Act I Questions and Answers
1. Why does the Ghost of Hamlet’s father appear but not speak to the officers on sentinel duty?
2. What do Ghostly apparitions usually portend, according to these witnesses?
3. What is the content of the dispatches Claudius has sent with Voltemand and Cornelius to the King of Norway?
4. In his soliloquy, what are Hamlet’s reasons for objecting to his mother’s remarriage?
5. What advice does Laertes give to Ophelia as he says farewell to her prior to his departure for Paris?
6. What advice does she give Laertes in return?
7. What is the thrust of the advice Polonius gives Laertes as his son prepares to leave?
8. What does Polonius instruct Ophelia to do regarding Hamlet?
9. What does the apparition tell Hamlet?
10. What two-part oath does Hamlet extract from his companions following the encounter with the Ghost?
1. Horatio believes he has offended it by demanding that it speak, and Marcellus believes his threat of violence was ill-conceived on a spirit, which is “as the air, invulnerable.” Horatio and Marcellus also recall the folk wisdom that the cock’s crowing sends spirits to their “confine.” Additionally, in the season just before Christmas, the cock crows all night, and “no spirit dare stir abroad . . . So hallowed and so gracious is that time.”
2. Horatio remembers similar Ghostly appearances were reported shortly before Julius Caesar’s fall, and believes the Ghost to be a...
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