Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
1. Hamlet has been described as a sentimentalist, a procrastinator, an egocentric, and a semi-lunatic? What can be said for and against each one of these assessments?
2. Do you believe that Hamlet is an instrument or an agent? Fully, explain your answer.
3. What is the conflict of the play and what is its outcome? Give details to support your answer.
4. Critically examine the significance of Hamlet's soliloquies.
5. Even though the play is a great tragedy, there is also humor to be found. Explain where it occurs and if it is effective.
6. Discuss the significance of the Gravediggers scene. What function does it perform in relation to the rest of the play?
7. What is the significance of the play-within-the-play?
8. Examine Shakespeare's treatment of the supernatural element in the play. How does the supernatural element contribute to the plot development, atmosphere and characterization in the play?
9. Why do you think Hamlet delays in executing his revenge? Use examples from the text to support your answer.
10. Who is Ophelia and what is her purpose in the play.
11. What is the role played by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?
12. Compare and contrast the character of Hamlet with those of Horatio and Laertes.
13. Examine the development of Hamlet's character through his relationships with Gertrude and Ophelia.
14. Three sons in the play lose their fathers. Compare and contrast these parallel stories.
15. Analyze Claudius' character.
16. Critically examine the implications of Hamlet's mask of madness.
17. Explain how the theme of appearance vs. reality is developed in the play.
18. Compare and contrast the deaths of Ophelia, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Laertes, Claudius, Gertrude, and Hamlet.