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I am having trouble with some character matching for the play "Hamlet"The three clues...

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xdoveeyes | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 14, 2009 at 6:39 AM via web

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I am having trouble with some character matching for the play "Hamlet"

The three clues are names: Hamlet, "heir to the throne"; feels the "readiness is all"; and part of "play within the play," and the characters to match to those clues are Claudius, Hamlet, and Gonzago.

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bank4320 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 14, 2009 at 7:33 AM (Answer #1)

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If you look up the scene in Hamlet in which the play within the play takes place (Act 3, Scene 2), then look to the lines in which Hamlet introduces the characters: "This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna.  Gonzago is the Duke's name, his wife Baptista" (3.2.217-220).  Based on this, it is reasonable to assume that Gonzago is the "part of 'play within the play'" to which the question refers.  If you look in Act 5, Scene 2, you will notice that, around line 160, Hamlet says: "There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.  If it be now, 'tis not to come.  If it be not to come, it will be now.  If it be not now, yet it will come.  The readiness is all.  Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes" (5.2.c. 160); hence, if the matching question gives a quotation, it is quoting Hamlet when it says "readiness is all".  For the third match, which from what I can make out, asks who is Hamlet's heir to the throne, the answer would have to be Claudius (though the Hamlet in this case is not the Hamlet of the plays title, but rather the protagonist's father, King Hamlet.)

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