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I need 10-15 discusion questions and answers over act 5 of hamlet.

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varsitytiger | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2009 at 3:51 AM via web

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I need 10-15 discusion questions and answers over act 5 of hamlet.

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neneta | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 23, 2009 at 10:19 PM (Answer #1)

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Your first question will be: Does act V put an end to the internal and external conflicts that Hamlet experiences. Is Hamlet ready to kill Claudius, and finally revenge his father´s death?

The answer is yes. Hamlet has matured, thus killing his uncle seems more natural, as Hamlet sees him as “the canker of our nature”, a strong metaphor suggesting that Claudius is the cancer in the state of Denmark. Conclusively, killing Claudius, Hamlet exerts an act of justice. He feels less guilty in that he considers Claudius a corrupt person, who might cause harm to other people.

The second question concerns the beginning of Act V. Why do the gravediggers joke and sing, in a mournful situation? After all, they are preparing Ophelia’s grave. The language of Shakespeare is ironic and he often uses his wit in grave scenes. As an example, one gravedigger says that digging is the oldest trade in the world:” There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditches, and grave-makers: they hold up Adam’s profession”(V,i)

The third question is : how the other characters regard Ofelia´s suicide? Considering that the characters are catholic, suicide is viewed as a mortal sin. According to Catholicism, people must bear life´s adversities until they die.  However, the circumstances of Ophelia´s suicide are different. Since Hamlet rejected her, she has become insane. Queen Gertrude even says “sweet of the sweets: farewell. / I think thou shoudst have been my Hamlet´s wife.” (Vii) This shows how Ophelia’s suicide is understandable.

The fourth question regards Hamlet´s attitude. By showing surprise and bewilderment with Ophelias´death, is he still feigned madness? Being a complex character who has acted strangely many times, one cannot be sure. However he deliverers a love discourse in honor to Ofelia: “I loved Ofelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum” (V, i).

The fifth question is : why does Laertes fight against Hamlet? Laertes is still hurt by Hamlet´s treatment of Ofelia, which caused her insanity and her death. On the other side, the hostility between the two characters prepares the atmosphere for the tragic events that follow.

The sixth question is: what is the meaning of the fencing match? This match should be harmless and inoffensive. However, it turns into carnage. The fencing match is just a pretext for Claudius to murder Hamlet.

While Laertes is dying, does Laertes forgive Hamlet? Laertes pardons Hamlet when he says: “Exchange forgiveness with me noble Hamlet” (V,ii). Laertes says those last words before dying.

The eighth question is why does the queen drink the poisonous wine? She is unaware of Claudius ´plans to kill Hamlet, thus Gertrude’s death is another disastrous event in the play, since she drinks the wine without any suspiciousness.

The ninth question refers to Gertrude’s last words “no, no the drink, the drink-o my dear Hamlet…” (V,ii). What is the meaning of these words? Here, Gertrude shows her concern for Hamlet and she might want to warn Hamlet against Claudius

How does Hamlet kill Claudius?  Hamlet stabs Claudius. After so many hesitations, Hamlet finds the right circumstances to kill Claudius, during a fencing match.

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neneta | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 23, 2009 at 10:22 PM (Answer #2)

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How does Hamlet show his anger against Claudius and how does he show despise for the king? He insults the king calling him incestuous and murderous. In addition, Hamlet doesn´t show clemency for his uncle. While Claudius is dying, Hamlet accuses him: “Here thou incestuous, murdereous, damned Dane. /drink of this poisonous…”(v,ii)

What does Hamlet say to Horatio after the deaths of Gertrude, Claudius, and Laertes, and what is the significance of his words? Hamlet confesses to Horatio that he wants to die too. Since he has accomplished his duty, he lost his joy of living. Hamlet had pondered many times about suicide. Viewing that Claudius is revenged, Hamlets sees his mission accomplished. Since Ophelia is death, he does not have anyone he loves. Hamlet is firmly resolved to die.

What is the function of Osric in the play? Osric is the messenger of the king, thus he brings the recent news. As an arbitrator, he sets the fencing match between Laertes and Hamlet.

If the fencing match was supposed to be just a regular match, why does it finish in carnage? The fencing match is a pretext for revenge. All the characters in the match have motives for revenge and animosity.

Finally, who is the winner in this play?  In a way all characters in the play are losers in some way or another. However, Fortimbras becomes the new king of Denmark, thus we can see him as triumphant and victorious man.

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