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. When Laertes returns after his father's death, what does he want?

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

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

4. Hamlet's attitude towards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern changes over the course of the play. By Act 4, Scene 2, what does he say about them?

5. How does Gertrude die?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Act 4, Scene 5, Claudius is almost overthrown by a violent mob. Who does the mob want to be king in his place?

2. After Polonius's death, who is sent to find Hamlet?

3. As Hamlet travels to the boat for England, what or who does Hamlet find on a plain in Denmark?

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

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

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

7. In Act 4, Scene 3, what does Claudius reveal to the audience about his plans for Hamlet in England?

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

9. Who is Yorick, and why does he come up in Act 5?

10. How does Hamlet avoid going to England?

Essay Topics

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

In the play we see both soliloquies (someone talking to themselves or the audience) and monologues (a single character talking to other characters). Compare and contrast the soliloquies and monologues of a single character. How is Claudius different in monologue than in soliloquy? How is Hamlet different? What is Shakespeare saying about the character's ability to be honest with him/herself and with others?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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