1. At the start of Scene I, Polonius asks Reynaldo to give Laertes some money and notes. What does Polonius tell him to do before he visits Laertes?
spy on him, ask around about him, start rumors and see if anyone knows anything about him doing things he shouldn’t be doing
2. With what words does Polonius greet Ophelia?
How now? (what’s going on?)
3. According to Ophelia, what was notable about Hamlet’s departure from her room?
He walked out of the room without looking where he was going – he was looking over his shoulder at her.
4. At the start of Scene ii, the king describes Hamlet’s “transformation” to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. What does he entreat them to do?
Hang out with him and report back.
5. Voltemand brings news about Fortinbras. What request does Voltemand then report to Claudius?
He wants to Voltimand to be able to pass through Denmark on his way home.
6. Polonius explains his theory of Hamlet’s madness to the king and queen. What plans to prove his theory does Polonius propose?
He wants the three of them to hide behind something and listen to a conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia.
7. Hamlet repeatedly questions Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about their reasons for visiting him. What does he finally get them to admit?
They are there at the request of the king and queen.
8. After a flourish to announce the arriving actors, Hamlet says Claudius and Gertrude “are deceived.” In what way does he then say they are deceived?
He says he is only crazy part of the time. The rest of the time he knows exactly what he is doing.
9. Polonius interrupts the First Player’s speech by saying, “This is too long.” When the speech resumes, whom does the speaker describe as “mobbled”?
10. As Hamlet sends off the Players, he asks the First Player if the actors know The Murder of Gonzago. What does Hamlet then ask the First Player to do?
He asks him to perform a specific speech, and he tells him exactly how to say it and how to act.
11. What is the first thing Hamlet says after he realizes and states he is alone?
He gets down on himself for not taking action already.
12. At the end of Act II, Hamlet explains his plan to have actors perform “something like the murder of my father before mine uncle.” For what reason does he make this plan?
He wants to see if Claudius reacts to the play in a way that indicates he killed King Hamlet.