Hamlet Test Questions on Acts 1 to 5

The curtain opens on what setting? (place and time) Elsinore, Denmark, midnight, cold
Why is Francisco happy to see Bernardo? Francisco is afraid of the dark and the ghost.
Why has Marcellus begged Horatio to join the watch? Horatio is smart and well-educated. They have seen ghosts for the past two nights.
What does the ghost look like, say, and do? The ghost loos like King Hamlet and is ready for battle. He spreads his arms and floats away. He doesn’t say anything.
What was the outcome of the fight between King Hamlet and Fortinbras? King Hamlet killed King Fortinbras and he took stuff.
Why is there a need for the nightly watch on the palace? There is a ghost.
How are Claudius, the dead Hamlet, and Queen Gertrude related? Claudius is marrying Queen Gertrude, and Claudius is King Hamlet’s brother.
What is in the letter Claudius is sending to the ailing King of Norway? Claudius wants peace.
Why does Laertes want to leave Denmark? Laertes wants to go back to school in France.
Why is young Hamlet grieving? Hamlet is mad at Gertrude for marrying Claudius only one month after King Hamlet’s death.
How do Gertrude and Claudius treat Hamlet’s grief?
Why is the King planning a celebration?
In Act I, Scene 2, what does Horatio reveal to Hamlet?
What does Hamlet’s soliloquy reveal about his mental state? What does he mean by putting on an “antic disposition”? Hamlet is suicidal and unstable. He’s going to go crazy!
What is meant by a “little more than kin and less than kind”? They are too close for comfort.
In Act I, Scene 3, what advice does Laertes give Ophelia? Stay pure. Stay away from Hamlet.
What is Ophelia’s response to Laertes’ advice? Follow your own advice.
What advice does Polonius give to Laertes? Behave yourself.
What advice does Polonius give to Ophelia? Stay away from Hamlet. He’s a prince. He will be chosen a queen. He just wants a date.
How does Hamlet feel about the drunken revelry? Hamlet doesn’t like being a Dane.
In Act I, scene 4, what mixed feelings does Hamlet have when he sees the ghost? Hamlet is scared but he doesn’t know if it is really his father or not.
Why doesn’t Horatio want Hamlet to follow the ghost? Horatio is afraid that the ghost is going to convince to Hamlet to commit suicide.
In Act I, scene 5, what does the ghost tell Hamlet? Claudius killed King Hamlet.
In Act I, scene 5, how does the ghost want Hamlet to treat Claudius and Gertrude? The ghost wants Hamlet to kill Claudius, but he wants Hamlet to be nice to Gertrude.
What does Hamlet make and Marcellus swear and why? Do not say anything about what you saw tonight to anyone!
Why does Polonius send Reynaldo to Paris? to spy on Laertes
Why is Ophelia frightened by Hamlet? Hamlet looks like crap.
How does Polonius explain Hamlet’s behavior? Is he right? Hamlet is in love. Polonius is not right. Hamlet is acting like this because he just saw a ghost.
What are all the sins Reynaldo is allowed to commit? whoring, quarrelsome, drinking, fencing, and swearing
Why have Rosencrantz and Guildenstern come to Elsinore? Claudius and Gertrude called them to do a job.
What does Rosencrantz and Guildenstern agree to do? Are they betraying their friend Hamlet? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern agree to spy on their friend, Hamlet. Yes, they are betraying their friend, Hamlet.
What is the bedridden King of Norway’s response to Claudius’s request? There is no reason for a nightly watch because there is peace.
Who wrote the letter that Polonius reads to Claudius and Gertrude? Why does Polonius read it? Hamlet wrote the letter that Polonius reads to Claudius and Gertrude. Polonius reads it because he thinks that Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is the reason why Hamlet is going crazy.
What is Polonius’s plan for proving that Hamlet’s odd behavior is the result of love madness? Watch Hamlet interacting with Ophelia.
What is a “fishmonger”? Explain what takes place in this scene. A fishmonger is a person who sells fish. Hamlet and Ophelia are talking about Ophelia. In Hamlet’s opinion, Polonius sacrificed his daughter’s happiness in order to suck up to the King. Thus, “fishmonger” is often explained as slang for “pimp,” despite the fact that there is no evidence that the word was used that way in Shakespeare’s time. Hamlet then makes his insult sharper by wishing that Polonius were as honest as a fishmonger, which is to say that Polonius is lower than the lowest of the low.
How does Hamlet feel about seeing his old friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? What do they tell him? Hamlet is happy to see his old friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but he is suspicious. At first, they tell him that they came to Elsinore to visit Hamlet. Eventually, they confess to Hamlet that they were sent by Claudius and Gertrude to spy on Hamlet.
What does Hamlet request the traveling players to perform and why? Hamlet requests the traveling players to perform a speech he once heard. The speech is from a play which depicts a murder similar to that which the ghost described to Hamlet. He wants to see if Claudius reaction to hearing the speech will reveal that he killed King Hamlet.
What does Hamlet’s soliloquy, directly after the actor’s delivery of the speech describing Pyrrhus’ vengeful murder of Priam suggest? Hamlet will get revenge for his father’s death.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are generally seen, referred to, and addressed in tandem. What is suggested by this practice? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are fools.
In Act 2, scene 2, what does the scene between Polonius and Reynaldo do for the play?
In Act 3, scene 1, what do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report about Hamlet to the King and Queen?
Why does Polonius tell Ophelia to pretend to be reading a book of devotions? It gives her a convenient reason to be where she is.
What bitter advice does Hamlet give Ophelia? What prompts this advice?
After secretly observing Hamlet and Ophelia, does the King agree with Polonius (Hamlet suffers love madness.)? No, the king doesn’t agree with Polonius that Hamlet suffers love madness. The king known something is up.
Why does Claudius decide to send Hamlet to England? Claudius doesn’t want to deal with Hamlet.
What final plan does Polonius devise in order to reveal the source of Hamlet’s strange behavior? spy on Hamlet with Ophelia to see how he reacts
Why don’t people take their own lives, according to Hamlet’s soliloquy, “to be or not to be..”? They don’t know what will happen in the after life.
What does beauty do to honesty, according to Hamlet? Beauty corrupts honesty.

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