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 Laertes returns after his father's death, what does he want?

2. When he is asked where his first victim's body is, what does Hamlet do?

3. How does Hamlet act after he has killed someone?

4. Who is "poor Yorick"?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shakespeare frequently attributes disease or unhappiness in "great ones" as a sign of disease or unhappiness in an entire community. In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," for example, the entire world is out-of-whack because the king and queen of the faeries are fighting. There is no question that the "great ones" in Hamlet are diseased/unhappy. How does that unhappiness manifest itself in the rest of the country? Provide specific examples from the play to support your thesis.

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

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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