Act III Questions and Answers

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  1. How does Hamlet treat Ophelia?
  2. What does Claudius decide to do about Hamlet?
  3. After watching Ophelia and Hamlet interact, what does Polonius decide to do next?
  4. How does Claudius react to the murder scene in the play?
  5. Why can’t Claudius pray?
  6. Why does Hamlet decide not to kill Claudius when he catches him praying?
  7. Why does Polonius insist on eavesdropping on Gertrude and Hamlet’s conversation?
  8. What does Hamlet do when he hears someone behind the tapestry in his mother’s room?
  9. What does Hamlet tell Gertrude to do?
  10. Why does the appearance of the ghost make Gertrude think Hamlet is mad?


  1. Hamlet is cruel to Ophelia and tells her that he never loved her.
  2. Claudius decides that Hamlet is too dangerous and unpredictable to have at court, so he decides to send him on a trip to England.
  3. Polonius decides that he should hide and listen in on a conversation between Hamlet and Gertrude.
  4. At the murder scene, Claudius abruptly stands up and leaves the room.
  5. Claudius says he cannot pray, because he feels guilty about his sins. He also is doubtful whether he can even receive heavenly forgiveness, since he is still reaping the rewards of his treacherous acts.
  6. Hamlet worries that if he kills Claudius during the very moment he is repenting for his sins, Claudius might go to heaven.
  7. Polonius does not think that Gertrude, being Hamlet’s mother, can impartially judge his state of mind.
  8. Hamlet thrusts his sword into the tapestry, killing the concealed Polonius.
  9. Hamlet urges his mother to repent for her sins and reject his uncle’s advances.
  10. Gertrude cannot see the ghost, and seeing Hamlet speaking to (seemingly) nothing convinces her that he is truly insane.

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