Hamlet Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Once left alone on stage in Act 3, Scene 3, what does Cladius express guilt about?

2. What is Hamlet's mother's name?

3. Before Hamlet hears about the ghost, how does he feel about Claudius?

4. What country did the late King go to battle against?

5. In Act 1, Scene 2, what two events does Claudius describe?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Claudius react to the play-within-a-play?

2. When Hamlet follows the ghost, what do his friends decide to do?

3. In Act 2, Scene 1, how does Ophelia describe Hamlet's behavior?

4. In Act 3, Claudius becomes convinced that Hamlet is insane. What does he decide to do with Hamlet?

5. After talking to the ghost at the end of Act 1, what does Hamlet decide to do about his father's death?

6. Why does Hamlet not kill Claudius when he finds Claudius alone in Act 3?

7. After Laertes leaves in Act 1, Scene 3, Polonius and Ophelia have a private talk. What specific instruction or order does Polonius give Ophelia?

8. Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and why do they go to Elsinore?

9. Once alone after the play-within-a-play, Claudius bemoans his crimes and falls to his knees in prayer. But at the end of the scene, what does he say about his praying?

10. What is the setting (time and place) at the beginning of the day?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Research the concept of "hamartia" or "tragic flaw." Write an essay in which you explain this concept and apply it to Hamlet or one of the other major characters in this play. Make sure you support your thesis with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 2

Sigmund Freud put forward the idea of the "Oedipus complex," based on the character of Oedipus from Greek tragedy. Freud also asserted that Hamlet has a serious Oedipus complex. Research the idea of the Oedipus complex and write an essay in which you do the following:

-- Explain what the Oedipus complex is.

-- State whether or not you think Hamlet has an Oedipus complex.

-- Support your view with information from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Study some of the basics of Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" and apply them to the political situation in Denmark. What would Machiavelli say about Claudius? Polonius? Fortinbras? Hamlet?

(see the answer keys)

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