short answer study guide questions-Hamlet

What had Bernardo seen at a prior watch?
Why does Marcellus think Horatio should speak to the ghost? Marcellus thinks Horatio should speak to the ghost because he will know what to say to him. He is a “scholar” and is educated. He’s also a great friend of Hamlet.
What does young Fortinbras want to do? His father was killed by King Hamlet. He wants to reclaim the land that his father lost to King Hamlet. He wants to fight the King of Denmark and go to war to get them back. He has gathered men from different areas of Norway to help him.
Who do the soldiers/guards want to tell about the ghost? They want to tell young Hamlet that they have seen the ghost of his father. They think the ghost will speak to his son.
Identify King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Laertes, and Polonius. The King of Denmark and the Uncle of Hamlet. He is the antagonist or the bad guy. He is the brother of King Hamlet. He married Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother and King Hamlet’s wife shortly after the King’s death.The Queen of Denmark. She is Hamlet’s mother. She married Claudius shortly after her husband died. She loves Hamlet.The son of Polonius and the brother of Ophelia. He wants to go back to France.He is the Lord of the court and an advisor to King Claudius. He is also the father of Laertes and Ophelia.
Where does Claudius send Cornelius and Voltimand? He has written a letter to the King of Norway that he wants Cornelius and Voltimand to deliver. The King of Norway is Fortinbras’s Uncle. He is an old man who doesn’t know what Fortinbras is planning. The King of Norway has the power to stop Fortinbras from going to war.
What does the King tell Hamlet? The King tells Hamlet that he should not be so sad that his father died. Life must continue to go on. He also tells him that he does not want him to return to Wittenburg University to study. He wants him to stay in Denmark and to think of him as Hamlet’s father.
Hamlet is upset for two reasons. What are they? 1. Hamlet is upset because his father died.2. Hamlet is also upset because his mother married his Uncle very quickly after his father died, less than a month.
What news does Horatio bring Hamlet? Horatio tells Hamlet that he saw the ghost of his father. He was dressed for battle and looked very sad.
What does Hamlet decide to do after he hears Horatio’s news? Hamlet decides to see the ghost and talk to him.
What is Laertes’ advice to Ophelia? He tells her to stay away from Hamlet. Hamlet will take advantage of her. She should not believe him when he says he loves her. Hamlet will be King of Denmark, he is royalty and she is not.
What is Polonius’ advice to Laertes? He tells Laertus not to say what he is thinking and to think before he acts. He should hold onto his friends and not to be quick to make new friends. Don’t pick fights, but if you are in one, fight well. Listen to many people, but talk to few. Don’t borrow or lend money. Don’t have too much fun.
At the end of Scene III, Ophelia agrees to “obey.” what will she do? She will stay away from Hamlet.
What did the ghost tell Hamlet? The ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius killed him. He poured poison into his ear when he was in the garden and he died. He also stole his wife Gertrude. He asks Hamlet to seek revenge and kill Claudius, but not to hurt Gertrude. God and her guilt will take punish her.
Hamlet swears Horatio to two things. What are they? 1. He makes him swear to not tell anyone what they saw. Hamlet talking to the ghost of his father2. He tells them that he will pretend to be crazy and they can not say it is because he saw the ghost of his father and talked to him.
Where does Polonius send Reynaldo? Why? to Paris to spy on Laertes and to take him money and messages
Why does Polonius think Hamlet is “mad”? he thinks Ophelia’s rejections have been too much for Hamlet, that Hamlet is lovesick
Why have Rosencrantz and Guildenstern come to the castle? they have come to find out why Hamlet is acting so strangly and to report their findings to the King
What is Polonius’ plan for testing his theory that Hamlet is love-crazy? he wants to have Hamlet meet Ophelia. He will hide and eavesdrop on the conversation
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern finally meet with Hamlet and Hamlet discovers they were sent fo by the King. How does Hamlet describe his personal problems to them? What does he tell them? he tells them he used to think the world was wonderful, but now he finds differently, and he had so delight in man or woman
What arrangements does Hamlet make with Player 1? he arranges to have several of his own lines put into the play
After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave Hamlet, what does he basically say in his soliloquy? he thinks himself a coward for not getting right to the revenge
What message do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern carry to the King? What is the King’s response? They haven’t learned much about what is really troubling Hamlet, but they know he wants them to be at the play. He’s happy to hear Hamlet is interested in his attendance.
Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy is in scene one. In a sentence or two paraphrase his main points. Is life worth living or would it be easier to kill myself?
Describe Hamlet’s tone when he speaks to Ophelia. Insulting; saucy
What do the King and Polonius decide about Hamlet’s condition after eavesdropping on Hamlet and Ophelia? The King concludes that Hamlet isn’t mad, but he is still ridden with sadness and he thinks it would be best to give him a change of scenery and decides to send him to England.
Why does Hamlet give instructions to the players? Do not overact the performance, it needs to be as natural and believable as possible
What was the King’s reaction to the play, and what did Hamlet and Horatio decide his reaction meant? The King reacted shocked and angrily; Hamlet and Horatio decide that this means he is guilty of the crimes the ghost told Hamlet about.
What message does Rosencrantz deliver from the Queen? She wants to speak with Hamlet.
The King has Rosencrantz and Guildenstern prepare to do what? Why? Taking Hamlet to England. He says there, they will “put a leash on this danger,” meaning he is planning to do something bad to Hamlet.
Why doesn’t Hamlet kill the King when the King is kneeling? He is in the middle of prayer and if Hamlet kills him as he is confessing his sins, he will go to heaven. Hamlet wants to instead wait for a moment when the King is doing something sinful to kill him so he will have to go to hell.
How does Polonius die? Hamlet stabs him through the curtain when he hears him call out for help.
What would Hamlet have his mother do? Look at her sins by showing her a picture of the former King Hamlet and Claudius.
What does Hamlet think of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern He thinks they are snakes who will do whatever the King and Queen ask of them.
Why must the King “not put the strong arm on” Hamlet? A punishment too cruel will draw attention to what has happened (Polonius’ death).
When the King asks Hamlet where Polonius is, what is Hamlet’s answer? At dinner (he is not eating, rather he is the dinner). He then says that you will be able to smell him in the main hall soon.
What is the content of the letters the King sends with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to England with Hamlet? An order to the King of England to kill Hamlet.
What prompts Hamlet to say, “My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth!”? He sees that the Norwegian army is fighting an expensive war for a worthless piece of land and he doesn’t even have enough honor to get revenge for his father’s death more quickly. He feels as though he is wasting time.
What has happened to Ophelia? She has lost her mind and fallen into a depression following the death of her father.
Why does Laertes force his way in? What does he want? He wants to kill King Claudius for killing Polonius (or so he thinks) and take his place as the new king.
What is the content of Hamlet’s letter to Horatio? He has been captured by pirates and he needs Horatio to rescue him, and that he knows Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are on their way to the King of England with orders to kill him.
What plan do the King and Laertes discuss to kill Hamlet? He will trick him into an undertaking and make his death look like an accident. They decide to have a fencing match and Laertes will poison his sword to kill Hamlet.
What news does the Queen bring Laertes? Ophelia has drowned.
Laertes thinks that Ophelia should have a better funeral service. What is the priest’s answer? This is as good as he can do since she committed suicide and shouldn’t even be receiving a proper Christian burial.
Why does Hamlet jump into Ophelia’s grave? He wants to see who has jumped into Ophelia’s grave right before.
What does the King say to Laertes to console him after Laertes and Hamlet are separated? Don’t forget our talk – be patient, our problem (Hamlet) will be taken care of soon enough.
What did Hamlet do to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Intercepted the letter with a new one ordering that the King put the messengers of the letter (R and G) to death immediately without the chance to confess their sins.
What news does Osric bring Hamlet? The King has requested a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes.
What happens to the King, Hamlet, Laertes, and the Queen? They were poisoned and died.
Who does Hamlet recommend to the throne? Fortinbras

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