Hamlet Study Guide- 1st Semester Final Exam

1. Review Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy (Act III) & “What is a man?” soliloquy (Act IV) & have a general understanding of why these are included in the play. What is the main point of each soliloquy? If you want to live or die
2. Review all main characters. Know who they are and how they relate to one another. (I.e., Polonius is a nobleman who serves King Claudius, but he is also Ophelia and Laertes’s father). List the major characters in the play. Osric= the ref for sword fight (Robin Williams)Marcellus- he says “Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark”Queen named GertrudeWho is Prince of NORWAY?= FortinbrasWho is Prince of Denmark? = Hamlet
3. Why doesn’t Hamlet put his thoughts into action? What is his fatal flaw? Why does he struggle on his path to revenge? He is doubtful. He thinks too much. He DOES NOT ACT. “Lack of action”
4. What are Hamlet’s plots to determine Claudius’s guilt and then murder him? Why do they change? How does he determine that Claudius IS guilty? 1. Just kill Claudius (but what if ghost evil spirit?)2. Kill Claudius in confession (Claudius is praying= go to heaven)3. The Play-within-a- play (King reacts so Hamlet knows he guilty….still doesn’t act and gets sent to England!)4. “My Thoughts Be Bloody”… action=sword fight with Laertes
5. Why doesn’t Claudius repent when he’s in the confessional? Why doesn’t Hamlet kill Claudius while he’s praying? Claudius isn’t sorry for his sins because he wants to keep “what he won”= the power: the crown and the queen.
6. Why does Hamlet pretend to be crazy by putting on his “antic” disposition? Do his “antic” remarks make sense? Acts crazy to hide revenge plotsYes the remarks are sometimes full of subtle meaning (like “there is method in the madness)
7. How is Ophelia perceived throughout the play by different characters? (Her dad Polonius, brother Laertes, lover Hamlet, the king & queen?) to Dad & bro= she is obedientfor the King & Queen= she is used as a spyfor Hamlet= mistreated and used to practice his “antic disposition” on herShe’s a pawn.
8. What advice does Polonius give to Laertes & Ophelia? Is he considered a wise or foolish character? to Laertes= “to thine own self be true” good worldy/fatherly adviceto Ophelia= break up with Hamlet and refuse to be with him (says Hamlet doesn’t love her; he’s just using her)He is FOOLISH.
10. When in the play does Claudius realize Hamlet is a threat? When the actors actually act the murder exactly as it happened (poison in the ear)
11. What is the function of the play-within-a-play? Why did Hamlet choose The Murder of Gonzago? Who is supposed to watch the reaction of King Claudius? NOTE: The Murder of Gonzago is also referred to as The Mouse-trap play because he’s trying to catch King Claudius. KNOW BOTH TITLES for the test.) function= reveal Claudius’s guilt or innocenceWhy that play? Similar plot (there’s a murder)Who watching: HoratioMousetrap title= to “trap” the King
12. In Act IV, during his “What is a Man?” soliloquy, what does Hamlet determine after seeing 20,000 men in Fortinbras’s army ready to die over a useless piece of land? He determines that HE MUST ACT
13. What does King Claudius mean on page 121 when he says “By letters congruing to that effect/ The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England” (4.3.65-66). Why is he sending Hamlet to England so suddenly? What does he expect England to do? Claudius wants the King of England to execute HamletClaudius realizes that Hamlet is a personal threat to his safety
14. What are the 3 elements that are part of King Claudius and Laertes’s plan to kill Hamlet? 1. Poison drink2. points sword (FOIL= sword)3. unbated sword for Hamlet
15. How is Ophelia’s death perceived by the church? Why does it matter? Church thinks it’s suicide so they don’t want to give her a Christian funeral OR bury her in the Christian Church graveyardIt matters because the King and Queen ORDERS the church to give her a Christian burial
16. How are both Ophelia and Laertes foil characters to Hamlet? (IE, madness and action) Ophelia foil to Hamlet because she is crazy & Hamlet is just pretending to be crazy Laertes foil to Hamlet because Laertes immediately ACTS to kill his father’s murderer whereas Hamlet DOES NOT ACT and makes excuses
17. Why does Hamlet struggle so much on his path of revenge? (IE what is his fatal flaw)? Fatal flaw= failure to actstruggle= he overthinks everything
18. Exactly how does each character die? King Hamlet/The Ghost= murdered by his brother Claudius with poison in the earPolonius= stabbed by Hamlet through curtainOphelia= drowns in riverLaertes= cut by his own poisoned sword (“I am justly killed by mine own treachery”)Queen Gertrude = drinks poison drinkHamlet= cut by poison swordKing Claudius= hit by poison sword AND forced to drink poison drinkRosencrantz & Guilderstern- executed in England
19. Why does Hamlet leap into Ophelia’s grave? He wants to prove he loves her more than Laertes (“more than 40,000 brothers”)
20. What is Laertes’s dying request? He asks Hamlet for forgiveness for the role he played in Hamlet’s death
21. What will happen after Hamlet is dead? Who will rule Denmark? Will he be a good King? Fortinbras will lead Denmark decisively and with confidence. He is a man of action. The scales of justice are now equal
22. Why does Horatio have to remain alive at the end of the play? To tell Hamlet’s tragic tale
23. What is the reason for the humor during the gravediggers scene in Act V, Scene 1? comic relief
What is the role of King Hamlet’s Ghost in the play? to reveal the treachery of King Claudius and spur Hamlet to seek revenge
Who does Hamlet refer to when he says, “Frailty, thy name is woman!” his mom: Queen Gertrude
26. At the beginning of the play, why does Hamlet return from the University of Wittenberg? He returns because his father died and he is extremely disturbed by his mother’s “hasty marriage” (calls it incest)
2. “…Speak no more, thou turn’st mine eyes into my soul, and there I see black and grained spots.” Queen Gertrude
9. Theme of spying throughout the play: a. King & Polonius spy on ____Ophelia and Hamlet_______b. Polonius spies on ____Hamlet_____ in the Queen’s chamberc. Polonius sends someone to France to spy on ____Laertes______d. King & Queen use Hamlet’s “fake friends” Rosencrantz & Guilderstern to spy on _____Hamlet____

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