Hamlet Act II & III Quiz

Explain the task Polonius gives to Reynaldo. Reynaldo’s task is to travel back to France and spy on Laertes and check on what he has been up to
Describe Ophelia’s report of Hamlet. Why do you think he acts this way? Hamlet approached Ophelia looking a mess and disheveled. He grabbed her, held on, sighed, and wandered off strangely. This is a part if his plan from Act 1 — or Polonius believe he is madly in love with Ophelia.
What does King Claudius request of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and why are they chosen. To check in/spy on Hamlet — as friends — but report back
Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Childhood friends of Hamlet
What news do Valtemand and Cornelius bring about the looming battle with Norway and Fortinbras? Fortinbras is going to attack the Poles — he wants a safe passage through Denmark
Compare and contrast Fortinbras and Hamlet. What do the two have in common? How are they different? Both recently lost a father — however their response to their loss is different. Fortinbras reacts by using military force to get back his land. Hamlet is gloomy, depressed, and sees no point in living until the ghost asks for revenge.
Polonius reads from a letter: “Doubt that the stars are fire,/ Doubt thou the stars are fire,/ Doubt truth to be a liar, / But never doubt I love.” Explain why he reads this letter and the plan he makes going forward. Polonius is trying to show Hamlet’s behavior could be a result of his love for Ophelia — Polonius plans to spy on Hamlet.
In an aside, Polonius says, “Though this be madness, yet there is a method in’t,” and, “How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of.” By pregnant, he mean pregnant with meaning. Explain what Polonius means through these lines. Hamlet says several things that seem to speak the truth — though it seems mad it has a purpose.
Hamlet discerns the reason Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are at the castle. What is the reason? To spy on Hamlet and report it back to the king and queen.
Hamlet says, “my uncle-father and my aunt-mother are decieved.” Read his explanation. In what ways are they deceived? He says, “I am mad north-north-west and when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a hand saw” — meaning: (1) he is only mad on occasion — that’s how they are deceived, (2) he knows his friends from enemies.
Hamlet says, “A dream itself is but a shadow,” and later plans for the actors to mimic real events through their play. Why do you think Shakespeare chooses to set up two different layers of reality — real life and a shadow or play life? The shadow of play is able to show things people can’t see in real life. Hamlet can’t directly confront Claudius but can imply guilt within the play because it is just a play.
In his long soliloquy at the end of Scene II, why is Hamlet so upset with himself? He is upset because the actors are able to conjure up real emotion and Hamlet is unable to act on his real emotions,
At the end of Scene II, Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.” What does he mean by this? Explain his plan. Hamlet plans to make the players act out the murder of his father in hopes Claudius’ guilt shows.
“This most excellent canopy the air, the look you, this brave overhanging, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire — why it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god — the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me — no nor woman neither…” (Act II, Scene II) Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern — He is describing the sadness and despair. He can’t see the beauty of life because he is too sad and depressed and his sadness has overtaken him.
“Though this be madness, yet there is a method in’t,” … “How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of.” (Act II, Scene II) Polonius to himself — Although Hamlet seems mad, there seems to be a reason behind it.
“O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his whole conceit That from her working all his visage waned Tears in his eyes, distraction in ‘s aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing.” (Act II, Scene II) Hamlet to himself (Hamlet’s second soliloquy) — Hamlet is saying how can an actor produce such genuine emotion from nothing and he is too cowardly in his emotions.
What good news does King Claudius hear from Rosencrantz and Polonius concerning Hamlet? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tell the king about the play and Hamlet’s interest in it. Claudius tells them to encourage his interest, as well his interest in the theatre troupe.
Closely examine Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins, “To be, or not to be.” Choose three lines that you find significant. Write the line below along with its deeper meaning. (1) He contemplates the pros and cons of suicide.(2) He could not commit suicide because it is against Catholic religion.(3) He is afraid to go to hell if he commits suicide.
Shakespeare chooses to make Hamlet’s interactions with Ophelia complex. Analyze their interaction. Do you thunk Hamlet is feigning madness throughout, or do his true feelings shine through? Explain. Hamlet knows people are watching so he “acts” crazy. His emotions are over the top, however he does care for Ophelia when he first talks to her; he seems very much in love. But in his need for revenge and his madness, he comes off completely crazy throughout.
What does Claudius determine to be the cause of Hamlet’s behavior and what is his solution? Claudius doesn’t think Hamlet is crazy or motivated by love, but he believes he might be dangerous and decides to send him to England.
Dramatic irony is when the audience knows more than the characters. Look back through Scene I. Where is there dramatic irony? Unlike Claudius and Polonius, the audience is aware of the root cause to Hamlet’s craziness/madness.
Describe the plan Hamlet makes with Horatio regarding the play? He prompts Horatio to watch Claudius with him very carefully throughout the play so he has a witness for Claudius’ reaction.
Describe Hamlet’s interactions with Ophelia during the play. Hamlet is flirting with Ophelia in a sexual manner at the beginning of the play. As it goes on, he is rude to her.
Describe the king’s reaction to the play. Is this a sure sign of guilt? Why or why not? Claudius’ reaction is that he stands up and orders everyone to leave. Hamlet believes this is a sure sign he is guilty, or it is Claudius’ upsetment of the play’s content (a king dying/being murdered, he may interpret it as prophetical for him).
Describe the accusation Hamlet makes toward Guildenstern. He accuses him of manipulating & playing him.
What does Hamlet mean when he says, “I will speak daggers to her, but use none”? Describe his plan. He will use verbal violence against Gertrude when he speaks to her but he will not physically harm her.