Characters in Hamlet

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Mathis/ World Lit I, Fall 2011
Hamlet Discussion and Quiz Review
In groups of 3 or 4 students:
Find 4 specific details or quotations to support your answer to each question. There is not one correct answer; give your opinions and back them up. Everyone in a group doesn’t have to agree, but everyone should be able to back up his or her opinion. * How does Shakespeare create a mood of suspense, and sometimes horror, in the play? What different types of suspense (tension, anticipation) are set up in the play? * Is Hamlet a hero?

* Is Hamlet sane or insane at the end of the play?
* Is Gertrude a good mother and/or a good queen?
* Discuss the theme of revenge in the play? What other themes do you see in the play? * Which characters die and how do they die? Do they deserve their deaths (in the context of the play)? * Hamlet says, when considering his mother’s hasty marriage to Claudius, “Frailty, thy name is woman!” (I, ii, 146). Some critics say that Ophelia and Gertrude, the female characters in the play, are presented as weak. Do you agree or disagree? Why? * Shakespeare wrote before the science of psychology was developed and before psychology was applied in literature. He wrote before the invention of the novel and short story. What aspects of the play could we consider modern in terms of psychology? Is the play timeless? * How are Laertes and Fortinbras foils to Hamlet? Would you say that any other characters could be considered foil characters to Hamlet? * What is Horatio’s role or purpose in the play?

* Are you satisfied with the play’s conclusion? Does Hamlet (or the ghost of Hamlet’s father) get his revenge, and is that important?

ADVANCED QUESTIONS:
* Find several quotations throughout the play that enhance the mood of suspense, corruption, degeneration, and disillusionment. * What does this play say about human nature?
* How does Hamlet’s dialogue differentiate him from the other...
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