Act 4 starts with a discussion of hamlet’s behavior between Claudius and Gertrude. What is it that Gertrude says she has seen?
How does Gertrude describe polonius’ death to Claudius?
Hamlet heard something behind the tapestry (Polonius), he cried out “rat,” killed the rat (Polonius)
“O come away! My soul is full of ____ and ____.”
When Rosencrantz asks hamlet what he did with Polonius’ body, what is hamlets response?
He compounded it with dust
Why does hamlet call Rosencrantz a sponge?
He soaks up all the Kings favors
What does Hamlet tell Rosencrantz that the king will do with him?
Use him like a sponge to soak up information, and the king will squeeze the info out of him
What does hamlet mean when he says “the body is with the king, but the king is not with the body…?”
Claudius acts as king, and has the body of kingship, but the act of king doesn’t rightfully belong to Claudius
Why is it that Claudius believes he can’t arrest hamlet?
Hamlet is popular with the people
What does Claudius mean when he says “diseases desperate grown by desperate appliance are relieved, or not at all?”
Critical diseases are cured by drastic treatments, or you die
Where does hamlet tell Claudius Polonius is?
What does hamlet mean when he says “your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service- two dishes but to one table?”
They are both dishes for the worms, it’s the same meal and everyone is equal once dead
Describe hamlets view of how one may eat a king through a worm.
Burry the king > worm eats decayed king > use worm to bait a fish > fish eats worm that has eaten king > one eats the fish (eats the king)
Why does the king tell hamlet he is sending him to England? What is ironic about this?
Sending him to England for his safety
Ironic because he is really sending him there to kill him
Why does the king think that England will follow his orders and kill hamlet?
Because England owes Denmark
What mistake did hamlet make by not killing Claudius and in turn killing Polonius?
He’s being sent away by Claudius, now he can’t kill him
Whose army does hamlet come across and where are they going?
Fortinbras’ army, going to conquer Poland
How does the captain describe the land that they are off to try and attack?
They paid 5 ducats and the land isn’t even farmable; its a wasteland
(Hamlet’s soliloquy) What is hamlet questioning this time? Has this been a topic before?
“What is a man, if his life’s only purpose is to ____ and ____? A ____, nothing more.”
Sleep, eat, beast
Explicate, and who is “he?”
“Sure, he that made us with such large discourse / looking before and after, gave us not / that capability and God-like reason / to fuse in us unused.”
Sure, God gave us great understanding / the ability of foresight and reflection, but he didn’t give us / this capability of godlike reason to not be used
“He” = God
What is hamlet questioning (regarding Claudius) in the previous explication?
Why hasn’t he killed Claudius yet
What sort of examples for revenge does hamlet see before him in this act?
An army, fortinbras
Describe hamlets view of fortinbras
He’s a youthful prince, ambitious, risking his life, danger, fate, death, everything, all for a little piece of land
Who does hamlet compare himself to in the soliloquy at the end of 4:4?
“Rightly to be great” (to be truly great) is to what?
1. Don’t fight without a great argument
2. Find an argument in the littlest thing when honor is at stake
Hamlet then states “how stand I then…” What are three things that describe how he stands?
His father was killed, his moms a *****, and motives are urged by passion and reason
“O, from this time forth my thoughts be ____ or be ____ worth.”
What decision has hamlet finally reached by this point? (End of scene 4)
All thoughts need to be bloody, and about getting revenge
How does the gentleman at the beginning of scene 5 describe Ophelia’s condition? (6)
1. She speaks a lot of her dad
2. The world is filled of tricks
3. She coughs, beats her chest
4. Takes offense at the littlest things
5. Making odd remarks that makes no sense
6. So incoherent, people are leaning in to try to understand her
Why does Horatio say (concerning Ophelia) “twere a good thing she were spoken with, for she may strew…?”
It is good she was talked to, or she may spread false rumors about hamlet
What does the queen say concerning her sick soul?
Every little rumor foreshadows something horrible is about to happen
“So full of artful jealousy is guilt / it spills itself fearing to be split…” What is it that Gertrude is saying about guilt?
Her guilt is so full of suspicion that it’s giving herself away that she is seriously paranoid
Ophelia sings a song about saint Valentine’s Day. At the end of the song she sings “let in the maid, that out a maid never departed more.” What does she mean? Also, what does this say concerning the theme of innocence concerning the characters?
