hamlet4_1-4 - Collierville High School

Hamlet Act 4, 1-4
1. Hamlet’s sixth soliloquy (4.4). What are Hamlet’s main points? (this one should remind you
of another soliloquy from this play..)
2. Does Gertrude betray Hamlet in Scene One? Explain.
3. Reflect on the theme of “revenge as redemption.” In what way could taking revenge for his
father’s death “redeem” Hamlet?
4. What does Claudius’ reaction to Polonius’ death tell us about his character?
5. What warning does Hamlet give Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in Scene Two? What subtle
insult towards Claudius is hidden in it?
6. What is Claudius’ plan for getting rid of the “Hamlet problem”? How does it express the
theme of Appearances vs. Reality?
7. What play on words does Hamlet use in Scene Three to tell Claudius where Polonius is?
Why is his tone inappropriate for the situation?
8. How does the sight of the Norwegian army affect Hamlet’s frame of mind towards his task?
9. In keeping with the theme of Good vs. Evil, do you think that Hamlet still qualifies as a
morally “good” character? Why or why not?
Hamlet Act 4, 1-4
How all occasions do inform against me,
If his chief good and market of his time
And spur my dull revenge? What is a man,
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure, He that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason 40
To fust in us unus’d. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,—
A thought which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom 44
Why yet I live to say, “This thing’s to do,”
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me;
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
And ever three parts coward,—I do not know
Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
Witness this army of such mass and charge
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff’d
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill’d, a mother stain’d,
Excitements of my reason and my blood, 60
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot 64
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!