Tuesday, October 26, 2010


IV, i
1. What can we infer about Gertrude's compliance with Hamlet's requests (III, iv)?
2. Why do you or don't you believe that Gertrude is deceiving Claudius?
2. How does Claudius respond to the death of Polonius. Does he understand the implications of what Hamlet did? Explain.
3. What does this scene reveal about Claudius' regency (39-41)?
IV, ii
1. What metaphor does Hamlet introduce in referring to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and what metaphor did Hamlet use in referring to them earlier in III, ii ?
IV, iii
1. Why is Claudius sending Hamlet to England.
2. Why does Claudius tell Rosencrantz and Guilenstern what the letter he has given them contains?
3. How does Hamlet speak to King Claudius? What does it reveal?
4. What do you think Claudius is keeping secret from Gertrude and why?
IV, iv
1. Why do you think Fortinbras enters the play at this point? (Remember the literary term foil ? - Go to the "FOIL Posting.")
2. What sort of judgement does the Captain make about the place they are fighting for? How does Hamlet describe it?
3. Where is Hamlet going when he meets the Captain?
IV, v
1. What do we learn about the state of Gertrude's soul from her aside?
2. Why do you think Shakespeare has Ophelia sing songs at this point in the play?  (Remember Susan's performance of them in class.) What affect do they have?
3. How does Laertes propose to revenge his father's death? How does this compare with Hamlet's?
4. With what is Claudius threatened? How do you think Claudius handles the emergency?
5. How does Laertes respond to Ophelia?
IV, vi
1. What surpriise is contained in the letter Horatio receives and read on stage? Where is Hamlet now?
IV, vii
1. How has Claudius convinced Laertes of his innocence?
2. Why in Hamlet's letter to Claudius does he say he wants to see him "alone"?
3. How will Claudius and Laertes use Laerte's reputation to get revenge?
4. What would Laertes do to get revenge? How does this compare to Hamlet?
5. How and why did Ophelia die?  (How does this differ from the way her death is described in V, i?)
6. How does Laertes respond to his sister's death?
  Happy Halloween 


  1. Quickly finishing a play and thoroughly comprehending and appreciating the complexity of what a playwright has created are two different things Raymond. Have some patience and share your insights about HAMLET with others on this blog and in class. I appreciate your impatience and desire to move on to the next play, but there's much to discuss and consider before moving on. I suggest you reread what you have already read. Every time I reread HAMLET I discover many things I didn't notice before, and I have read this play many times!

  2. This play is amazing! There's so much things going on at once. Shakespeare really outdone himself with this play. There are so much hidden messages or things you really have to think about to understand. Shakespeare uses lots of theatrical techniques and it really builds up to an amazing play!

  3. Hey Mr. Balgley, for number 2 in IV,i, I'm not too sure about the correct answer, but I think she is and isn't decieving him. She's decieving him by not giving him the absolute truth about the death of Polonius, but then she isn't decieving him because she's telling him the truth about Hamlet actually killing Polonius, and in other terms "rating" Hamlet out. So I'm not to sure. Could you respond.

  4. Put simply, do you think she is telling Claudius what Hamlet said to her in private, or do you think she is withholding something to protect Hamlet? If she is withholding something, what do you think it is?