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. Laertes comes up with another idea to make sure his duel with Hamlet will result in Hamlet's death. What is it?

2. While explaining Hamlet's crime to his courtiers, why does Claudius say he has to be gentle with Hamlet?

3. What happens between Laertes and Hamlet in the graveyard scene?

4. What message is the Norwegian Captain supposed to deliver to Claudius in Act 4, Scene 4?

5. How does Hamlet manage to avoid his fate in England?

Short Essay Questions

1. After Polonius's death, what does Gertrude tell Claudius about Hamlet?

2. Hamlet finally confronts his mother in Act 3, Scene 4, speaking harshly to her as he tries to force her to realize her own complicity in the crime. What happens to change his tone?

3. At the end of the play, we learn of the death of two minor characters. Who are they, and how do we learn of their death?

4. How does Hamlet suggest that Claudius and his servants might find Polonius's body?

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

6. 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?

7. Whose burial does Hamlet witness in Act 5?

8. Hamlet calls Rosencrantz and Guildenstern "a sponge." Why does he say that?

9. What plan do Laertes and Claudius come up with in Act 4, Scene 7 to kill Hamlet?

10. In Act 4, Scene 5, Claudius is almost overthrown by a violent mob. Who does the mob want to be king in his place?

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

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 3

In 1887, Lord Action wrote, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Do you think Shakespeare would agree? Use examples from the play to support your thesis.

(see the answer keys)

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