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Que on Hamlet - 5 Is Hamlet’s madness real or feigned Is...

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Hong/English 123 Some Questions on Hamlet 1. One of the most important questions in the play is the one Hamlet poses on meeting the Ghost: “Be thy intents wicked, or charitable…?” But since Hamlet never pursues and thus never answers this question, the play challenges us to decide it from evidence given by the Ghost’s behavior and speech and the resulting effect on Hamlet. What kind of a ghost is he? 2. What defects do you see in the quality of Hamlet’s love? What kind of ideas influence his attitude toward his father, his mother, and Ophelia? 3. Is Claudius as bestial as Hamlet supposes? And are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern “adders fang’d” who deserve to be blown to the moon? 4. Is Hamlet’s “Mousetrap” in Act 3 a success or a failure?
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Unformatted text preview: 5. Is Hamlet’s madness real or feigned? Is his “antic disposition” a mere mask resorted to (as in Saxo Grammaticus’s version of the story) for hiding a political purpose until Hamlet can find opportunity to make himself king by destroying a usurper? 6. How satisfactory do you find Hamlet’s “repentance” after killing Polonius? Or his apology to Laertes in Act 5? 7. Why does Hamlet delay in carrying out the Ghost’s command? Is he hampered by external circumstances? 8. Can Ophelia’s tragedy be traced in part to family advice? How does her later madness differ from Hamlet’s? 9. Is this play a religious play? 10. How do the three sons—Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras—resemble or differ from one another as avengers?...
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