Act V-Hamlet scenes i & ii:1. What question exists about Ophelia’s death?
2. What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? (see l. 42)
3. As Hamlet watches the grave digger throw skulls out of the grave, he speculates on what each one might have been. How does this line of questioning fit in with Hamlet’s musings earlier in the play?
4. How do we know how old Hamlet is? Does this conflict with earlier speculation or have that many years passed in the play?
5. During Ophelia’s funeral, Laertes shouts, “I tell thee, churlish priest, A ministering angel shall my sister be/ When thou liest howling.” (l 235). Why is Laertes upset?
6. According to Hamlet, how much did he himself love Ophelia, as compared to how much Laertes loved her? Do you believe Hamlet here? Why or why not?
7. What did the letter that Rosencrantz & Guildenstern carried order “England” to do w/ Hamlet?
8. Hamlet tells Horatio that the fate of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern was “not near my conscience”. How does he feel about what happened to them? How do you feel about Hamlet’s action with his friends?
9. Hamlet tells Horatio that “there’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.” (l. 220). How does this line express how Hamlet feels, not only about backing out of the duel w/ Laertes, but about life in general?
10. Hamlet tells Laertes before the duel that his misbehavior towards him was called by his “madness”. Hamlet himself says, “Was’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet”. How do you explain this? Is he is just saying this or is this a real apology?
11. What words of Laertes reveal that he is regretful of his role in Claudius’s plan? See line 323 of scene ii. Does he ever “forgive” Hamlet for killing him as well as his father? Find the lines.
12. How does Gertrude die? What does this reveal to you about Claudius’s feelings for her? Did he have the chance to save her? What would have been the consequences of revealing his own treachery?
13. Horatio explains that “I am more an antique roman than a Dane.” What does Horatio want to do?
14. Hamlet claims that “a wounded name...shall live behind me!” Who is he counting on to right his reputation in the world?
15. Who does Hamlet select, in his dying voice, as Denmark’s new king? How does Hamlet die? What does he want Horatio to do (specifically)? See lines 375 of scene ii.
16. Who are Hamlet’s foils in the play? What does Hamlet mean in line 272 of scene ii when he tells Laertes, “I’ll be your foil. Laertes, in mine ignorance/ Your skill shall, like a star I’ th’ darkest night, / Stick fiery off indeed.”
17. Look at Fortinbras’ speech at the end of the play. What are his plans for honoring Hamlet? What are Horatio’s plans for Hamlet’s funeral? (see lines 415)
18. Horatio asks Fortinbras, “What is t you would see? If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.” What events fit into the “woe” category? Which ones fit into the “wonder” category?
19. Horatio names the categories of events even more specifically in lines 415-430. What are they?
“Goodnight, sweet Prince! And flights of angels sign thee to thy rest.”