Hamlet Prince of DenmarkSon of the late King HamletMust avenge his father’s deathDelays in action
Claudius Present King of DenmarkSuspicious of HamletMurdered the late King Hamlet
Gertrude Queen of DenmarkResented by Hamlet Marries her husband’s brother
Polonius Ophelia and Laertes fatherAdvisor of the King
Horatio Hamlet’s best friendOnly one Hamlet trusts
Ophelia Polonius’ daughterHamlet’s girlfriendSuffers from depression
Laertes Polonius’s sonWas once close with HamletAway at college
Fortinbras Prince of NorwayJuxtaposes Hamlet
The Ghost The late King HamletIn purgatory until his death is avenged
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Hamlet’s college friendsAsked to “spy” on Hamlet
What is a motif? A motif is defined as a distinctive feature or dominant idea in an artistic or literary composition.
What is the main motif in the play? The main motif in Hamlet is poison. Hamlet has a healthy exterior with the sick interior. (hiding the pain of his father’s murder)
How is poison seen? In the play, poison is seen as a symbol of betrayal and cowardice. King Claudius poured poison into King Hamlet’s ear. Play within a playFight scene: LaertesPoison of the mind
Describe Ophelia Ophelia has been in love with Hamlet long before the death of his father. Ophelia can be described as a character who suffers from depression of her own depression and is protected by the love of her father, Polonius. Submissive, very obedient to her father and brother
What is Hamlet’s flaw? Not taking action right after the death of his father. Constantly over thinks (wishy washy) (delays a lot)
Why does Hamlet delay? Hamlet delays his action to avenge his father’s death because he is taking his time to seek out the truth about the death of his father. Religious, does not want to make a rash decision
What is the atmosphere in the first scene and how this atmosphere is created? The atmosphere during the first scene is almost awkward. Hamlet is suspicious about his uncle being the one who killed his father and his uncle is trying to find ways to kill Hamlet and keep him from finding out the truth. SuspensefulTense
What advice does Claudius give to Hamlet about grief? Claudius tells Hamlet that it is a sons duty to mourn his father’s death, but if he mourns for too long, he is unmanly and inappropriate. “Tis unmanly grief”
What reasons would Hamlet have for feigning madness? -His uncle killed his father and then married his mother, taking all of his father’s power. -He does not want the spotlight, wants people to leave him alone-“I am too much in the sun”-To keep his uncle on edge, not knowing what Hamlet’s next move will be (later in the book)
What is Hamlet’s personality like when he is with Horatio? When with Horatio, Hamlet is more uplifted to see a friend, as well as intrigued due to the information that Horatio is telling. More positive, comfortable, openRespects Horatio, best friends (trusts everything Horatio tells him)
What is the effect of Laertes’ talk with Ophelia in scene 3? Ophelia agrees to accept the tips that Laertes has given her, but says that Laertes should not say what he does not practice himself.
What is the significance of Polonius’ advice to Laertes? Polonius’s advice to Laertes tells him how to act with those who are of higher power and how to act like a true gentleman. “Above all else, to thine own self be true”
How does Hamlet approach the ghost? Hamlet approaches the ghost out of curiosity, asking why it has showed up and why it resembles his father.
What is the unknowing irony in Hamlet’s reply to the ghost? When replying to the ghost, Hamlet says that he will take action against his Uncle. However as an audience, we all know that Hamlet is too hesitant and will struggle to kill his Uncle.
What does Hamlet realize after talking with the ghost? He must kill his Uncle
What is Hamlet’s state of mind? After learning that his Uncle is truly the one who had killed his father, Hamlet is both confused and angry. His Uncle killed his own brother for power and is trying to hide the evidence.
How does Polonius plans to “spy” on his son and what is his revealed about his character in the first scene? While his son is away, Polonius asks one of his men to spy on his son while he is in Paris. He asks Reynaldo to ask around the city and see if anyone happens to be Danish and if so, ask if they happen to know Laertes. This shows that Polonius has very little trust for his own son.
How would you describe the effect of Polonius’s rambling speech to Reynaldo in lines 50-67 and what is humorously ironic about Polonius saying, “Brevity is the soul of wit”? The speech tells the reader that Polonius is not someone you can trust. Also, saying “brevity is the soul of wit” after a long speech is ironic because he is saying that you must be brief
How could you describe and account for Hamlet’s behavior to Ophelia as she reports it to Polonius in scene one? What is Polonius’s conclusion about Hamlet? As Hamlet and Ophelia met, he seems to act a little crazy, grabbing her by the wrist and talking on and on about one thing and then another. Polonius believes that this behavior is fueled by his love for Ophelia and her not responding to his letters
Explain the reason for the arrival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Danish court. What is Hamlet’s attitude towards them? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were both brought in by the king to spy on Hamlet. Not knowing this, Hamlet is excited to see both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, for they are old friends
What is the report from Norway? Why is Fortinbras mentioned again? When reading the report from Norway, it is said that Norway wishes to cross through Denmark to reach Poland to seek land to conquer.
How does Hamlet react to the arrival of the Players? After the arrival of the Players, Hamlet is very eager to get acquainted with them. With this, he reaches out to shake their hands.
How does Hamlet’s soliloquy at the end of scene two contribute to the plot, characterization, and atmosphere of the play? Hamlet’s soliloquy revises an honorable man, a knight, whose armour had been stained by blood while performing awful acts. This soliloquy travels back to the King, who has been stained by the blood of his own brother after murdering him
What causes Hamlet to exclaim, “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!”? Hamlet feels as if he does not have a home, and a slave to his title. Does not feel a connection to the Castle