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. After hearing about Hamlet's strange behavior, what does Polonius say about his own decisions?

2. After welcoming them to Elsinore, what does Claudius ask Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to do?

3. In Act 2, Scene 1, what does Ophelia say about Hamlet's clothes?

4. Does Hamlet think the ghost can harm him?

5. What is the public explanation of the last king's death?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Hamlet act towards Ophelia during the play-within-a-play?

2. Who does the ghost tell Hamlet NOT to seek revenge on?

3. What is the setting (time and place) of Act 1, Scene 4?

4. When Hamlet first sees the ghost, he tries to talk to it. How does the ghost respond?

5. In Act 2, Scene 1, how does Ophelia describe Hamlet's appearance?

6. Why does Claudius claim he cannot seek forgiveness for his crimes?

7. Early in the play, Laertes gives Ophelia advice about her love life. What does she say in response?

8. As they watch for the ghost in Act 1, Scene 4, Hamlet and his companions hear a noise offstage. What noise do they hear and how does Hamlet explain it?

9. Polonius sends Reynaldo to Laertes with very specific instructions. What does Polonius tell Reynaldo to do, and how does Polonius tell him to do it?

10. During Hamlet's first conversation with the ghost, the ghost asks for revenge. Who does the ghost want revenge on and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of irony, dramatic and otherwise, throughout the play. How does Shakespeare use irony to make his scenes more effective?

Essay Topic 2

One of the major themes in the play is connected to ears, hearing, and trusting what you hear. Identify one or two important moments in each act when that theme comes up. Explain the moment, why it is important, and how it contributes to the overall theme.

Essay Topic 3

Shakespeare is well known for adding comic characters to his most serious plays. In Hamlet, these characters may include Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Osric, and the gravediggers. Choose one or two of these characters/pairs of characters. Identify how they add comic relief to the script and at what point in the action does Shakespeare include them. How is that scene changed by having humor included?

(see the answer keys)

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