Hamlet Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Some sailors arrive at Elsinore from a pirate ship in Act 4, Scene 6. Who do they deliver a letter to?

3. At the end of Act 4, Scene 2, what does Hamlet agree to do?

4. What additional method does Claudius suggest so that even if Hamlet wins the duel with Laertes, Hamlet will still die?

5. Who is Gertrude truly loyal to?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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