Act I Questions
Act I Scene 1 : Horatio’s opinion of the ghost before and after he sees it, is that the ghost is Old Hamlet, the dead king. He looks just like Hamlet’s father that was supposedly bitten by a poisonous snake. This ghost was dressed in armor, head to toe.
Act I Scene 1 : Claudius announced that he is the new king of Denmark when the beloved king Hamlet is dead and also stated that he is now married to Hamlet’s Mother, old Hamlet’s wife. Before Old Hamlet past, his great rival Fortinbras, King of Noway dared him to battle and Old Hamlet killed Old King Fortinbras. Now that Old King Fortinbras is dead, young Fortinbras is now the new king of Norway, he is tough and unproven and he now wants to take over Denmark.
Act I Scene 1 : Horatio’s fear about the Ghost is “something to worry about”, he talked about the emperor Julius Caesar, and how the corpses rose out of their graves and ran through the streets. There were threatening signs and now Horatio believes that the ghost of Hamlet was sent down here as if heaven and earth has joined together to warn them what is going to happen.
Act I Scene 2 : Claudius’ comments to Hamlet regarding his father’s death was not sympathetic, he basically told him not to mourn over his father’s death because in a way he is betraying God. Hence, Claudius’ advice was not to mourn, because once upon a time it happened to every son and father out there, and it wouldn’t make a difference, the father would still be dead.
Act I Scene 2 : Hamlet feels weak because his father’s death and Mother’s marriage breaks his heart in silence, since he can’t mention his feelings aloud. Now that everything happened, life is pointless to him, he then uses a metaphor of “a garden that no one’s taking care of, and that’s growing wild. Only nasty weeds grow in it now.” Hamlet looked up to his father, an excellent king. Hamlet is more hurt not because of the death of his father, but not only two months later, after his father’s death his mom got remarried and even worst to his own father’s brother, incest.
Act I Scene 3 : Both Laertes and Polonius agree that Hamlet is young, and foolish and the “love” he promises Ophelia is either an act or will soon be gone. However, Laertes’ advice to Ophelia is calm and understanding, he believes that Hamlet is within the royal family; therefore, his words only mean as much as the state of Denmark allows them to mean. On the other hand, Polonius is furious at the thought that Hamlet and Ophelia are together, he demands Ophelia not to see him and that Hamlet is just a young boy that can still fool around. Polonius’ advice was not much advice, he just continued to put down Ophelia by calling her a foolish baby for believing the words that are coming out from Hamlet’s mouth.
Act I Scene 5 : Hamlet means when he says he will “put on an antic disposition” is to “act a little crazy in the near future”. I think Hamlet is going to pretend to go mad because it’ll give the others something to question and think about.
Act II Questions
Reynaldo is being sent to Paris by Polonius to spy on Laertes, finding out what Danish people are like – who they are, where they live and how much money they have, who their friends are.
Hamlet went “mad”, he went up to Ophelia while she was sewing with no hat on his head, his shirt unbuttoned, and his stockings dirty, undone, and down around his ankles. Hamlet grabbed Ophelia by the wrist and held her hard, moved back to arm’s length and stared at her for a long time. He sighed his last breath and left the room.
Polonius’s conclusion at the end of this scene is that Hamlet is definitely love-crazy. Polonius believes that Hamlet has gone mad and acted this way because Ophelia rejected him by sending back his letters and wouldn’t let him visit her.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are King Claudius’ courtiers, and they were instructed to find out what is causing Hamlet’s odd “transformation”, or change of character.
The kind of Norway sent out messengers to stop his nephew’s war preparations, which he originally thought were directed against Poland but learned on closer examination were directed against Claudius, the king was very upset. Now, young Fortinbras wants to lead his soldiers into Poland and asking for permission.
Gertrude believes his father’s dying and our quick marriage is the cause of Hamlet’s “distemper”.
Polonius believes that Ophelia’s rejection to Hamlet by sending the letter back and not allowing him to visit her is the cause of Hamlet’s “distemper”.
