Questions and Answers for Hamlet

Hamlet

In act 1, scene 3, of Hamlet, what is Polonius's advice to Laertes?

Polonius gives his son, Laertes, lots of advice prior to Laertes leaving Denmark to return to the European continent. He says, Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought thy act...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2020 1:33 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

Why does Hamlet tell Ophelia to go "to a nunnery," and what does he give as his reason?

Though the precise meaning of Hamlet's outburst is by no means clear, particularly owing to the double meaning of "nunnery," there is no denying that his words are positively dripping with...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2020 1:46 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

Explain the significance of Hamlet's soliloquy in act 2, scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. (Please include...

Hamlet's soliloquy is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, he made a pledge to his father's ghost to act swiftly to avenge his father's murder. In the soliloquy, Hamlet expresses anger at...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2015 8:34 am UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

Why didn't Hamlet kill Claudius when he had the chance at the end of act 3, scene 3?

Now might I do it pat, now he is praying;And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven,And so am I revenged. (3.3.76-78) In these opening lines of his famous speech in act 3, scene 3 of...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2020 11:36 am UTC

6 educator answers

Hamlet

What is the importance of the gravedigger scene in the story of Hamlet?  

In act 5, scene 1 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, often referred to as the "gravedigger scene" or the "Alas, poor Yorick" scene, not only does Shakespeare provide the audience with a scene of comic...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2019 5:32 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

What literary devices are used in the "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet?

Hamlet’s most celebrated soliloquy is particularly full of metaphors and arresting visual images. We have the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” taking arms against a sea of troubles (a...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 6:05 am UTC

5 educator answers

Hamlet

What does it mean when Ophelia says, “Lord, we know what we are, but not what we may be." How do these ideas relate...

One should understand that Ophelia, at this point, is experiencing a mental breakdown. She has been confused by Hamlet's ambiguous words and actions and has been admonished by both her father and...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2015 3:21 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What does "time is out of joint" mean to Hamlet?

As always when examining a quotation, it's important to know the precise context in which it was uttered. In the case of this particular quotation from Act 1, Scene 5 of Hamlet, the title character...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2020 10:49 am UTC

6 educator answers

Hamlet

What does "A little more than kin, and less than kind" mean?

When Hamlet's father, King Hamlet, dies suddenly and unexpectedly, Hamlet comes home for the funeral. Close on the heels of the funeral—so close that Hamlet can darkly joke that Claudius uses...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2018 11:53 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

How does Claudius react to Hamlet's play?

In act three, scene two, Hamlet has the players reenact his father's assassination during the play The Murder of Gonzago in order to unveil Claudius's innocence or guilt in the death of his father....

Latest answer posted December 19, 2019 11:30 am UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

How Did King Hamlet Die

Well, let us look at the actual text. In this way, we can see the ghost's description of his death first proclaimed as "murder most foul." First, the ghost sets the scene and gets right to the...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2016 11:08 am UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

"I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams." -...

Hamlet has been, up to this point, a relatively sane individual. He seemed to do all the expected things for a young prince. I think that the clues in this passage are about his royalty and...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2010 12:04 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

Metaphors In Hamlet

The famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy is full of metaphors as well. The whole first section of the speech is using the stock metaphor of death as sleep. Hamlet says, "To die: to sleep; / No...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2010 12:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What's the meaning of this quote from Hamlet: "We're oft to blame and this is just too much proved that with...

The literal meaning of this quotation from Hamlet is that people are often hypocrites. We use an appearance of religious devotion and piety to cover the evil in ourselves. This sounds like one of...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2020 10:45 am UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

What happens to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two of Hamlet's friends who agree to work for King Claudius but become the unfortunate victims of his wicked plot to kill the prince. When Rosencrantz and...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2020 1:36 pm UTC

5 educator answers

Hamlet

Why Does Claudius Send Hamlet To England

Claudius first decides to send Hamlet to England because he's afraid of what Hamlet knows about his murdered father, and because Claudius thinks that a change of scenery might help cure his...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2019 9:23 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

Why does Hamlet kill Polonius?

In act three, scene two, Hamlet has the perfect opportunity to kill Claudius but refrains from taking action because Claudius is in the middle of praying. Hamlet justifies his lack of action by...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2019 4:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What are some quotations from Hamlet that indicate that Hamlet wants to kill Claudius at the right moment, when he is...

