ENG4U1: Hamlet Unit Test Review
Please complete PART A on this test paper by circling the best answer and then complete PART B
on the foolscap paper provided; ensure your name is on both this test paper and the foolscap paper,
and please ensure that you double-space your PART B response on the foolscap!
Also: manage your time according to the mark value of each question. Good luck!
PART A –Knowledge (25 marks: 1 mark each). Please pick the best answer for each question.
1. When Hamlet speaks the line, “O cursed spite,/That ever I was born to set it right! -” at the end
of Act 1, scene 5, what is ultimately revealed to the audience about Hamlet's character?
a) He is cowardly
b) He is indecisive and is already looking for an excuse to procrastinate his revenge
c) He feels burdened by his ghostly father's request for revenge
d) All of the above
2. Identify the speaker of these lines, “To thine own self be true”?
a) Hamlet
b) Polonius
c) The Ghost
d) Laertes
3. What is one rumor that Polonius does NOT permit Reynaldo to spread about
Laertes in France in order to spy on him and assess the state of his reputation?
a) He gambles
b) He drinks to the point of losing consciousness
c) He spends time in brothels
d) He tells people in France that he hates his father
4. What literary device is used in Hamlet's first line to Claudius, “ Not so, my lord; I am too much i'
the sun”?
a) A simile
b) A metaphor
c) A riddle
d) A pun
5. When Hamlet tells Horatio and Marcellus in Act 1, scene 5 that he is going to “put an antic disposition
on”, what does he plan to do?
a) He plans to join an acting troupe composed of talented players
b) He will pretend to love Claudius and forgive his mother even though he hates them both
c) He plans to tell Bernardo about how burdened he feels now that he has been prompted to revenge
d) He plans to pretend that he has gone mad
6. Why is it ironic that Polonius is the character who says, “Brevity is the soul of wit” in the play?
a) Because Polonius is always happy and oblivious to what is truly happening around him
b) Because Polonius possesses little soul and even less wit
c) Because Polonius lacks the ability to be brief, proven by his many long speeches in the play
d) Because Polonius is manipulative and he assists Claudius with the murder of the former king
7. In Act 1, scene 3, known as the advice scene in the play, why does Laertes use a flower metaphor to
compare his sister, Ophelia, to a withering bud?
a) To warn her against losing her virginity to Hamlet, and therefore giving herself up to corruption
b) To warn her against sitting in the direct sunlight for too long
c) To warn her against marrying a Prince that cannot love her because he hates all women
d) To encourage her to pick flowers in the meadow to make a beautiful wreath to hang upon the door
for when he returns from France
8. The structure of much of the language in Hamlet follows a pattern that stage actors describe as natural as
a heartbeat. What is the 10 beats-per-line (with an emphasis on every second beat) pattern called?
a) Iambic pentameter
b) Dactylic pentameter
c) Iambic tetrameter
d) Iambic hexameter
9. When the ghost describes the effects of the poison that Claudius pours into his ear to kill him, he says,
“And a most instant tetter bark'd about/Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,/All my smooth
body”. What disease is he comparing the effect of the poison to in this passage?
a) Leprosy
b) Cancer
c) The Black Plague
d) Psoriasis
10. What is Hamlet suggesting about Polonius, and his morality, when he refers to him as a “fishmonger” in
Act 2, scene 2?
a) He is ineffective in his role as Lord Chamberlain and therefore he is only worthy of selling fish for a living
b) He is like a pimp who is willing to marry off his daughter to the wealthiest man and use her for his purposes
c) He is a liar because, during the Elizabethan era, fish sellers were known for their dishonest sales tactics
d) He is slimy and hard to catch, just like a fish.
11. When Hamlet is speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Act 2, scene 2, he says, “I am but mad
north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.” What message is he
attempting to convey to his old 'friends' and the audience?
a) He wants to go hunting with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern so that he can practice killing animals before he
has to kill Claudius
b) He is angered by the fact that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been sent by the King and Queen as spies
c) The high winds in Denmark suggest the fact that chaos still reigns after the murder of the former King
d) Hamlet is saying that his madness depends on the weather, and that he is only mad some of the time
12. When Hamlet says to Ophelia in Act 3, scene 1, “Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder
of sinners?” what is he instructing her to do?
a) Go to a convent so that she will be removed from the corruption in Denmark, and therefore she will be free
of sin and temptation
b) Go to a convent so that she can deepen her understanding of religion and teach Hamlet more about it upon
her return
c) Go to a brothel because she has already been morally corrupted by Polonius, Claudius and Queen Gertrude
d) Both a and c
13. In Act 3, scene 4, Hamlet refers to his father as having “Hyperion’s curls” and “an eye like Mars” . What is
the literary device that is being used here to demonstrate Hamlet's high opinion of his deceased father?
a) An aside
b) A soliloquy
c) An allusion
d) A metaphor
14. Who says the line, “Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go”?
a) The Ghost
b) Laertes
c) Claudius
d) Hamlet
15. When Hamlet speaks the line, “Frailty, thy name is woman” in Act 1, scene 2, what is he suggesting about
the nature of women?
a) Women are morally weak
b) Women are physically weak
c) Women are annoying nuisances who have little impact on his life
d) Women are wonderful gifts sent from Heaven
16. What literary device is revealed in the line, “I doubt some foul play: would the night were come! Till then
sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes”?
a) Foreshadowing
b) Pathetic Fallacy
c) A Simile
d) A Colloquialism
17. What is NOT a motivating force behind the advice Polonius offers throughout the play and the way he
handles himself with the King and Queen?
a) He wants to prove that his advice is indispensable.
b) He wants people to fear him.
c) He wants to appear to be clever.
d) He worries about appearances and what others will think of him.
