Hamlet Final Exam

How old is Hamlet at the beginning? 30 years old
Who becomes king of Denmark at the end of the play? Fortinbras
Where did Fortinbras invade? Poland
What school do Hamlet and Horatio attend? Wittenburg
Where did Laertes spend most of his time during the play? France
Fortinbras is…. The prince of Norway
foolish courtier who summons Hamlet to duel against Laertes Osric
Courtiers whom Claudius sends to Norway to persuade the king to prevent Fortinbras from attacking. Voltimand and Cornelius
Soldier and guardsman at Elsinore Francisco
Polonius’s servant who is sent to France to spy on Laertes Reynaldo
Person whom’s skull was found in a grave. Was the King’s former jester and Hamlet’s acquantaince as a child Yorick
Yorick’s skull symbolizes what? The inevitability of death and disintegration of the human body. No one can avoid death. The physical consequences of death
Officers who first saw the ghost Marcellus and Bernado
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” Marcellus. The line refers both to the idea that the ghost is an ominous omen for Denmark and to the larger theme of the connection between the moral legitimacy of a ruler and the health of the state as a whole. The ghost is a visible symptom of the rottenness of Denmark created by Claudius’s crime.
O, that this too too solid flesh would meltThaw and resolve itself into a dew!Or that the Everlasting had not fix’dHis canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,Seem to me all the uses of this world! Here, his desire for his “flesh” to “melt” and dissolve into “dew” registers his anguish over his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage to his uncle. Clearly, Hamlet’s thoughts here are suicidal and register some mental and emotionally instability.
How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself,As I perchance hereafter shall think meetTo put an antic disposition on After the Ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius has murdered his father, Hamlet begins to plan his next steps. Here, he warns his friends that he will put on an “antic disposition,” which results in the delay of Hamlet’s revenge. What does “antic” mean, exactly? Well, it means “clown” or a performer who plays the role of a “grotesque,” which means that Hamlet is going to pretend to be a madman.
HAMLET I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw. Hamlet admits to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that even though he’s acting like a raving lunatic, he definitely has his wits about him. In other words, he knows they’ve been sent by Claudius to spy on him.
Alas, how is’t with you,That you do bend your eye on vacancyAnd with the incorporal air do hold discourse?Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son,Upon the heat and flame of thy distemperSprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look Gertrude is reacting to Hamlet after Hamlet started speaking to the ghost. The ghost appeared, and Hamlet was the only one who could see it. She is questioning Hamlet’s mindset
Mad as the sea and wind, when both contendWhich is the mightier: in his lawless fit,Behind the arras hearing something stir,Whips out his rapier, cries, ‘A rat, a rat!’And, in this brainish apprehension, killsThe unseen good old man Gertrude
Now, sir, young Fortinbras,Of unimproved mettle hot and full,Hath in the skirts of Norway here and thereShark’d up a list of lawless resolutes,For food and diet, to some enterpriseThat hath a stomach in’t; which is no other—As it doth well appear unto our state—But to recover of us, by strong handAnd terms compulsatory, those foresaid landsSo by his father lost Prince Fortinbras’s attempts to reclaim the lands his father lost to Old Hamlet in a bet. Here, we see that Fortinbras acts like a traditional revenge tragedy hero – he takes swift and forceful action. This, as we soon learn, establishes him as a foil to Prince Hamlet, who notoriously delays taking action to avenge his own father’s murder.
“Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.””Murder most foul, as in the best it is;But this most foul, strange and unnatural” Ghost says this
Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swiftAs meditation or the thoughts of love,May sweep to my revenge. Hamlet says this. He is saying that he will avenge his father’s death. But ironically, it takes forever for him to get revenge.
, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;Let not the royal bed of Denmark beA couch for luxury and damned incest.But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contriveAgainst thy mother aught: leave her to heavenAnd to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,To prick and sting her. The ghost is speaking to Hamlet, and he is telling Hamlet not to let Denmark be ruled by Claudius, who committed incest. Do not let Cladius get away with marrying your mother.
, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;Let not the royal bed of Denmark beA couch for luxury and damned incest.But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contriveAgainst thy mother aught: leave her to heavenAnd to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,To prick and sting her. After watching one of the traveling players (actors) deliver a moving speech, Hamlet berates himself for his inability to avenge his father’s murder. If an actor can move himself to tears (to “weep”) for a fictional character (“Hecuba”), why can’t Hamlet spur himself into action for a very real and personal figure, his father?
Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;And now I’ll do’t. And so he goes to heaven;And so am I revenged. That would be scann’d:A villain kills my father; and for that,I, his sole son, do this same villain sendTo heaven.(3.3.1) Hamlet. Once again, Hamlet finds a reason to not kill Claudius. His rationale? He says he doesn’t want to murder him while the man is praying because he’s afraid he’ll send Claudius’s soul straight to “heaven.” Revenge, for Hamlet, is not simply about killing Claudius – it’s about making sure he suffers in Hell
How came he dead? I’ll not be juggled with:To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil!Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!I dare damnation. To this point I stand,That both the worlds I give to negligence,Let come what comes; only I’ll be revengedMost thoroughly for my father. Laertes. Like Fortinbras’s response to his father’s death, Laertes’s quick and violent reaction to the news of Polonius’s death acts as a foil to Prince Hamlet’s slow actions
Does it not, think’st thee, stand me now upon—He that hath kill’d my king and whored my mother, Popp’d in between the election and my hopes, Thrown out his angle for my proper life, And with such cozenage—is’t not perfect conscience, To quit him with this arm? and is’t not to be damn’d, To let this canker of our nature comeIn further evil? Hamlet. Claudius disrupted Hamlet’s succession to the throne of Denmark. Hamlet’s never really articulated his desire to replace his father as the Danish monarch but here, it seems that this may also be a primary motive for killing Claudius
Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s deathThe memory be green, and that it us befittedTo bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdomTo be contracted in one brow of woe,Yet so far hath discretion fought with natureThat we with wisest sorrow think on him,Together with remembrance of ourselves.(1.2.1) Claudius. He begins by acknowledging Old King Hamlet’s death and says it “befitted” the “whole kingdom” to mourn Old Hamlet’s loss (emphasis on the past tense.) But, he also asserts that it is “wise” for the “whole kingdom” to move on quickly. Self-interest (remembrance of ourselves) and self-preservation are both far more important
Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.Do not for ever with thy vailed lidsSeek for thy noble father in the dust:Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,Passing through nature to eternity.(1.2.2) Gertrude is speaking. Even Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, tells Hamlet to stop grieving for his father. Death, she argues, “tis common.” (A few lines later, Claudius will emphasize the point by saying to Hamlet “your father lost a father; / That father lost, lost his.”) But, Hamlet will struggle with the loss of his father throughout the play – he’s literally haunted. Hamlet will also struggle to come to terms with the fact that “all lives must die.”
QUEEN GERTRUDEThere is a willow grows aslant a brook,That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;There with fantastic garlands did she comeOf crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purplesThat liberal shepherds give a grosser name,But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them:There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weedsClambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;When down her weedy trophies and herselfFell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;As one incapable of her own distress,Or like a creature native and induedUnto that element: but long it could not beTill that her garments, heavy with their drink,Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious layTo muddy death. Yet, here, Gertrude describes Ophelia’s drowning as though it were a very peaceful and lovely sight to behold – “Her clothes spread wide; / And, mermaid-like” before “her garments, heavy with their drink” weighted her down. Where is this coming from? The death of a young woman isn’t romantic but, even in death, Ophelia is described in rather erotic terms. Why is that?
Give me leave. Here lies the water; good: herestands the man; good; if the man go to this water,and drown himself, it is, will he, nill he, hegoes,—mark you that; but if the water come to himand drown him, he drowns not himself: argal, hethat is not guilty of his own death shortens not his own life. First Clown
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once:how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it wereCain’s jaw-bone, that did the first murder! Itmight be the pate of a politician, which this assnow o’er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,might it not? Hamlet. After seeing his old chap Yorick’s skull, he comments on how death can transform people. The destructiveness of death.
