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Suggested Essay Topics

Act I
1. Contrast the attitudes towards the death of the old King as expressed by Claudius and Hamlet.

2. Compare the advice given to Ophelia by Laertes and that given by Polonius.

Act II
1. Draw a character profile of Polonius from his interactions in this act with Reynaldo (Scene 1), Ophelia (Scene 1), Gertrude and Claudius (Scene 2), Hamlet (Scene 2), and the Players (Scene 2).

2. Compare/contrast the relationship which the King and Queen have with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to the relationship which Hamlet has with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as defined in Scene 2.

Act III
1. Discuss the thematic connection between Hamlet’s scene with Ophelia where he speaks of honesty, his speech to the Players on acting, and his speech to Horatio on flattery.

2. Compare Claudius’ thoughts on his own guilt as he tries to pray to Gertrude’s recognition of her guilt when confronted by Hamlet.

3. Discuss the grouping of characters from scene to scene in Act III, beginning with a crowded stage in Scene 1 and ending...

(The entire section is 322 words.)