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 is Claudius?

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

3. Once Hamlet follows the ghost, what do Hamlet's friends decide to do?

4. Polonius asks Claudius to arrange for Hamlet to go somewhere after the play's performance. Where is Hamlet supposed to go?

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

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. What is the point or theme of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech?

3. Laertes and Polonius are both concerned about Ophelia's romance. In Act 1, Scene 3, what do they tell her?

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

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

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

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

8. 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?

9. At the end of Act 1, Scene 1, what does Horatio say he will do next?

10. At the end of Act 1, Scene 5, what does Hamlet tell his friends about his future behavior?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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