Polonius’s plan to find out the true cause of Hamlet’s “antic disposition” is to send Ophelia in while he walks through the lobby and while that is happening, Polonius and Gertrude will be hiding behind the arras and watch what happens.
Hamlet gave Polonius disrespected and talked about his daughter, Ophelia. He is acting as if he does not remember Polonius but mistaken him as a fish seller or something. Hamlet’s behavior is making Polonius more certain of Hamlet’s madness. The content of Hamlet’s supposedly mad remarks to Polonius connects with what the prince is actually feeling are similar.
Hamlet treated Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as his friends, they asked to be his servants but Hamlet refused and said that his servants are terrible. However, Hamlet had a feeling that someone told them to visit him, knowing it was the king and queen who sent them to him.
Hamlet’s excuse for his behavior is that he lost all sense of fun, stopped exercising – the whole world feels sterile and empty. nothing more is than a disease. And his opinion of humanity is the capacity to reason, unlimited in thinking, admirable shape and movement in the angelic action, humanity surpass all other animals, there’s nothing more beautiful.
The significance of the speech about Pyrrhus that Hamlet requests to hear is because after hearing the speech, Hamlet muses about the strangeness of his situation. He asks himself, “How can this player be so filled with grief and rage over Priam and Hecuba, imaginary figures whom he doesn’t even know, while I, who have every reason to rage and grieve and seek bloody revenge, am weak, uncertain, and incapable of action?” He curses himself and his indecisiveness before cursing his murderous uncle in rage. Pyrrhus vengeance is also for his father’s death, so obviously Pyrrhus is a foil to Hamlet. Eventually Pyrrhus acts on his desire for vengeance and mercilessly kills Priam – hacking him into little bits. This seems like “overkill”. And it shows that Pyrrhus is a vicious sort. he is far less noble than his father, Achilles, who could show mercy. In these scene, reminds the reader of Claudius who shows no mercy when it comes to getting what he wants. He kills his own brother for the crown and queen. He plots Hamlet’s death when Hamlet seems a threat to him. But, this merciless hacking away at the corpse of Priam and the gore-covered Pyrrhus could also be a foreshadowing of the ultimate carnage that will result from Hamlet’s vengeance.
Hamlet ask the actor to recite the play of the trojan war (Pyrrhus) and perform the play that Hamlet had written himself.
Hamlet watches the actor (or Leading Player) deliver a monologue in which he, the actor, becomes so emotionally invested that his performance is incredibly believable, including moments of rage and even ending in tears. Later, Hamlet compares himself to this actor in his famous “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I” soliloquy. He basically beats himself up for not having the same amount of passion about his real life situation as the actor has for a pretend situation. Hamlet is desperately mad at himself for not having taken any action yet to avenge his father.
Hamlet’s opinion of the ghost changed, now he thinks that the ghost he saw may be the devil, and the devil has the power to assume a pleasing disguise, so he may be taking advantage of hamlet’s weakness and sadness to bring about my damnation. So now, instead of setting up the play to mess with the king’s conscience and let him know that he knows what really happened about his father’s death, Hamlet is going to watch Claudius’ reaction to the play if he reacts hatefully to the play then Hamlet will know that the King killed his father as the ghost said and that the ghost is actually the ghost of his father, if not, the ghost is just the devil.
Act III Questions
Ophelia was instructed in stand in the lobby to wait for Hamlet to arrive while waiting, Ophelia should read from the prayer book, so it looks natural that she is alone. Ophelia is “meeting” Hamlet to test whether or not Hamlet is actually going crazy because of the rejection from Ophelia or just plan madness.
“oh, ‘tis too true! How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlot’s cheek, beautied with plastering art, is not more ugly to the thing that helps it Than is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden!”
“When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” is in one of the most famous Shakespearean soliloquies “To be or Not to be”. This short little phrase means when we pass away or die we must take a moment and just pause to reflect what problems we endured while on earth.
In the “To be or not to be” speech, Hamlet’s reason for considering suicide is putting up with all of life’s humiliations – the abuse, insults, rudeness etc.
King Claudius decides to send Hamlet to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in order to protect himself and get Hamlet out of the way.
