Monday, January 31, 2011

Hamlet - Act 3, Study Questions

Scene Numero Uno:

1. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report that something is definitely wrong with Hamlet, but he won't tell them what it is and so they suspect he is up to something.

2. Claudius basically admits to killing Old Hamlet. He says that he can't make up for his actions or hide them in happiness any more than a harlot can hide her doings with make-up.

3. They put into action their plan of spying on Hamlet through using Ophelia and hiding.

4. Dismal, morose, gloomy, indecisive; Hamlet could either be talking about killing himself or his indecision on whether or not to take action and revenge.

5. Death is an unknown that you can't return from, and Hamlet isn't sure if he wants to take that big of a risk.

6. Ophelia betrayed him and cruelly handed him back his love. He also knows that Claudius and Polonius are watching them.

7. "Those that are married already - all but one - shall live." Claudius and Gertrude have just been married; Hamlet is threatening Claudius' life.

8. Claudius decides to send him to England under the idea that Hamlet is going to retrieve some tribute from England that is due for Denmark's protection against pirates.

Scene Two:

9. Horatio is just, well-balanced, even tempered, trustworthy, and knows of the ghost, so he'll be more willing to help Hamlet out when it concerns such matters.

10. Hamlet asks Horatio to watch Claudius's responses and emotions during the play so that they can judge what they mean together.

11. The king (Gonzago) has been acting all weird lately, and his wife (Baptista) is worried. They lay in some flowers and the queen talks about how she'll always love him and never marry another. The king tells her that she can't make promises like that because she won't keep then when the emotion has passed. The queen disagrees with him, and the king falls asleep. The queen leaves him there and along comes the king's nephew (Lucianus) who pours poison in the sleeping king's ear, killing him. The nephew then goes on to marry the queen.

12. He calls it "The Mouse-Trap" because he is using the play, altered a little by his handwritten speech, to trap Claudius in his sin and guilt.

13. Claudius leaves in the middle of the play, after the nephew shows up.

14. Hamlet compares himself to a recorder: Guildenstern can't never play him (get him to speak) with his lies, just as he can't play a recorder when he doesn't know how.

15. Hamlet says he'll talk cruelly to his mom and reproach her, but he won't kill her like he plans to kill Claudius.

Scene III:

1. Claudius plans to send Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet to England.

2. Polonius is going to spy on Hamlet and Gertrude by hiding behind and arras again (because that worked out so well last time...)

3. Claudius is admitting to his sin and acknowledges that it is wrong. He wants to be forgiven for his wrongdoing, but he doesn't want to give up everything he gained from it. Claudius prays for redemption and freedom from both guilt and the damnation of Hell if Hamlet kills him.

4. Claudius probably doesn't pray much, and Hamlet is surprised that he is praying at all. Hamlet finds it odd that he is praying for forgiveness from his sins because he didn't think Claudius really cared about it that much.

5. Hamlet doesn't kill Claudius because he wants to wait until he is ready for Hell. He doesn't want to take the chance of Claudius going to Heaven, so he is going to wait until he can catch Claudius in the act of some sin and then kill him, not while Claudius is praying.

Scene 4:

1. Polonius tells Gertrude to be straightforward and plain with Hamlet. He tells her that she must tell him how rude he has been and inform him that his attitude needs to change.

2. Polonius is the rat who was cunning, but he "squeaked" and gave himself away. Hamlet saying, "Dead for a ducat, dead!" means that he'll bet a ducat that he killed whoever was behind the curtain.

3. Hamlet is comparing his mother's marriage to his murder of Polonius, saying that what she did was worse than what he did. He is implying that Gertrude was in on the murder of his father.

4. Gertrude is claiming to have no idea what Hamlet is talking about is trying to preserve her innocence. She says she hasn't done anything to deserve such behavior from Hamlet. She is trying to use her authori-tay against Hamlet.

5. Hamlet describes Old Hamlet as beautiful and loved by the gods (like a god himself). Claudius is described as a mildew'd ear (of corn).

6. Hamlet is showing his mother how much better Old Hamlet was than Claudius is.

7. Well, it's pretty gross. Hamlet is describing, in nasty detail, Claudius and Gertrude's incestuousness. It's disturbing that he is even discussing this topic with his mom.

8. The ghost appears and tells Hamlet not to be concerned or fight with his mom, but to keep his mind on the true purpose: getting revenge on Claudius.

9. Hamlet talks about how habits can be either good or bad, but you can change them over time. This doesn't show his madness; it's a true statement about humanity. He also talks about Polonius and how people shouldn't spy on others or interfere in anyone else's business because it could have some dire repercussions (like death). This sounds a little mad. He mentions how old people (have no souls) don't have the capacity to love anymore because all there passion has faded. This is also a little mad, but overall, he's making some good points.

10. The first ghost is dressed all in armor and doesn't talk much. The second ghost is dressed in regular house clothes and talks more personally to Hamlet. The second ghost could be just a figment of Hamlet's imagination and evidence of his fall into complete and utter madness. It could also be the same ghost, or another spirit playing with Hamlet's mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment