Hamlet Act V

“Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio…” Hamlet Horatio He is telling Horatio he knew the person before he died. It was the court’s jester. This scene foreshadows all of the deaths that are soon to come. Act V Scene I Lines 185-186
“I loved Ophelia.” HamletGertrudeHamlet is saying how much he loved Ophelia and he was willing to do anything for her. This shows the theme of madness and appearance vs. reality. Hamlet was pretending to be mad but in reality he loved Ophelia. Act V Scene I Line 217
“The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.” GertrudeHamletGertrude realizes she drank the poison and is going to die. She attempts to warn Hamlet the drink is poisoned. This showed the theme of tragedy and also that she cared about Hamlet. Act V Scene II Line 311
“The King, the King’s to blame.” LaertesHamletLaertes reveals Claudius planned the poisoning and the fight and he also killed King Hamlet. This shows the theme of loyalty vs betrayal and revenge vs justice. Laertes felt betrayed by Claudius so he told Hamlet about Claudius’ plan in order to get justice. Act V Scene II Line 321
“So shall you here/ Of carnal, bloody and unnatural acts,/ Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters,/ Of deaths put on by cunning and forced causes, / And, in this upshot, purposes mistook/Fall’n on the inventors’ heads.” HoratioFortinbrasHoratio is saying that he can explain all the craziness of violent and unnatural acts and terrible accidents and deaths and plans that have backfired on their perpetrators. This relates back to the theme of tragedy. Everyone is dead at this point and there is going to be a whole new world in Denmark. It also shows the themes of revenge vs justice and fate vs autonomy. Act V Scene II Lines 381-386
Gravediggers are preparing a grave for Hamlet/ Ophelia/Polonius. They speculate about the possibility that the death was suicide and the chief gravedigger makes two jokes about the power of death to conquer all. The second gravedigger leaves to fetch some “liquor”, leaving his boss singing a song about death’s victory as he continues digging. Hamlet and Horatio enter. Hamlet is appalled by the rough treatment that the bones of the grave’s former occupants receive from the gravedigger. He speculates about the identity of a skull/ skeleton/ coffin thrown up during the digging, revealing that his bones “ache” to think about the identity of this waste of power and energy. Hamlet attempts to discover the identity of the person who is to be buried, but is, uncharacteristically, outsmarted. Hamlet is handed the skull of Yorick, whose death he mourns and then proceeds to wonder at the way in which even the greatest of men, such as Casear/Anthony/Hannibal, are returned to the earth. Hamlet and Horatio hide as Ophelia’s funeral procession enters. Laertes and the priest/King/Queen quarrel over the brevity of the service. Gertrude throws flowers/ soil/ sweets into the grave, which are swiftly followed by the distraught Laertes. Hamlet realizes that Ophelia is dead and reveals his presence, taunting Laertes to outdo his grief/ braver/wit. Laertes attempts to throttle/stab/ punch Hamlet. They are parted and the King counsels Laertes to follow the palm they decided on upon at the end of Act Four. Back at the castle, Hamlet tells HOratio about the plot to kill him in England and how he was able to turn Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s treachery against them. He credits unthinking/planned/careful action and God’s will for his escape. He is now determined to kill the King, but regrets losing his patience with Laertes. Ostriches enters with the offer of a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes. Hamlet mocks Osric’s pretentious speech and accepts the challenge. A Lord arrives to ask confirmation of Hamlet’s acceptance. Horatio tells Hamlet he will lose, but the Prince is confident. He has decided to ignore the troubled feelings he has about the match and trust to providence. He reflects that being ready for death is all/important/difficult. The court enters to see the match. Hamlet apologizes to Laertes, who says that his feelings are satisfied though his honor is not. They select swords. Claudius puts a pearl/ring/medal into the poisoned goblet of wine he has prepared for Hamlet and puts it on a table. The fencing match begins and Hamlet wins the first two bouts. Accidentally, the Queen drinks from the poisoned cup. Laertes stabs Hamlet with his poisoned and sharpened foil between rounds. They fight and exchange swords. Hamlet then stabs Laertes with the sword. The Queen faints and swiftly dies. Realizing that he too is dying, Laertes reveals the plot and the King’s complicity. Hamlet stabs the King and as Claudius dies, forces him to drink from the poisoned cup. Laertes begs Hamlet’s pardon and dies. Hamlet forgives Laertes and prevents Horatio from killing himself with the remains of the wine. He wants him to be alive to tell the story to the world. Hamlet dies. Fortinbras and the English/Norwegian/French ambassadors enter. They are shocked by the carnage before them. Horatio promises to explain how it all happened. Fortinbras says he will take over the throne and sends Hamlet’s body off to a soldier’s funeral. OpheliaSkullCaeserPriestFlowersGriefThrottleUnthinkin AllPearlEnglish
For whom is the gravedigger digging the grave? Ophelia
What was Yorick’s profession? King’s jester
How does the information in this scene help readers determine Hamlet’s age? The man says he has been a gravedigger since Hamlet was born which was 30 years ago.
