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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. What additional method does Claudius suggest so that even if Hamlet wins the duel with Laertes, Hamlet will still die?
2. How does Gertrude die?
3. Hamlet finally tells Claudius how to find the body of his first victim: "But indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby." How is Hamlet saying that they might find the body?
4. What does Ophelia say about violets?
5. Claudius tells Laertes there are two reasons why he has not ordered Hamlet killed. What are those reasons?
Short Essay Questions
1. After Polonius's death, who is sent to find 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. As Hamlet travels to the boat for England, what or who does Hamlet find on a plain in Denmark?
4. After Polonius's death, what does Gertrude tell Claudius about Hamlet?
5. When Claudius hears about Polonius's death, what is his first thought?
6. 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?
7. In the last scene of Act 3, Polonius is killed. At the end of the scene, what happens to his body?
8. 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?
9. Whose burial does Hamlet witness in Act 5?
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?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the use of irony, dramatic and otherwise, throughout the play. How does Shakespeare use irony to make his scenes more effective?
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
There are so many characters in a Shakespeare play that it is sometimes easy to lose track of them. Find a scene in which an important character is mostly silent -- for example, the scene where Polonius and Claudius spy on Hamlet and Ophelia. Why is that character still in the scene? How is the audience's sense of the scene changed by knowing that character is present? How does the character make its silent presence felt?
This section contains 859 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)