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. Which two characters is Laertes related to?

2. Before he returns to school, what does Laertes tell Ophelia about her boyfriend?

3. After Hamlet's behavior during the play-within-a-play, what do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern agree to do with Hamlet?

4. After listening to Ophelia's description of Hamlet, Polonius believes he has found the explanation for Hamlet's behavior. What does he decide to do next?

5. At the beginning of Act 2, what does Polonius ask Reynaldo to find out?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. 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?

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

8. Hamlet says "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt...." This soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 2, is the first introduction of a theme that Hamlet will talk about repeatedly in the play. What does he talk about doing or wanting to do in this soliloquy?

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

10. 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?

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

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

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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