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. Who asks Hamlet to sit nearby during the play? Who does Hamlet prefer to sit with?

2. What other "crime" has been committed against the last king?

3. What is the Prince of Norway's name?

4. In Act 1, Scene 5, what does the ghost ask Hamlet to do?

5. Where is Elsinore in Act 1, Scene 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. After Polonius's death, what does Gertrude tell Claudius about Hamlet?

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

3. After hearing Ophelia describe Hamlet's behavior in Act 2, Scene 1, what does Polonius decide is the cause of Hamlet's behavior and what does he decide to do about it?

4. When Hamlet rants about love and marriage to Ophelia, he is talking about more than just his own relationship with her. What else is Hamlet talking about?

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

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

7. What does Hamlet ask Horatio to do during the play-within-a-play?

8. The first time Claudius appears on stage, he gives a speech describing the current state of affairs in Denmark. He identifies and explains three major events. What are those events?

9. Hamlet finally confronts his mother in Act 3, Scene 4, speaking harshly to her as he tries to force her to realize her own complicity in the crime. What happens to change his tone?

10. Who is Yorick, and why does he come up in Act 5?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are so many characters in a Shakespeare play that it is sometimes easy to lose track of them. Find a scene in which an important character is mostly silent -- for example, the scene where Polonius and Claudius spy on Hamlet and Ophelia. Why is that character still in the scene? How is the audience's sense of the scene changed by knowing that character is present? How does the character make its silent presence felt?

Essay Topic 2

In the play we see both soliloquies (someone talking to themselves or the audience) and monologues (a single character talking to other characters). Compare and contrast the soliloquies and monologues of a single character. How is Claudius different in monologue than in soliloquy? How is Hamlet different? What is Shakespeare saying about the character's ability to be honest with him/herself and with others?

Essay Topic 3

Describe how Shakespeare uses foreshadowing to prepare his audience for the very bloody end of the play. Identify specific examples from the first four acts of the script.

(see the answer keys)

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