to __________.
spy on him
How does Hamlet feel about the player’s ability to summon real emotion while delivering a speech about a fictional character?
It impresses him and makes him upset with himself.
Hamlet’s soliloquy at the end of Act 2 is filled with language that captures his feelings of __________.
What is Hamlet’s plan as Act 2 draws to a close?
He will use the play to find out if Claudius is guilty of the murder.
What is Hamlet debating in his famous “To be, or not to be” soliloquy?
whether or not to commit suicide
Why does Hamlet repeatedly say to Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery”?
He views the world, people, and especially women as hopelessly corrupt.
After secretly observing Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy and his speech to Ophelia immediately after, Claudius comes to the conclusion that __________.
lovesickness is not making Hamlet mad
In Hamlet’s speech to the players, he urges them to act in ways that are __________.
natural and realistic
Which character does Hamlet ask to observe Claudius during the performance of The Murder of Gonzago?
How does Hamlet treat Ophelia during the performance of the play?
He flirts with her, using wordplay and puns.
How does Claudius react to The Murder of Gonzago?
He storms out just after the player king is murdered.
What reason does Hamlet give for his failure to act when he comes upon Claudius praying after the performance of The Murder of Gonzago?
He does not want to kill Claudius while he is praying, because then Claudius will go straight to heaven.
Why does Hamlet go to Gertrude’s chamber in Act 3, Scene 4?
He is going to “speak daggers” to her and criticize her for what she has done.
At the end of Act 3, Hamlet asks his mother not to tell Claudius that __________.
he is about to leave for England
What does Gertrude tell Claudius in Act 4, Scene 1, after Hamlet has killed Polonius?
Hamlet is truly mad.
When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ask Hamlet to direct them to Polonius’s body, Hamlet responds with __________.
insults and wordplay
Where does Claudius plan to send Hamlet?
Secretly, Claudius’s plan is for Hamlet to be __________.
murdered upon reaching England
What does Hamlet learn about the land over which Norway and Poland are set to fight from the captain in Fortinbras’ army?
The land is essentially worthless.
What does Hamlet vow at the conclusion of his “How all occasions do inform against me” soliloquy?
He vows to recommit all of his thoughts and energies to revenge.
As a result of her father’s murder, Ophelia __________.
When Laertes returns from France, the people of Denmark __________.
rally around him, proclaiming that they would like him to be their king
Unlike Hamlet, Laertes is __________.
quick to act and eager to get his revenge
At the end of Act 4, Claudius and Laertes __________.
are allied against Hamlet
At the start of Act 5, the gravediggers are discussing the fact that __________.
Ophelia has apparently committed suicide
In their conversations, the gravediggers often employ __________.
When Hamlet beholds the skull of Yorick, what is the subject of his speech?
the destiny of all people’s bodies to rot and decay
To which historical figures does Hamlet allude in Act 5, Scene 1?
both of the above (Alexander the Great, Julius Ceaser)
Why does Laertes curse the priest at Ophelia’s funeral?
He is upset that his sister is not receiving a full and proper Christian burial.
How does Laertes demonstrate the level of his grief over Ophelia’s death?
he jumps in the grave with her body
At Ophelia’s funeral, Hamlet insists that __________.
his grief for Ophelia is forty thousand times that of Laertes’ grief
How does Laertes die?
He is cut by his own poisoned blade.
Who kills Claudius?
At the conclusion of the play, who does Hamlet say he wants to be the next king of Denmark?
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