Hamlet Test | Final 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. When Hamlet and his mother finally talk in Gertrude's room, she says, "Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended." Hamlet responds, "Mother, you have my father much offended." Why is that dialogue important?

2. When Claudius finds out Hamlet has killed someone, what is he most worried about?

3. After talking to Hamlet in her room, what does Gertrude say about Hamlet?

4. At the start of Act 4, Scene 4, the audience finally sees a character that has been talked about since the start of the play. Who is this character?

5. How does Laertes die?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Claudius hears about Polonius's death, what is his first thought?

2. When Hamlet hears about Fortinbras and his attacks on Poland, what does he say about Fortinbras and about himself?

3. Who is the first person in Elsinore to find out that Hamlet is on his way back to Denmark instead of going to England? How does that person find out?

4. How does Hamlet avoid going to England?

5. In Act 4, Scene 3, what does Claudius reveal to the audience about his plans for Hamlet in England?

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

7. After Polonius's death, Ophelia comes to see Gertrude. What do we learn about Ophelia in that scene?

8. In the last scene of Act 3, Polonius is killed. At the end of the scene, what happens to his body?

9. List the major characters who die during the last scene of the play.

10. After Polonius's death, who is sent to find Hamlet?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The play focuses a lot on death. There is the death of the old king and Hamlet's "excessive" mourning. There is the appearance of the ghost and its description of the afterlife. There is Hamlet's obsession with suicide and Ophelia's apparent suicide. There is the entire graveyard scene, with its varied perspectives on death. Shakespeare puts forth many different perspectives on this topic in the play. Choose one belief or perspective that is presented in the play; explain it and identify two or three instances in the play where that belief is supported or represented.

Essay Topic 2

At the start of the play, Hamlet is mourning his father's death and his mother's hasty re-marriage. It is hard to remember, sometimes, that Hamlet has actually lost something else quite valuable: the throne. Hamlet never consistently expresses unhappiness at losing the throne, though he is reassured he can have it after Claudius's death. How would the play be different if Hamlet wanted to kill Claudius to gain control of the kingdom?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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