Hamlet Test, English 4.

How does shakespeare begin the play with an immediate sense of suspense ? By introducing the Ghost in the play. It is in the middle of the night, the guard seems paranoid and Denmark is in unrest. Also, the fact the ghost doesnt speak to them scares them because they want to know why hes there.
What probably important exposition is reveled in this scene? The return of Old Hamlet and the conflict with Norway.
Why has horatio been asked to join the soldiers in the night watch ? What has he decided to do? He’s asked this because they have seen a ghost of King Hamlet and want to let horatio to know. He wants to tell hamlet about the ghost and he is asked because he is a scholar.
How does the reader/audience know this ghost is not a hallucination ? They reader/audience knows the ghost is not a hallucination because both characters are talking and responding from each other’s reactions.. More than one person sees it.
What important exposition is revealed at the beginning of this scene ? Claudius is the new king of Denmark and has a hasty marriage to hamlets mother, Gertrude.
What evidence of wrongdoing or corruption is evident in Claudius’ opening speech ? Claudius admits that it would be appropriate for the country to be in a period of official mourning for his brother’s death, but they have forgone that. He acknowledges that everything he has done, he has done with advice and consent of the court’s chief advisors.
Compare Claudius treatment of Laertes with his treatment of Hamlet. He grants Laertes permission to return to France while he denies Hamlet permission to return to school at Wittenburg.
Why did Hamlet not become King when his father died? Claudius identifies Gertrude as the “imperial jointress” which indicates that she has actually inherited the throne form her deceased husband.
How is hamlet physically and emotionally conspicuous in the public portion of this scene ? Claudius and Gertrude’s speeches indicate that Hamlet is dressed in Black. most staging of this scene depict everyone dresses gaily. Hamlet is the only one expressing grief over his fathers death.
What is the significance of Claudius’ denying Hamlet permission to return to Wittenburg? It contrasts with the permission Claudius gave to Laertes to return to Paris. Secondly, it essentially places hamlet under “house arrest”
What aspects of hamlets concept of death/desire for death is revealed in Hamlet’s first soliloquy? Hamlet desires death. He wishes he could just pass into not being or that he could kill himself without sinning.
What aspect of Hamlet’s problem seems to bother him the most? more than the death of his father and hes not inheriting the throne. Hamlet is most upset about the mother of his marriage, the speed with which she married, and the physical- lustful nature of her relationship with her new husband, his uncle.
what important metaphor is introduced in Hamlet’s soliloquy that will be developed later in the play? The idea pf Denmark as a garden. An unweeded garden- will be echoes by the ghost’s explanation that he was allegedly bitten by a “serpent” while sleeping in his garden.
contrast claudius’ and laertes’ reason for being in Denmark. Laertes- told claudius that laertes came back to Denmark to attend the king’s corruption. Horatio- tells claudius that hamlet camee for hamlet’s fathers funeral
Explain the reasons that laertes and polonius give ophelia to convince her not to trust Hamlet’s love. They do not believe that hamlet is serious with honest intentions toward ophelia. besides, hamlet would not be able to marry her because he is royal and must marry for political motives.
What is comical about Polonius ? He is pompous man of show with little substance, his speeches are wordy and self-contradictory on many occasions he changes opinions, and he will change his opinion to please the person he’s with. (kinda like hillary clinton..lol)
Other than the fact of the ghost itself, why is this Ghost thought to be an evil omen? The ghost is wearing armor, indicating there is danger. Also the country had denounced the catholic church during this time period due to King Henry VIII wanting a divorce. The kingdom would have been practicing protestants.
Marcellus states, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” what does he mean? A relevance to the condition of the state. the king has died, the uncle has married the queen, there is threatened Normandy invasion and the ghost.
In what region of the universe does the Ghost reside? Purgatory
What possible theme is there introduced by the ghost’s afterlife? The catholic theme of purgatory
what does the ghost warn hamlet about his mother? why? That Gertrude, his mother, played a role in his death. he told him not to harm his mother while getting vengeance for his death.
What does hamlet mean when he says, ” the time is out of joint.”? He is expressing his idea that his world is not sane and that things are not as they should be.
What is ironic about Polonius’ attempt to learn about laertes’ life in paris? At the end he tells reynaldo to spy on his sons; laertes personal life. He is a manipulator and tells him how to get information about his son.
Why would polonius immediately jump to the conclusion that hamlet is mad for ophelia’s love? He had his suspicions about his insanity.
Consider how the episode of hamlet in ophelia’s closet promises to contribute to the overall calamity of the tragic plot. it prefigures the difficulty in hamlet’s relationships with ophelia.
Are rosencrantz and guildenstern WILLING spies for Claudius and Gertrude? Yes, they accept the job, but are Hamlet’s childhood friends therefore there is a sense of ambiguity for Hamlet.
What effect is created by the scenes between hamlet and polonius being in prose? Hamlet is apart of the dialogue that relies on slang. (prose)
what are some of the slang expressions and puns hamlet uses in his first exchange with polonius? Why are they significant? “Fishmonger”. Hamlet is insulting Polonius and saying that he is “fishing” for answers from Hamlet. This is significant because it makes hamlet look like a madman. “Then I would you were so honest a man” – polonius is trying to get answers from hamlet, so in a way this makes him “dishonest”. Also the wily courtier to the corrupt king does not think talk kindly to being told he is not as honest as a humble trader like a fishmonger.
