Hamlet Test | Lesson Plans Final Test - Hard

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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Watching the troops attacking, Hamlet decides that he is less of a man than their leader. Why does he say that?

2. After witnessing Hamlet kill someone, Gertrude hurries to find Claudius. Who is he talking to when she comes in?

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

4. In Act 4, scene 4, while watching the troops and reflecting on his own behavior, what does Hamlet promise about his future actions?

5. What happens to Horatio at the end of the play?

Essay 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

Study some of the basics of Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" and apply them to the political situation in Denmark. What would Machiavelli say about Claudius? Polonius? Fortinbras? Hamlet?

Essay Topic 3

The question of suicide comes up repeatedly in the play. Hamlet mentions it on multiple occasions and Ophelia's death is potentially a suicide and questionable enough that her funeral rites are "maimed." Discuss the play's treatment of suicide, focusing on the following points:

-- How is suicide presented? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

-- Are there universal truths about death and suicide, as Hamlet seems to suggest in the "To be or not to be" speech? Or does the play contradict that by adding in Ophelia's suicide?

-- Do you think Ophelia does commit suicide? Why or why not?

-- Do you think Hamlet is essentially committing suicide at the end of the play? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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