1. The first scene (like many other scenes in this play) is full of expressions of uncertainty. What are some of these uncertainties? The Ghost first appear at 1.1.43. Does his appearance surprise us or have we been prepared for it? Or is it there both preparation and surprise? Do the last four speeches of 1.1 help to introduce a note of hope? If so how?
2. In 2.2.482-520 Hamlet rebukes himself for not acting. Why has he not acted? Because he's a coward (line 503)? Because he has a conscience? Because He doubts the Ghost? What reason(s) can you offer?
3. Is Hamlet other than abhorrent in 3.3.73-96? Do we want him to kill Claudius at this moment, when Claudius (presumably with his back to Hamlet) is praying? Why?
4. Is Gertrude protecting Hamlet when she says he is mad (4.1.7) or does she believe he is mad? If she believes he is mad, does it follow that she no longer feels guilty and ashamed? Explain.
5. Would anything be lost if the grave diggers in 5.1 were omitted?
6. How do Laertes, Fortinbras, and Horatio help define Hamlet for us?
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1.The first scene (like many other scenes in this play) is full of expressions of uncertainty. What are some of these uncertainties?
I regard some of the uncertainties as the obvious, ominous ghost since Horatio and Marcellus debate its imminent arrival as Marcellus exclaims, "What, has this thing appeared again to-night?" (1.1.31).
Horatio's initial doubts about the ghost seem to signify the uncertainty as well as the political uncertainty that seems to permeate as he says, "This bodes some strange eruption to our state" (1.1.85).
The Ghost first appears at 1.1.43. Does his appearance surprise us or have we been prepared for it? Or is it there both preparation and surprise?
Likewise, I don't see the appearance as a total surprise since the foreshadowing with the two characters above sets the scene and hints at it coming again.
Do the last four speeches of 1.1 help to introduce a note of hope? If so ...
Hamlet questions are briefly debated in 500 words of notes with accompanying examples to validate.