What is hamlet’s initial reaction to the appearance of rosencrantz and guildenstern? Hamlet’s initial reaction to the appearance of rosencrantz and guildenstern seems friendly and playful enough but he sees right through their superficial and ill-thought to spy on him on orders from the court.
Why are rosencrantz and guildenstern hesitant to admit that they are in Elsinore because the king and queen sent for them? On the one hand to admit that they were sent for might be to admit that they are spies; they did not think to come on their own but came when they were summoned. Note that they confess to being summoned only when hamlet demands that, if they love him, they will tell him
How does Hamlet’s famous “what a piece of work is a man!” passage depart from typical renaissance humanism? This passage departs from typical renaissance humanism because it discusses man in general as something created, rather than the tree will of an individual being what is remarkable.
Why does shakespeare introduce a troupe of traveling players into the action of the play? The players will be the vehicle by which shakespeare can evaluate various character’s reactions to events and characters in the play. hamlet can assess his own inaction in terms of the actor’s pretended grief. Hamlet can also use the scene portraying his father’s murder to observe claudius’ and gertrude’s reactions.
What does hamlet’s expression of concern about the child actors used in the city contribute to the plot or to the development of his character. some might say that this passage shows that hamlet is artistic but surely his “advice to the players” shows this much more convincingly. he is just bantering with rosencrantz and guildenstern until he can find out what they are up to. shakespeare clearly used this banter as an opportunity to take a poke at the boy actors of st pauls and others.
what is unusual about the player’s monologue about the Fall of Troy? This monologue is written and told from the trojan point of view. thus, the son of achilles is portrayed as the heartless villain. antithesis is conventional portrayal from greek perspective.
What does claudius admit to himself (and to the audience) about his crime? Claudius admits that he was he killer of the prior king. he feels terrible about his actions; he says that a brother’s murder is the greatest, oldest sin of all. He prays for forgiveness; however, he is not yet ready to handle the consequences of his actions.
List the personal grievances hamlet expresses in his “to be or not to be soliloquy” and explain what specific events in hamlet’s life they refer to. The soliloquy is a general question about whether it is better to live or die. One of the grievances he mentions, “Slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes.” this seems to be a reference to hamlet’s encounter with the ghost and the discovery that his father was killed by his uncle.
what metaphor does hamlet use in his “to be or not to be soliloquy” to express his developing understanding of death? how does he further develop this metaphor? hamlet metaphorically compares death to sleep. he adds to it by comparing the afterlife especially the possibility of hell to bad dreams during the sleep of death.
What information does Ophelia provide about hamlet’ s character before the beginning of the play? Ophelia compares the how-obviously-mad hamlet with the bright, funny, gentle, and gentleman hamlet was previously. she describes him as having a very promising renaissance prince.
explain the ambiguity of the nunnery scene A nunnery is a convent. On this level, hamlet could actually be advising ophelia to cloister herself away where she will escape the calamity that is to come. Also as a nun, ophelia will not be a “breeder of sinners” a temptress to seduce otherwise virtuous men to sin. on the other hand nunnery is a slang for brother, so hamlet might be accusing ophelia of being a prostitute.
what is the main thrust of hamlets diatribe against ophelia ? Hammy accuses ophelia- although he is clearly talking about all women and his mother specifically-of being a temptress, a seductress. as is embedded in the story of adam and eve, woman is the orgin of even in the world, having tempted man into sinning.
why does shakespeare begin act III scene 2 with hamlet offering acting lessons to the players? how does this advance the plot, develop character, or help establish theme? Just as the play is about too begin, hamlet instructs the players on the art of acting. telling them to act natural and avoid bombast. He sets the players to their preparations. hamlet likes to be in control of situations.
Why does hamlet admit to horatio and the audience just before company arrives to view the play ? hamlet admires and trusts horatio that this is a staged play to find out if claudius is guilty and if his father’s ghost was an honest ghost.
How does hamlets speech patter change when others enter the room to view the play? why? Hamlet begins to speak in prose. Again, the change in pattern emphasizes hamlet’s word play.
Why does hamlet speak to ophelia in such vulgar terms? Hamlet is still hurt by her sudden breaking off of their relationship and the return of all his gifts and letters.
what does gertrude’s reaction to the play indicate? The fact that she does not act guilty at all and even admits that she suspects the player queen of being insincere indicating that she is guiltless of any crime against her deceased first husband.
explain the metaphor of the recorder Rosencrantz and guildenstern express a desire to understand hamlet and his distemper. This angers hamlet and he attacks them by saying that if they have such little skill that they cannot make a recorder make music and they are stressed out.
Explain the allusion to Nero in hamlet’s closing speech. Nero was a Roman emperor known for his harsh cruelty’ and hamlet says ” like Nero,melt me be cruel, but not inhuman.” He appreciates the cruel heart of Nero but does not want the accompanying insanity.