Hamlet then agrees to talk to his mother, Queen Gertrude and when this is occurring Polonius plans to hide and listen in. To find out what his secret is before sending him off to England.
Before the play, Hamlet instructs Horatio to watch his uncle carefully when the scene that is very close to depicting the circumstances of Old Hamlet’s death.
During the play, Hamlet’s behavior is manic and outrageous. He plunks himself down next to Ophelia, and talks to her in the most coarse and obscene way. He calls out to his mother, yells at the actors “is this a prologue or the posy of a ring?”, and keeps up such a running commentary that Ophelia says tartly, “you are as good as a chorus, my lord.” If he did not reveal himself in the following scene we might wonder whether Claudius was offended by the picture of his murder of Hamlet Senior or offended by Hamlet’s behavior.
Hamlet compares himself to a musical pipe because it’s a metaphor of Guildenstern and Rosencrantz getting on his nerves, and they are doing so very easily just as easy as putting your fingers on the pipe and blowing. Throughout the play Guildenstern and Rosencrantz were befriending Hamlet for Claudius as spies, and from the beginning Hamlet knew Claudius and his mother sent them to spy on Hamlet.
Hamlet’s feelings are just words and thoughts that will be at odds. It’s different from his other soliloquy because this one is about him staying alive asking his heart to not grow weak, its about revenge unlike the other soliloquy where it was about himself.
King Claudius is not sorry that he killed his brother but he does feel guilt and he does ask for forgiveness. The only thing Claudius can do is pray, and as he prays he ask for forgiveness for his sins and keep “the fruits of the crime”.
Hamlet didn’t kill Claudius and get his revenge when Claudius was praying and Hamlet had the perfect opportunity to kill him, Hamlet questioned himself and wondered if its really revenge if he kills Claudius right when he is confessing his sins.
The scene opens up with Hamlet meeting his mother to talk in “private” while Polonius stands behind the tapestry spying on them and finding out what Hamlet is actually going mad for.
The Ghost reappears to guide Hamlet into keeping his mother’s struggling soul from being overwhelmed by horrid visions.
Hamlet tells his mother that he hasn’t gone mad, his heart beats just as evenly as her does. He doesn’t want to flatter her into believing that it’s his madness, not her crime, that’s the problem. Hamlet tells her to confess her sins to heaven.
To not go to Claudius’ bed tonight, no sex tonight.
Hamlet is sorry for what happened to Polonius and he feels a bit of guilt because Hamlet believes that it is God’s punishment towards him (to murder). He now believes that what he has done is bad, but it’ll get worst soon if he didn’t do what he did.
Act IV Questions
Gertrude relates the death of Polonius to the king, of how Hamlet heard something behind the tapestry, whips out his sword, shouts, “A rat, a rat!” and kills Polonius. The king fears that Hamlet is a threat to everyone especially him because it would’ve happened to him if he was behind the tapestry instead of Polonius.
According to Hamlet, Polonius’ body is fattening up the worms and he is in heaven. Hamlet states the obvious that Polonius is now dead but Hamlet did not tell them directly where they can find his body, he was playing mind tricks with them and having a bit of fun.
The King plans to send Hamlet to England because the madness he is going through is putting everyone in danger especially the King himself.
Fortinbras has come to Denmark to ask permission to move the troops across Denmark. He has come to fight to win a little patch of ground that’s not worth anything.
In this soliloquy, Hamlet is starting to find the strength to motivate him to kill King Claudius. He states, what’s life when we just eat and sleep, no more or less than a beast, he tells himself to be truly great doesn’t mean you’d only fight for a good reason, it means you’d fight over nothing if your honor was at stake. The army of soldiers are coming in to fight for a piece of land that wouldn’t even fit all the soldiers on but they do it anyways to get the fame and pride of winning, this relates to Hamlet because the death of king Claudius won’t make a difference but him being dead and that’s no better but if killing Claudius is what he should do to take revenge and save his honor and his father’s title, then let it be.
Hamlet’s attitude at the end of the scene is that he talked himself into killing king Claudius for his father’s revenge.