I'll just add a bit to sfwriter's excellent answer above, concerning Shakespeare's Hamlet. When Hamlet decides not to kill Claudius while the king is at prayer because he doesn't want to send the...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2010 3:18 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

Why does Hamlet decide to pretend to be mad? After his interview with his father's ghost, Hamlet makes Horatio and...

If Hamlet pretends to be mad he is only going to attract more attention to himself. Everybody will be watching him and gossiping about him. How is this going to help him plot against Claudius?...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2012 12:13 pm UTC

9 educator answers

Hamlet

What is the meaning of the following quote? "My words fly up, My thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never...

Effectively, what Claudius is saying here is that he has not been praying in earnest, and therefore God will not hear his words. Claudius says that his "words fly up," as he offers them to heaven,...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2017 9:21 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

How does Hamlet react to the death of his father in Hamlet?

Hamlet is utterly devastated about his father's death and is disgusted that his mother, Gertrude, has already married his uncle in less than two months after King Hamlet's death. Prince Hamlet...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2017 2:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

In Hamlet, what does Hamlet mean when he says, "I am too much i' the sun"?

Hamlet is being sarcastic in regards to his new relationship with Claudius. Two months ago, Claudius was his uncle, now he is Hamlet's step-father. That is kind of mind-boggling and gross to us,...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2010 10:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

In which act and scene does Hamlet say/decide to act crazy? I am writing a paper over Hamlet

There is little doubt that Hamlet's madness is indeed feigned. He explicitly mentions this in act 1, scene 5 when he refers to putting "an antic disposition on." But there are further instances...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2017 2:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What is "The Murder of Gonzago" in Hamlet, II.ii?

Hamlet tells the audience in act 2, scene 2 that he will have the players, who arrive at Elsinore in this scene, "Play something like the murder of my father / Before mine uncle." He intends, in...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2017 3:59 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

How did Ophelia die in William Shakespeare's Hamlet?

In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Ophelia is the daughter of the king's counselor, Polonius, and the woman Hamlet loves. Whether or not Hamlet's love for Ophelia is real, it is clear that Ophelia...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2013 5:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

What does Claudius say he gained by killing King Hamlet?

In act 3, scene 3, Polonius leaves Claudius by himself to pray at his altar, where Claudius admits his motivation for killing his King Hamlet. Interestingly, Claudius mentions that he will not ask...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2017 3:13 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

What is the Hecuba speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet about?

This soliloquy at the end of Act II scene ii shows Hamlet considering the way the acting he has just witnessed was able to access such powerful depths of emotion even though the performance was...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2012 4:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

Why does Hamlet call Polonius a fishmonger?

In Act II, scene ii, of Hamlet, Polonius approaches Hamlet to incite a display of Hamlet's madness to be able to give confirmation and explanation of it to Queen Gertrude and King Claudius. When...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2008 5:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

What advice does Polonius give his son, Laertes, in Hamlet?

In Act 1, Scene 3 of Hamlet, Laertes is about to embark for France to attend the university. His father Polonius gives him the following famous lines of advice. Give thy thoughts no tongue,Nor any...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2014 10:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

Hamlet tries to kill Claudius three times. What are they?  

The first of Hamlet's three attempts to kill Claudius takes place in act 3, scene 3. Claudius is kneeling down at prayer, seeking forgiveness for the murder of his brother, old King Hamlet. Hamlet...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2020 12:50 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

Act II Scene 2, What use does Hamlet plan to make of the players? Act II Scene 2

At the end of act 2, scene 2, Hamlet describes how he plans on using the actors to confirm that Claudius murdered his father. When the group of actors arrive, Hamlet plans for them to perform the...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2018 8:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

Why did Hamlet pretend to be crazy?

It's important to note that some literary analysts don't think Hamlet's madness is an act but that he is literally driven crazy by his life which is spinning out of control on all fronts. Still,...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2019 11:59 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

In act 4 of Hamlet, what do Ophelia's songs imply?  

From early in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia's brother, Laertes, and her father, Polonius, express concern to Ophelia about her relationship with Hamlet. The first time Ophelia appears in the play,...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2020 4:02 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

In Hamlet, why does Polonius send Reynaldo after Laertes?

This is what Polonius has to say about that: “What was I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say something! Where did I leave?” In other words, not even Polonius really knows why he sends a...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2008 11:04 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What are some of Hamlet's internal conflicts?

One internal conflict is his seeming fear of action; this results from his confusion over expectations of the Ghost and expectations of his religion. He wants to avenge his father's death, but...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2008 7:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

In Act II of Hamlet, why does Hamlet call Polonius a "fishmonger"?

Hamlet's first reason for calling Polonius a fishmonger is probably to make the old man think he is insane--i.e. that he really doesn't recognize him but thinks he is a complete stranger. Hamlet...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2014 10:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What moral lessons can be learned from Shakespeare's Hamlet?

Shakespeare's Hamlet is full of moral instructions. For example, there is Polonius' famous advice to his son Laertes in Act 1, Scene 3. Polonius is portrayed as old and rather senile. Hamlet calls...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2013 6:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

How does Ophelia take the news of her father’s death in Hamlet?

The last time we see Ophelia on stage, prior to her father's murder by Hamlet, is just before the start of the play by which Hamlet hopes to get his uncle/stepfather, Claudius, to betray himself as...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2016 4:44 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

Why does Hamlet call the world "an unweeded garden"?

Hamlet is comparing humanity to the things growing in an unweeded garden that grows to seed. Such neglected gardens are commonly seen where houses have been standing vacant for a long time. Hamlet...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2016 12:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

What Happens At The End Of Hamlet

Hamlet accepts Laertes' challenge to a duel. Hamlet is pricked with Laertes sword, which is laced with poison. They take a break and the King urges Hamlet to drink from the poisoned cup....

Latest answer posted March 9, 2009 7:20 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What is Hamlet's tragic flaw?

What is Hamlet's tragic flaw? What is Hamlet's tragic flaw? Many believe that Hamlet's tragic flaw is his inability to make a decision, which leads to his inability to act. His questioning of...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2012 10:59 pm UTC

14 educator answers

Hamlet

What is the significance of this line spoken by Polonius in Act 2, scene 2, of Hamlet? "Though this be madness, yet...

The key to understanding the meaning of this line is the word "method." In this case, it should be taken to mean "purpose" or "artfulness." Read this way, what Polonius is saying is more like...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2009 2:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

What does the ghost tell Hamlet to do in the early part of Hamlet?

In act 1, scene 5, the ghost of Hamlet's father urges the prince to seek revenge. At first, Hamlet expresses pity for the ghost's plight, but the ghost tells him not to feel bad for him. Instead,...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2020 4:34 pm UTC

5 educator answers

Hamlet

Does Hamlet feel guilty about killing Polonius? Is there a quote for it?

Hamlet kills Polonius by mistake, but he feels no guilt for killing him. After staging the "Mousetrap," or the play with in the play, to test his theory that Claudius planned and carried out the...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 1:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

Dramatic Irony In Hamlet

In act 2, scene 2, Polonius reveals his belief that the cause of Hamlet's madness is that Hamlet is in love with Ophelia. Polonius previously told Ophelia (his daughter) to break things off with...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2018 1:14 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

Describe Hamlet's behavior towards Polonius.

As was mentioned in the previous post, Hamlet does not respect or admire Polonius throughout the play. He believes that Polonius is an old fool. In Act Two, Scene 2, Hamlet disrespects Polonius to...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2017 10:15 am UTC

2 educator answers

Hamlet

What are some examples of irony in Hamlet? Mainly in the first 3 acts of the play, what are some examples of dramatic...

Irony creates such pleasure in the reader because we like to feel smart -- like we know more than everyone else. Sometimes we know more story facts; sometimes we appreciate a particular tone of...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2011 10:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

Hamlet

In "Hamlet", when does Claudius admit he is guilty during prayer?

Claudius is overcome by guilt in Act lll, Scene 3. Before he kneels down to pray for redemption, he utters a long-winded monologue in which he confesses his crime. Claudius states that his crime is...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2016 9:26 am UTC

3 educator answers

Hamlet

What is the significance of this passage from Hamlet? "Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye...

This quote is instrumental in establishing Gertrude's character. In the lines preceding this one, Claudius has asked Hamlet why "the clouds still hang on [him]," or why he is still acting so...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2020 12:10 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Hamlet

How does Hamlet escape from the ship?

Hamlet is on board a ship bound for England. At some point during the voyage the ship is attacked by pirates. By this time, Hamlet has read the letter from Claudius to the king of England...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2017 9:22 am UTC

3 educator answers

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