Hamlet Reading Questions

Who are the first characters we meet? Barnardo, Francisco
What is the story of King Hamlet as told by Horatio? told he was a good person
What is Polonius’ advice to Laertes? be true to urself; dont dress in a gawdy way
How did King Hamlet die? King Hamlet’s brother, Claudius pours poison in his ear
What does Hamlet make the others promise? He makes them swear not to reveal that he is acting crazy.
Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Why have they come to Elsinore? Hamlet’s “friends” from school. Polonius and Claudius has sent for them
Who is spying on Hamlet and Ophelia? Polonius and Claudius
What do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report to the King? Is this accurate? Hamlet is distracted and acting strangely
What is the King’s reaction to the play? Shocked
What is Claudius’ first plan to get rid of Hamlet? Send him to England and killed
What is the tone of Hamlet’s conversation with his mother? Aggressive because she married the man who killed his father
What does he try to convince Gertrude of? That he’s not crazy and that Claudius killed King Hamlet
What does Gertrude do immediately after the bedroom conversation? Does this reveal whether or not she believes Hamlet? Tell Claudius. Doesn’t believe him
What is King Claudius’ reaction? Shocked
What does Hamlet compare Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to? As sponges. Follow the King’s orders unwaveringly.
What does Hamlet say about worms in this scene? No matter your position, the worms will eat you anyways
What effect does this have on Hamlet? Saddened at seeing an enemy attack over an unimportant land
Summarize each of Ophelia’s songs. What is her concern? What are some reasons for her losing her mind? Why couldn’t she express these concerns in a more rational matter? Hamlet was a handsome and noble and Claudius is a murderer. Hamlet was without sin.
What does Hamlet say about his trip to England in his letter to Horatio? Intercepted by pirates and jumps onto their ship as escape. Promises to reward
What plan do Laertes and Claudius concoct? Laertes and Hamlet duel.
Who was Yorick? Yorick was the court jester when Hamlet was a child
Why can’t Ophelia have a more noble burial? It was a suicide
Summarize the events of the duel. Gertrude drinks the poisoned drink. Laertes is slain. Claudius is killed
What is the significance of Hamlet’s last speech? What is his last line? Horatio to stay alive, Fortinbras to be the new king