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. Claudius tells Laertes there are two reasons why he has not ordered Hamlet killed. What are those reasons?

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

3. After he leaves the ship, how will Hamlet make his way back to Elsinore?

4. As Laertes and Claudius discuss how to kill Hamlet, what news does Gertrude bring?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

5. Whose burial does Hamlet witness in Act 5?

6. 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?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose a relatively minor character, such as Horatio, and make an argument about why that character is vital to the plot and themes of Hamlet. Choose wisely; some characters will make this essay easier than others.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Gertrude and Ophelia, focusing on the following points:

-- To what extent is each of them a victim of what happens?

-- To what extent does each of them cause what happens?

-- Does Gertrude affect Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia? If so, how? Does Ophelia affect Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude? If so, how?

-- How do the other men in the play treat Gertrude and Ophelia? How does that contribute to our overall sense of them? Focus specifically on the ghost, Claudius, Laertes, and Polonius.

-- Does it matter that these are essentially the only two female characters in the play? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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