Hamlet | ENGL433 | Academic Career & Executive Search

1.  Who provided the basic story for the play?

a. Raphael Holinshed    b. Thomas Kyd  c. Saxo-Grammaticus 

2.  Where is the play mainly set?

a.  a castle in Denmark  b.  a boat to England  c. a graveyard  d. battlements

3.  One theme of the play is sin and redemption. Explain.

4.  Hamlet remarks ‘Frailty, thy name is woman’ (1.2.146). What is he talking about? Why does he apply this to Gertrude?

5.  Some critics say that Hamlet’s grief over his father’s death is ‘in excess of the facts’. Do you agree? Why/why not?

6.  What is the purpose of The Mousetrap for Hamlet? (2 answers)

a.  to trap Claudius  b. to showcase Hamlet’s writing talents    c. to confirm the ghost’s claim     d. light relief    e. mise-en-abyme

7.  What do ghosts mean to Elizabethans? How does Shakespeare use the Ghost in Hamlet?

8.  Hamlet seeks revenge for his father’s death. So do Laertes and Fortinbras. Who is the fourth character who seeks revenge?

9.  ‘Thus conscience does make cowards of us all’ (3. 1. 83). What does Hamlet mean by this?

10.  Imagine you are Polonius. Advise your sister, who is about to enter GUST. Use his ideas from 1. 3. 58-80, translated into modern English. 

11.  Ophelia says ‘you must wear your rue with a difference’ (4. 5. 179). What might she mean?

12. Did Gertrude know about King Hamlet’s murder? Why/why not?

12.  Why does Hamlet fight with Laertes over Ophelia’s grave (5. 1. 225)?

13.  Which of these is not an old friend of Hamlet’s?

a.  Horatio  b. Rosencrantz  c. Guildernstern  d. Fortinbras

14.  Hamlet says he knows ‘a hawk from a handsaw’ (2. 2. 348). Does he? Give reasons for your answer.

15.  ‘There is a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will’ (10-11. 5.2). True for Hamlet, or not?

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