18. Hamlet’s character is best understood through...
a) Gertrude’s eyes.
b) His soliloquies.
c) His mad scenes.
d) His discussions with Ophelia.
19. In Act 3, scene 3, Claudius confesses his crime in a soliloquy, and Hamlet has an opportunity to sneak up
behind him while he is praying and kill him, but once again Hamlet hesitates. Why?
a) Hamlet is afraid to see Claudius' blood spilled on the floor of the church/chapel
b) Hamlet is still not entirely sure if Claudius actually killed his father
c) Hamlet does not want to murder Claudius while he is praying because he does not want him to die while he
is confessing his sins, which may result in him going to Heaven
d) Hamlet has lent his dagger to one of the actors for the performance of The Murder of Gonzago, and
therefore he has nothing to kill him with
20. When the Ghost instructs Hamlet to avenge his “most foul and unnatural murder”, he cautions Hamlet
a) Not physically harm his mother.
b) Be cautious about his own safety.
c) Not trust the King or his advisers.
d) Put on an antic disposition.
21. In Act 3, scene 4, known as the closet scene, moderate insight is given into Queen Gertrude's character
when she says, “O Hamlet, speak no more:/Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul,/And there I see
such black and grained spots/As will not leave their tinct.” What is Gertrude revealing about herself
a) She feels guilty for her sins and yet she cannot face the reality of what she has done
b) She feels like her marriage to Claudius has had a negative affect on her complexion
c) She cannot bear Hamlet's feigned madness any longer
d) She is angry with Hamlet for trying to get her to admit to a crime that she had no part in
22. In Act 3, scene 4, known as the closet scene, what Freudian theory is often used by scholars to analyze
the complex relationship between Hamlet and his mother?
a) The Electra Complex
b) The Hyperion Complex
c) The Oedipus Complex
d) The Niobe Complex
23. When Hamlet kills Polonius in Act 3, scene 4, he responds by saying...
a) “Oath! Do you begrudge me peace old man? Do you begrudge me sanctuary?”
b) “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell!”
c) “A ha! Villain! Rat! False father! Knave! You deserve your damned fate!”
d) “O woe is me! All is lost and never to be found again. Adieu you silly fool. Adieu.”
24. All of the following themes appear in the play except...
a) Appearance vs. reality
b) Corruption and decay
c) Triumph of thought over action
d) Revenge
25. In the passage that Hamlet asks the first player to recite,
a) Hecuba vows revenge on Priam while Pyrrhus is murdered.
b) Priam kills Hecuba while Pyrrhus watches in horror.
c) Pyrrhus kills Priam while Hecuba watches in horror.
d) Priam vows revenge on Pyrrhus while Hecuba is dismembered.
PART B –Thinking (20 marks) and Application (10 marks)
To Do: Choose ONE passage (circle it) and write a paragraph response on the foolscap paper
provided that analyzes why the passage is important.
Before writing your response paragraph, answer the following questions in complete sentences:
1) Identify the speaker of the passage.
2) Intended audience.
3) Context of the passage.
Helpful tips when you are writing your passage:
1) Choose one major reason why the text is significant.
2) Make all references to the text, language or structure (literary devices, punctuation, key words etc.)
serve as evidence (use direct quotations from the passage)
3) Do not just retell the plot! Analyze what the quotation offers towards the overall text and
specifically analyze the way that it is written/how that connects to themes, plot, and character.
In your paragraph, include:
 An introduction sentence
 Your argument (not an opinion or statement of face) which will possess your main focus
about the passage.
 2 points and 2 proofs (paraphrase your example from the text)
 Two well-written explanations as to why your points support your argument. Also
remember to include a concluding sentence. Use specific evidence from the play to
support your argument.
4 16-20 superior insight and analysis;
excellent use of evidence
considerable insights and analysis;
good use of evidence
fair evidence of insight and analysis;
fair use of evidence
limited insight; use of evidence is
limited or not very effective
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann’d,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in’s aspect,
Sophisticated expression; varied and complete sentences;
highly effective connections.
Competent expression; clear and complete sentences;
considerably effective connections.
Somewhat effective expression; somewhat complete
sentences; somewhat effective connections.
Limited effectiveness in the following areas: expression,
sentences, connections.
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn’d defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i’ the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?
‘Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave’s offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder’d,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion!
Fie upon’t! foh! About, my brain! I have heard
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim’d their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I’ll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle: I’ll observe his looks;
I’ll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my mel
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king. ancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me: I’ll have grounds
More relative than this: the play ‘s the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king!
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.–Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d.
PART C – Communication (20 marks)
The quality of communication in part B will be awarded up to twenty marks. The mark allocation
will reflect their corresponding levels.
Level 4
confident, sophisticated expression; proper grammar and sentence
Level 3
clear, effective communication; generally proper grammar and sentence
Level 2
somewhat effective or clear communication; may be difficult to understand
at times; some trouble with grammar or sentence structure.
Level 1
evident difficulty with clear communication; frequent errors in grammar or
sentence structure often compromise clarity.
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