Questions to Consider for Hamlet

  1. What troubles Hamlet at the opening of the play?
  2. When Horatio tells Hamlet about the apparition, who does Hamlet think it might be? What does he decide to do? What type of omen does Hamlet think the apparition is?
  3. Describe Hamlet’s meeting with the ghost. Who is the ghost? Why has it appeared? What does the ghost tell Hamlet to do? What might be some other reasons for the ghost appearing?
  4. Why does Hamlet act as if he were mad? Why does Polonius think the reason for the madness is? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?
  5. How does Claudius react to the performance of The Murder of Gonzago? Why? What does his reaction convince Hamlet of?
  6. Describe Claudius and Gertrude. What does each think of Hamlet? How does each treat him? What does Hamlet think of them?
  7. Why does Hamlet kill Polonius? How does Hamlet act after he finds out who he killed? What is your opinion of his actions?
  8. How does Claudius feel about what he did to King Hamlet? As he is praying, Hamlet entry with his sword drawn. Why doesn’t he kill Claudius?
  9. Why does Claudius decide to send Hamlet to England? What does he plan for Hamlet’s arrival there? What happens instead?
  10. How does Claudius hope to eliminate Hamlet during the Prince’s duel with Laertes? Describe what happens during the duel?
  11. Would you describe Hamlet as a tragic hero? Why or why not?
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