Hamlet: Act 4

Review Act IV quotes: 🙂
Review Act IV characters: 🙂
Review Act IV setting: 🙂
Rapier: Sharply pointed sword for thrusting
Countenance: A person’s facial expression; support, or admittance
Convocation: Large formal assembly; ceremonial
Conveyance: Means of transportation
Bloody: Cruel, violent, and aggressive
Straight; Directly; soon
Importunate: Persistent to the point of annoyance
Watch: Guard; look out for her
Incensed: Enraged
Why does Hamlet call Rosencrantz a sponge? because he always does as Claudius wants; soaks up the king’s countenance
Claudius sends Hamlet to England as he had planned. What instruction concerning Hamlet’s fate does he put in letters to England? Why? Claudius asks the English king (Denmark had defeated) to kill Hamlet because it’s going to be part of the war duties (right of conquest) to kill him upon his arrival because Claudius knows that Hamlet knows that Claudius killed old Hamlet.
Why has Fortinbras of Norway arrived in Denmark with his army? Because of the “conveyance of a promised march over his kingdom” and to “express our duty n his eye and to seize Denmark; Fortibras was given permission to march to Poland and he wants revenge
Horatio and a Gentleman, concerned about Ophelia, ask the queen to speak with her. Why are they concerned about Ophelia? Because she’s being persistent to the point of annoyance with her mood; it needs to be pitied because she seems extremely distracted and disturbed (upset and confused because of Hamlet and Polonius)
Laertes arrives at the castle with a group of followers. What are they saying and why? What does Claudius promise Laertes at the end of Scene V? Laertes shall be king! Laertes king! Because Laertes is starting a rebellion because of the death of his father; the king promises that if Laertes’s friends find him touched, the king will give up all he has, but if not, Laertes has to be patient with them; they are ready to get rid of Claudius because they think C is willing to scheme, murder, marry to get power, a drunkard, they don’t like the decisions he’s making with Hamlet, and they don’t think he’s fit to be a king (Laertes has to listen to the story C has about the death of Polonius)
According to the letter delivered to Horatio, what happened to Hamlet? Why? A pirate chased the boat, and Hamlet boarded the pirate ship, and became their prisoner. This letter was sent to Horatio and not he king or queen because Hamlet trusts Horatio (he’s proven that he’s trustworthy)
Laertes asks Claudius why he hasn’t done anything to have Hamlet punished for the murder of Polonius. What reasons does Claudius give? 1. The people like Hamlet and they would be upset 2. He loves Hamlet’s mother, and you don’t mess with mama bear’s cub
When the king learns that Hamlet is returning to Elsinore, he and Laertes form a plan. What is it? That when Hamlet returns from his voyage, he will poison his sword in fencing, and as a backup plan, the wine is poisoned
What terrible news does the queen deliver at the end of scene vii? Gertrude tells Laertes that Ophelia has drowned in a brook where a willow grows; this happened because she climbed in a tree, she began singing when she fell, her clothes got heavy, and they pulled her under (suicide?)
Hamlet hides Polonius’s body and responds to questioning in a humorous and grotesque way. What do these passages tell us about Hamlet’s character? Do you think H feels any guilt concerning P’s death? how would Hamlet’s attitude toward P’s death support the theory that he’s crazy? These passages tell us that H is extremely sarcastic and he uses humor at intense times to make things emotionally easier for himself; I don’t think he feels guilty for P’s death; this drives home the fact that he’s crazy, because anyone who would kill someone accidentally would be eaten alive by guilt, but Hamlet has no remorse
Notice that both H and Laertes have lost a father through violence and have been told about the deaths by questionable messengers (ghost and Claudius); compare and contrast Hamlet and Laertes’s reactions: L and H are similar, but slightly different; they both listen to the questionable messengers (both kings that urge revenge), but L immediately acts on feelings of vengeance for honor, but H waited it out for truth
Many critics think H feels a special kinship with F because of the similarities of their circumstances. What are these? How does H contrast himself with F in, “How all occasions do inform against me…” They are both delicate and tender princes that are puffed up with divine ambition that puts their lives at risk; H says he’s not like F because F isn’t fighting for a good reason; the land they’re fighting for isn’t big enough to bury all the soldiers. They’re both seeking revenge for murder, and they both went against their family (F’s uncle and H’s uncle)
In this soliloquy, H speaks about reason and honor. How does H view reason? How does he judge F’s honor? Do you agree with H’s statements? Hamlet views reason as something that separates us from beasts. He judges F’s honor by saying that honor is causing him to fight over nothing; I do agree, because the fight F is causing isn’t worth everything he’s fighting for
At the end of H’s soliloquy, “O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!” H has finally resolved to act on the ghost’s command to avenge his death. How has H been inspired to make up his mind at last? H has been inspired to make up his mind because he sees that honor is causing the other prince to act rashly, and he wants to act in the same way
Review “Dig Deeper” questions: 🙂
Sequencing Scene i: 1. G tells Claudius that H is insane and has murdered P2. C decides to get rid of H3. Gertrude points out that H is now inspired to cry, so she thinks P’s murder has done some good (in touch with his feelings)3. C tells R and G to try to clean up the mess
Sequencing Scene ii: 1. R and G meet with H to try and convince him to give up P’s body 2. H points out that C’s helpers are like a sponge 3. H makes jokes about C being the king of nothing and that his days are numbered
Sequencing Scene iii: 1. C demands to know where P’s body is 2. H responds with more morbid jokes (Describes life cycle – worm can eat a king, fish can eat a worm, and man can eat that fish, thus eating a king – calls C poo)3. H hints that the body is in the stairs leading to the lobby 4. C sends attendants to find it 5. C tells H he’s being shipped off to Eng 6. C is left alone, and reveals that he’s going to have H killed
Sequencing Scene iv: 1. H leaves for Eng (Danish coast near Danish castle)2. Prince F’s army from Norway H sees3. H this this is petty, but is inspired to get revenge 4. H swears to follow F’s example (stop delaying and carry out revenge)
Sequencing Scene v: 1. Horatio and a gentleman ask the queen to speak to O because they’re worried for her 2. Gentleman leaves and O enters, distracted 3. C enters, and O continues distractedly singing 4. O and Horatio leave 5. messenger comes in and says that L has arrived and will be king 6. L enters and speaks with C; O enters7. King’s promise to L
Sequencing Scene vi: 1. H and gentleman enter. 2. Gentleman exits; sailors enter and deliver a letter from Eng 3. Horatio reads H’s letter
Sequencing Scene vii: 1. C and L enter2. L asks C why H hasn’t been punished for his murder yet 3. C explains why he hasn’t killed H4. L expresses troubles to C5. L and C devise plan to kill H6. Q enters and tells L that O has drowned 7. K, Q, and L decide to go see O
Rosemary: Remembrance
Pansies: Thoughts
Fennel: Flattery
Columbines: Foolishness and folly
Rue: Bitterness and repentance
Daisies: Innocence
Violets: Faithfulness