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

2. What time of day is it when the play starts?

3. As Hamlet and the others wait to see the ghost in Act 1, Scene 4, what do they hear in the distance?

4. In Act 2, Scene 1, why is Ophelia frightened?

5. How does Horatio describe the ghost to Hamlet?

Short Essay Questions

1. Before Laertes leaves Elsinore, Polonius gives him a lot of advice. What does Polonius say is the most important piece of advice he can give?

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

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

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

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

6. Does the Ghost at the beginning of the play talk to the watchers?

7. 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?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose a speech by any character that is at least 20 lines long. In an essay, explain the context of the speech within the play, then analyze the speech. Identify its major themes or points and discuss the use of language in the speech. Is there specific imagery used? What effect does that imagery have? Why is there a speech at that point in the text? What purpose does it serve, and why is it long instead of just a couple of lines?

Essay Topic 2

Is Hamlet really crazy? Take a stand on this topic and support your stance with specific examples from throughout the text.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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