She went in a virgin and innocent, but came out without her virginity
It suggests she’s not as innocent as she was thought to be
Explicate the stanza of the song
Young men will do it, if they come to it / by cock, they are to blame / quoth she, before you tumbled me / you promised me to wed / so would I ha’ done, by yonder sun / and thou hadst not come to my bed”
Young men will have sex whenever the chance / they think with their penis / she said , before you took me to bed / you promised to marry me / (he says) I would have done that, I swear by the sun / if you hadn’t come to my bed
How does Claudius describe the coming of sorrows?
They don’t come in singles, they come all at once
What did this coming of sorrows bring for all involved? (7)
1. Polonius is dead
2. Hamlet is gone
3. Rumors of polonius’ death
4. Secretly buried him
5. Ophelia is crazy
6. Laertes secretly came home from France
7. Hearing rumors of his father accusing the royalty
Poor Claudius feels “this / like to a murdering-piece, in many places / gives me superfluous death.” What is it that he feels (interpret)?
It’s like a cannon that’s shot all over the kingdom, piercing him repeatedly
What do the mob call laertes?
What does laertes say about the “drop of blood that is calm” and himself? Also, how does this parallel hamlets view of revenge?
If there’s one calm drop of blood in him, he is betraying his father
Saying he shouldn’t have calm blood like hamlet– his thoughts must be bloody
Why does Claudius insist that Gertrude let him go? He doesn’t seem to worry about being hurt by laertes. What is his reasoning on why laertes wouldn’t hurt him?
The king is protected by his right to rule
Laertes can’t kill him
What does laertes mean when he states (in reference to the Kings question “who shall stay you?”)
Nobody but me, I’ll use any means possible for revenge because the littlest goes a long way
What does laertes mean when he states “By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight, till our scale turn the beam..?”
Her madness will be revenged, and more
What is it that laertes is saying when he states “is’t possible, a young maids wits should be as moral as an old mans life?”
It is possible that s young woman’s sanity is as fragile as an old mans life
What does laertes mean when he states “this nothing’s more than matter?”
There’s meaning to this madness
Ophelia starts giving away imaginary flowers. For each flower state the meaning behind it and who she gives it to. Also, why do you think she gives this flower to this person (7)
1. Rosemary – remembrance, remembering her brother, father (Laertes)
2. Pansies – thoughts, generally thoughts of love (Laertes)
3. Fennel – flattery (Gertrude)
4. Columbines – adultery (Gertrude/Claudius)
5. Rue – “herb of grace,” repentance (Gertrude/Claudius)
6. Daisies – lying, faithlessness (Gertrude/Claudius)
7. Violets have died – faithfulness and/or sanity dying (Polonius)
After Ophelia gives away her bouquet what does laertes say she does?
She is turning bad stuff into pretty little things
What does the king promise laertes in terms of guilt?
If your councils find out that I am guilty die polonius’ death, I will give you my kingdom
Describe polonius’ funeral.
It’s a secret, no display of swords, no memorial, no cost of arms above his grave, no rights of nobility, no funeral ceremonies
What does hamlets letter to Horatio say?
They were captured by pirates on the way to England, they took the ship over, hamlet called them merciful thieves, he’s a cool guy though so it’s okay, he’s safe. He’s on his way to do a favor for the pirates
In his first few lines of this scene, how does Claudius begin to earn laertes’ trust? What does he tell him?
He that killed your father polonius, he’s now after me
Laertes asks why the king didn’t take action against hamlet. The king says for 2 reasons. What are they?
1. The Queen is his mom and absolutely loves him
3. Everyone adores him
Claudius asks laertes “will you be ruled by me?” Laertes says yes, but under what conditions?
Laertes doesn’t have to make peace with anybody
Laertes agrees to be ruled by him, but only under what conditions?
He gets to do the stabbing
Claudius asks laertes “was your father dear to you? Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, a ____ without a ____?”
“And nothing is at a like goodness still / for goodness, growing to a plurisy / dies in his own too much…” What is Claudius saying about goodness?
Goodness grows like an inflammation and it grows in its own excess, the more it grows, the more it kills itself off
What does Claudius tell laertes to do?
Stay in his chamber and out of the way
How does laertes further decide to ensure victory?
Put poison on the sword
What is Claudius’ back up plan?
Put poison in the wine
What news does Gertrude bring concerning Ophelia?
She drowned herself
What do the clowns question concerning the burial of Ophelia in the opening of act 5? Why do they question this?
Wether its a christian burial
Because she killed herself
What are the 3 branches of an act?
To act, to do, to perform
The gravedigger tries to explain his reasoning with the example of water and man. What is this example/reasoning?
