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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. What happens to Ophelia after her father's death?
3. What happens to Horatio at the end of the play?
4. Claudius asks Hamlet a second time about where they can find his victim. Hamlet responds, "In heaven; send hither to see: if your messenger find him not there, seek him i' the other place yourself." What other place is Hamlet suggesting Claudius visit?
5. As Gertrude lays flowers at Ophelia's grave, what does she say?
Short Essay Questions
1. After Polonius's death, Ophelia comes to see Gertrude. What do we learn about Ophelia in that scene?
2. As Hamlet travels to the boat for England, what or who does Hamlet find on a plain in Denmark?
3. Who is Yorick, and why does he come up in Act 5?
4. In Act 4, Scene 5, Claudius is almost overthrown by a violent mob. Who does the mob want to be king in his place?
5. 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?
6. 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?
7. How does Hamlet suggest that Claudius and his servants might find Polonius's body?
8. After Polonius's death, who is sent to find Hamlet?
9. Whose burial does Hamlet witness in Act 5?
10. What plan do Laertes and Claudius come up with in Act 4, Scene 7 to kill Hamlet?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
Essay Topic 2
Shakespeare is well known for adding comic characters to his most serious plays. In Hamlet, these characters may include Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Osric, and the gravediggers. Choose one or two of these characters/pairs of characters. Identify how they add comic relief to the script and at what point in the action does Shakespeare include them. How is that scene changed by having humor included?
Essay Topic 3
Choose a speech by any character that is at least 20 lines long. In an essay, explain the context of the speech within the play, then analyze the speech. Identify its major themes or points and discuss the use of language in the speech. Is there specific imagery used? What effect does that imagery have? Why is there a speech at that point in the text? What purpose does it serve, and why is it long instead of just a couple of lines?
This section contains 910 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)