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. Who does Hamlet kill in his mother's room?

2. Claudius suggests a duel between Laertes and Hamlet, but that type of duel usually is not deadly. What does Claudius suggest they do to injure Hamlet?

3. When Hamlet leaves his mother's room in Act 3, Scene 4, what does he take with him?

4. When Laertes returns after his father's death, what do the common people say about him?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Whose burial does Hamlet witness in Act 5?

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

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 avoid going to England?

5. As Hamlet travels to the boat for England, what or who does Hamlet find on a plain in Denmark?

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

7. Claudius tells Laertes that Hamlet is responsible for Polonius's death. Claudius says that there are two reasons why he cannot have Hamlet publicly arrested and punished. What are those two reasons?

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

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

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

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

Sigmund Freud put forward the idea of the "Oedipus complex," based on the character of Oedipus from Greek tragedy. Freud also asserted that Hamlet has a serious Oedipus complex. Research the idea of the Oedipus complex and write an essay in which you do the following:

-- Explain what the Oedipus complex is.

-- State whether or not you think Hamlet has an Oedipus complex.

-- Support your view with information from the text.

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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