Ophelia went mad when she heard that Hamlet murdered her father, Polonius. All she talks about is her father, saying she hears there are conspiracies around the world, and coughs, and beats her breast, and gets angry over tiny matters, and talks nonsense. Ophelia enters and starts to sing.
Laertes is angry because he found out that his father, Polonius was murdered and he came back to seek revenge on the person who killed his father. Laertes desires for Ophelia’s saneness to return, because no one can be more persuasive than his own sister.
As Hamlet is on his voyage by ship to England, his ship is attacked by a pirate ship. In the commotion of the ensuing impromptu battle, Hamlet ends up boarding the pirate ship. Once the battle has culminated, the pirates decide they will drop Hamlet off back in Denmark.
Claudius doesn’t execute Hamlet because the queen, his mother, is devoted to Hamlet. And the queen is part of Claudius’ life and soul that he can’t live apart from her. Another reason he can’t prosecute and arrest hamlet is that the public loves him, their affection would overlook his faults.
Claudius first planned to kill Hamlet by attacking him out of nowhere when he lands in England, but because of the incident on the voyage there, he is now back in Denmark and Claudius plans to trick him into an undertaking, which will surely kill him and there will be no one to blame.
“Did you love your father? Or is your grief just an illusion – a mere painting of sorrow?”. The nature of Claudius’ question to Laertes is to see how far he would go to kill Hamlet and to make him suffer.
Laertes agrees with king Claudius and goes with the plan to be in his room and kill him when he enters, even though Claudius stated that they will be telling him that Laertes is there. Laertes and Hamlet are both sons to fathers that were killed and now they are both seeking revenge to kill the person that killed their fathers. Claudius questions are asked to provoke Laertes to make him even more vengeful than he is and to put the blame on Laertes for the death of Hamlet.
In addition to just stabbing the sword through Hamlet, Laertes plans to put a little dab of something on his sword as well, from a quack doctor, he bought some oil so poisonous that if you dip a knife in it, no medicine in the world can save the person who’s scratched by it. Even if it grazes the skin slightly, he’s likely to die.
Ophelia drowns, not knowing weather or not the drowning was on purpose or by accident.
They are debating if Ophelia’s drowning death is caused purposely or accidentally, and if they are actually going to giver her a Christian burial “after she killed herself”.
The grave diggers stated the obvious and did not tell Hamlet that the grave they were digging was for Ophelia but instead they told him that is was for a woman, that is now dead.
The grave digger maintain about England that a young man got sent there because he was crazy, but then again, no one will barely notice because everyone there are crazy as well.
Hamlet is about 17 – 20 years old.
Laertes got angry that the Priest believes that Ophelia’s death was cause on purpose; therefore, it being a suicide. Laertes angered by that, tried to jump into her grave to open it but Hamlet fights Laertes over Ophelia’s grave and angered by Laertes says that he loved Ophelia more than a brother can ever love her.
Hamlet tells Horatio how he saw the king’s instructions to send him to England and cut off his head, without waiting to sharpen the ax. Hamlet also tells Horatio how he started to write out a new official document with new instructions, a sincere plea from the king, who commands the respect of England, and who hopes that the love between the two countries can flourish, and that peace can join them in friendship.
Osric brings him a message from His Majesty, and to tell Hamlet that he placed a large bet on him. Then he goes about telling Hamlet how Laertes is look upon and an outstanding gentlemen.
Hamlet thinks that he’s like so many successful people in these trashy times – he’s patched together enough fancy phrases and trendy opinions to carry him along. But blow a little on this bubbly talk and it’ll burst.
Horatio tells Hamlet to listen to his gut and if something is telling him not to play fencing with Laertes when he should not play and just tell them that he is not feeling well.
Young Fortinbras is shocked with what he sees, a massacre in Denmark and all the princes and noblemen were killed. He then claims the city of Denmark, and by arriving at this moment, he has the opportunity to put them to effect.
Everyone besides Horatio and Young Fortinbras. The people who died are Hamlet’s father, Polonius, Ophelia, The queen, The king, Laertes, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.