No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither withmodesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: asthus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; ofearth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel? Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay, Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!(5.1.30) Hamlet is fascinated by the physical process of decay, but he is also intrigued by the commonality of death. Here, he seems to finally understand the philosophical implications of the fact that every human is mortal. Even Alexander the Great “died,” “was buried,” and “returneth into dust.”
HAMLETNot a whit, we defy augury: there’s a specialprovidence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will benow; if it be not now, yet it will come: thereadiness is all: since no man has aught of what heleaves, what is’t to leave betimes? Let be.(5.2.37) Hamlet. This is another major turning point for Prince Hamlet. After all his musings about his fascination with and horror of death, Hamlet ultimately accepts that he will die, and says that “the readiness is all.” His reference to the “fall of the sparrow” is from Matthew 10.29 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” – which is taken to mean that God oversees and determines the life and death of every single creature, even the sparrow.
When will Hamlet’s father get out of purgatory? When his sins have been purged.
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in naturePossess it merely. That it should come to this! But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two: So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my motherThat he might not beteem the winds of heavenVisit her face too roughly. (1.2.6) Hamlet compares his father to Hyperion and Claudius to Satyr. Hamlet insists that Gertrude’s hasty marriage to Claudius (after Old Hamlet’s death) has turned the world into an “unweeded garden.”
O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven; It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t, A brother’s murder. Claudius is speaking! Here, Claudius admits to murdering Old Hamlet, which he compares to the “primal” (first) and “eldest” (oldest) murder in the Book of Genesis.
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness (3.2.1 Here, Hamlet plays the part of a stage director/acting coach as the traveling players prepare for their performance of The Murder of Gonzago. He is telling the actors not to over-act or under-act. To be authentic
HORATIO Not from his mouth,Had it the ability of life to thank you:He never gave commandment for their death.But since, so jump upon this bloody question,You from the Polack wars, and you from England,Are here arrived give order that these bodiesHigh on a stage be placed to the view;And let me speak to the yet unknowing worldHow these things came about: so shall you hearOf carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,And, in this upshot, purposes mistookFall’n on the inventors’ reads: all this can ITruly deliver. END OF NOVEL END. Horatio tells Fortinbras what had happened. He tells Hamlet’s story to the world. And spoke of everything that led to the deaths of the royal family. He delivered the TRUTH of Hamlet’s tragic story.
PRINCE FORTINBRAS Let us haste to hear it,And call the noblest to the audience.For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune:I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.(5.2.18) Prince Fortinbras’s reaction to Horatio’s tragic story of Hamlet.
Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not ‘seems.”Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,Nor customary suits of solemn black,Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,Nor the dejected ‘havior of the visage,Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,For they are actions that a man might play:But I have that within which passeth show;These but the trappings and the suits of woe.(1.2.2) Here, he insists that outward appearances (like his “inky” black clothing, sighs, and tears can’t possibly “denote” what’s truly inside him. In other words, Hamlet’s saying that his anguish and grief over his father’s death are far more intense that they appear to the outside world. He’s also implying that Gertrude, Claudius, and the rest of the court are totally fake and disingenuous because they don’t care about him or his feelings at all and are far too concerned with keeping up appearances.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man.(1.3.1) Polonius. Polonius likes to dish advice, as when he says that if you are true to yourself, you cannot deceive anyone else. Given Polonius’s penchant for spying on his children and Hamlet in order to curry favor with King Claudius, he’s not in any position to be talking about truth. We’re reminded that when these kinds of cliché sayings are carelessly bandied about, they don’t seem to carry any meaning at all.
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!My tables,—meet it is I set it down,That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;At least I’m sure it may be so in Denmark:(1.5.10) Hamlet. Now that the ghost (who claims to be the spirit of Old Hamlet) has revealed that King Claudius’s a murderer, the prince realizes that his instincts are correct -everything in Denmark’s court, from the King on down, is a big lie.