Claudius then tells Hamlet that he is to depart immediately for England, as planned. How does the king respond? What plans do they have for Hamlet? The captain informs them that the Norwegian army rides to fight the Poles. Alone with his thoughts, Claudius states his hope that England will obey the sealed orders he has sent with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. She says that Ophelia has drowned. Level 1 - Remember Are you using Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, in your class? How do the speeches and actions reflect on events in the kingdom of Denmark? The king tells Hamlet that he must leave at once for England, and Hamlet enthusiastically agrees. He reads the letter aloud.
Gertrude enters with yet more tragic news. Scene 6 A messenger approaches , saying that some sailors have news for him. This, as much as the death itself, prompts the two events most central to Act Four, the return of Laertes and the madness of Ophelia. What is he saying, and how does this set of words help to move him to action? What do these flowers symbolize? Here are discussion questions for Act 1, listed by Bloom's Taxonomy, so you can reach students at their current level before pushing them to those higher order thinking skills. He hangs back from the others marching to the ship and delivers a long soliloquy on the irony of this occasion — these men are off to risk their lives for a worthless piece of land, while he, who has every reason to risk his life in the cause of revenge, delays and fails to act. Hamlet also alludes to a startling development having to do with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern but says that he must delay telling of this until they meet.
Why do they take that approach? On some level he is prepared for what is to come. What does this tell us about Polonius's character, and what theme or motif does it introduce in the play? Fortinbras orders his captain to go and ask the King of Denmark for permission to travel through his lands. He says that he did not try Hamlet for two reasons, first, because his mother loves him so much, and second, because the people of Denmark are supporters of Hamlet. Just as Claudius is about to explain what he means, Ophelia enters again, bearing a bundle of flowers. When you compare Hamlet with Fortinbras, how does that comparison make Hamlet look? Disgusted with himself for having failed to gain his revenge on Claudius, Hamlet declares that from this moment on, his thoughts will be bloody. Hamlet Discussion Questions Act I You can use these to start the discussion, or you can ask your own questions or comment on other features of the play. Hamlet mockingly departs, leaving Claudius to reflect on his plans for Hamlet.
Ophelia handles all those present gifts of flowers, each symbolizing a reproach to the receiver. What do we learn about Gertrude, Claudius, and Hamlet in this scene? Put that advice into your own words and into a modern context. These shifts in meaning from Act to Act are difficult to pin down, but they serve to underline one of the most prevalent trends in the play, toward interpretive uncertainty. How does their word choice differ? Claudius questions Hamlet as to where he has taken Polonius. Why would Shakespeare choose not to stage this for the audience? The audience never sees this scene.
As she leaves Claudius tells Laertes to inquire into the matter as deeply as he wishes, confident that he will find himself aligned with Claudius against Hamlet. Horatio says that he will help to deliver the rest of their letters, one of which is addressed to the king, and then go with them to see Hamlet. During the fray, Hamlet boarded the pirate vessel. Hamlet asks the captain about his army and his purpose in going to Poland. Level 4 - Analyze The questions at this Level 4 will encourage students to analyze the text to get a deeper understanding of how it is constructed and why.
They are at the borders of Denmark. The two ships parted with Hamlet still aboard. With this in mind, Claudius and Laertes plot to find a means of killing Hamlet without upsetting Gertrude or the people. Scene 3 Claudius is greatly distracted by the death of Polonius and the attempt to find the body. The Level 1 level of questions should focus on how well students remember basic plot points, characters, and details from Act 1 of Hamlet. Again, where King Hamlet was a brave warrior, King Claudius is a crafty politician, constantly working to strengthen his own power, circumvent threats to his throne, and manipulate those around him to his own advantage.
In a half-crazed state he insists that Claudius give him Polonius. Has she ever disobeyed Claudius before? In her mad scenes, Ophelia is perhaps demonstrating the cultural pressures of a young woman of her time, forced into the impossible position of simultaneous chastity and sexualization. How does this scene establish Laertes as a foil for Hamlet? Claudius tells Laertes that Polonius is dead. He tells Horatio to follow the sailors to where he is hiding. Fortinbras sends one of his captains to the court of Claudius to ask permission to cross Denmark in the course of their march to Poland.
Base your argument on his actions throughout the entire act. Now, he is awestruck by the willingness of Fortinbras to devote the energy of an entire army, probably wasting hundreds of lives and risking his own, to reclaim a worthless scrap of land in Poland. Static characters remain the same. What is his new plan? Of course, he fails to put this exclamation into action, as he has failed at every previous turn to achieve his revenge on Claudius. Horatio receives from these sailors a letter from Hamlet. Classify the characters in two groups, royalty and commoners.