If the man goes to the water, it’s suicide. If the water goes to the man, it’s not suicide. The reasoning is whether Ophelia went to the water, or if she was killed
What does the other gravedigger believe is the reason for Ophelia’s christian burial?
She’s a person of nobility / she has money
What do “ancient gentlemen” do?
They dig gardens, ditches, or graves
The clown asks the following riddle “what is he that builds stronger than either Mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?” What is the others response? Then tell hoe the gravedigger twists his fellow workers words.
The gallows maker, makes gallows for hangings because the frame outlived a thousand tenants
Says he is saying the gallow is stronger than the church, the church should be the strongest, the gallow should be for him for not saying the church is the strongest
What is the final answer given to the gravediggers riddle, right before hamlet shows up?
His job/profession – gravedigger
He houses you until doomsday
How are people like sheep and calves?
They seek safety in parchment paper (made from sheep/calve skin)
What sort of pun does hamlet have with the gravedigger concerning the grave being dug?
He’s lying in his lying -> physically lying in his grave, telling it’s not his grave (a lie)
What does the clown mean when he states “tis a quick lie sir, twill away gain, from me to you?”
That was a very lively lie that now gets me to you– your turn to make a pun
According to the gravedigger how old is hamlet? How do we know this?
30 – the gravedigger says he’s been a gravedigger since Denmark overtook Fortinbras, the same time hamlet was born
1. Why does hamlet put the scene of hamlet’s conversation with the gravedigger in the play at this point? 2. What does Shakespeare hope to achieve for his audience? To answer this, you must be aware and make reference to what has happened previously and what will happen next.
Ophelia dead, that’s sad, right after polonius’ death rosencrantz and guildenstern also dead, need to add humor between so much death
What is the tone of the conversation between hamlet and the gravedigger? How does this contrast to the early hamlet we know and love so well?
Comedic/sarcastic, at the same time contemplative
Lighter tone than his doom and gloom outlook
Who was yorick to hamlet and what does his reflections tell us about the prince?
A court jester
He’s still emotional, contemplative
Hamlet again contemplates death and our remains when he speaks of Alexander the Great. Like the fish and the worm, and his previous conversation concerning death to the king, what does hamle say concerning death?
We all will be equalized through death
How does hamlet feel toward Ophelia at the end of scene 1?
Undying love for ophelia
“The cat will ____, and the dog will have his ____.”
“Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well / when our deep plots do pall: and that should teach us / there’s a divinity that shapes our ends / rough-hew them how we will” Explicate. What is it that hamlet is essentially saying concerning divinity?
Sometimes our sins serve us well, when our plans come to nothing and teaches us that there’s a God and no matter what plans we have, God will do what he wants
There’s a God, he’s going to do his own plans
What does the letter say that hamlet stole? Also, who did he steal it from?
Said to chop hamlets head off as he steps off the boat
Stole it from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
What reasons does hamlet give to horatio as verifiable reasons for killing Claudius?
Killed his father, made a ***** of his mother, took his throne, secretly tried to kill him
How confident is hamlet in winning the wager?
Going to win by the odds
Hamlet says “there is special providence in the fall of a sparrow.” 1. What does he mean by this? Also, what does hamlet further say concerning providence? 3. What is providence anyways?
1. Fate controls all
2. If not now, it will happen in the future. If it isn’t preordained it will happen now. If not now, it will eventually come. The only thing that matters is being ready
3. Divine guidance, everything is preordained by God– even a sparrow’s death
What does Hamlet blame his upsetting Laertes on?
(I forgot a question!) What is the wager?
King: waging six Barbary horses
Laertes: six French rapiers with all the gear
Why does the king put on the “stoup of wine” upon the table? What else is he planning to do (that he tells the court)?
If he gets the 1st or 2nd hit, or he wins the 3rd battle after Laertes wins the first 2, then he is going to put a pearl in the cup
Who does Laertes blame on his death?
In the final fight, who dies and how?
Gertrude: poisoned wine
Claudius: poisoned sword / poisoned wine
Hamlet: poisoned sword
Laertes: switched weapon with hamlet, scratched by poison sword
Why does hamlet want Horatio to “absent thee from felicity awhile?” And what does the quote mean.
To tell the story of what happened, he’s the only one who truly knows the whole story
Abstain from death– don’t kill yourself yet
What does hamlet predict?
Fortinbras is going to become the king
Horatio: “now cracks a noble heart. Good night ____ ____: and flights of angels ____ the to thy ____! Why does the drum come hither?”
Sweet, prince, sing, rest
What did it take for hamlet to finally kill his uncle?
A threat on his own life