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

2. What does Horatio say the ghost might do to Hamlet?

3. Hamlet says "The time is out of joint: O cursed spite/ That ever I was born to set it right!" What does that mean?

4. What does Polonius ask Reynaldo to give to his son?

5. After the play, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Claudius meet to discuss Hamlet. Polonius joins them. What does he tell Claudius?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. After the play-within-a-play, where is Hamlet asked to go? Who asks him to go there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

At one point, Hamlet says "Words, words, words," and while there are a lot of words in this play, people use those words to manipulate or control each other, rather than to tell each other the truth. What theme or lesson can be drawn from this play about the important of words and language? Support your thesis with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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