Who fights with Hamlet in the grave? What does this add to play? Laertes. It is the first time Hamlet admits he wants to by king. It is also when Laertes’ madness unfolds. It adds action.
How does Hamlet say he made it back to Denmark? What developments in Hamlet’s character are presented through the story? Hamlet says he was captured by pirates and he managed to convince them to take him back to Denmark. This shows Hamlet as more devious and calculated. We see he is more multi-faceted than we had been previously led to believe.
Who does Hamlet condemn to death? How? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He rewrote the letter to call for the death of whoever delivers the letter.
To whom does Hamlet apologize before the fencing match? Laertes
What does Laertes say is his motive in still resenting Hamlet? How has he already lost this? How does this contribute to the presentation of revenge in the play? He says that he forgives him as far as nature is concerned but in his terms of honor he still holds a grudge. He lost his honor by plotting a rigged fencing match with a poisoned sword. The play presents revenge as feelings disguised as duty.
What is “an union” and where does Claudius place it? The “pearl” of poison Claudius puts in the wine.
Who gets the first hit in the fencing match? Hamlet
Who drinks from the poisoned cup? Gertrude
Who is wounded first with the poisoned sword? Hamlet
Who reveals that Claudius is the villain? Laertes
How do Hamlet’s motives in killing Claudius seem to have shifted? At first he wanted to revenge his father’s death but by the end of the play he realized that Claudius deprived him of the throne and that Claudius also attempted to have him killed.
How might the dying lines of Gertrude, Claudius, and Laertes be viewed as typical of the way their characters heve been presented throughout the play? Gertrude’s lines illustrate her love for Hamlet(by her protecting him) and refusing to incriminate Claudius. Claudius’ lines shows how he relies on others to do his work. Laertes’ lines show him asking for forgiveness. This returns him back to the very noble youth he was at the end of the novel.
Who becomes the King of Denmark at the end of the play? Fortinbras
Hamlet refers to Claudius as “this canker of our nature”. What makes this so appropriate? Name TWO other references to disease or decay in this act. A canker is a source of spreading corruption or decay. Throughout the entire play Claudius continues to do whatever he has to do to stay king. He continues to kill whoever stands in his way and is willing to use anyone as well. “I’ faith, I if he be not rotten before he die.”(V.I.153)”Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, or accidental judgements, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause.”(V.II.382-384)
Which characters view the ending as a bloody carnage and which as poetic justice? Do the characters’ opinions fit their personality? If not, explain. Both Laertes and Fortinbrs saw the killings as just. I think this fit their personality because they both realize that the people brought the deaths upon themselves. Horatio saw the killings as a bloody carnage which is expected because many people he cared about and knew died.
Is there a winner in Hamlet? Explain. Fortinbras is a possible winner in Hamlet. He gains everything he set out to do in the beginning of the play. He also got the throne of Denmark.