Act IV questions Hamlet

Act IV-Hamlet scene i

1.  When Claudius learns of Hamlet’s killing of Polonius, what does he begin to feel about Hamlet?

2.  Gertrude tries to lessen the severity of Hamlet’s deed by revealing what piece of info about Hamlet?

 scene ii

1.  Hamlet refers to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern as being “sponges”.  What does he mean by this?

 scene iii

1.  In his opening soliloquy, Claudius reveals several points about Hamlet.  What are they?

2.  How does Claudius explain to Hamlet that he is sending him to England? (i.e., what “excuse” does he use for sending him?)

 scene iv

1.  How many soldiers does Fortinbras have with him?

2.  What, according to Hamlet, is a man, if all he does is simply eat and sleep?   What does he mean by this?  How does his speech (& his meaning) relate to his own situation?  *This question cannot be answered in a word or two.

 scene v

1.  Gertrude speaks of guilt about line 20 (in a 4-line soliloquy before Ophelia enters).  Why? What might she feel guilty about?

2.  After Claudius sees Ophelia’s condition, he tells Gertrude that when it rains, it pours. What specific words does he use to convey this message?

3.  Laertes is upset, of course, over his father’s death.  What other specifics, is he upset about? see Laertes’s words at the end of the scene.

 scene vi

1.  Hamlet escapes on a pirate ship.  What happens to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern? (according to Hamlet’s letter to Horatio).

 scene vii

1.  Laertes asks Claudius why he hasn’t done anything to (or about) Hamlet before now.  What are Claudius’s reasons?

 Quotes: identify speaker and know significance: 1.  “[Hamlet is] Mad as the sea and wind when both contend/ Which is the mightier.” (IV, i, 7)
  1. “What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?  Compounded it with dust, whereto ‘tis kin.”  (IV, i, 7)  Two people speaking here.
  2. “Take you me for a sponge, my lord?  Ay, sir, that soaks up the King’s countenance, his rewards, his authorities… When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and sponge, you shall be dry again.”  (IV, I, 15)
Scene iii
  1. “I have sent to seek him and to find the body.  How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!  Yet must not we put the strong law on him. He’s loved of the distracted multitude.”  (IV, iii, 1)
Scene iv
  1. Go, Captain, from me greet the Danish king.  Tell him that by his license Fortinbras Craves the conveyance of a promised march/ Over his kingdom.”  (IV, iv, 1)
  2. “Truly to speak, and with no addition,/ We go to gain a little patch of ground/ That hath in it no profit but the name. “ (IV, iv, 18)
  3. “What is a man/ If his chief good and market of his time/ Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.” (IV, iv, 35)”O, from this time forth/ My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth!”
Scene v
  1. “Twere good she were spoken with, for she may strew/ Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.” (IV, v, 18)
  2. “To my sick soul (as sin’s true nature is), / Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.  So full of artless jealousy is guilt, /It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.”
  3. “how should I your true love know/ From another one? …He is dead and gone, lady,/ He is dead and gone; At his head a grass-green turf, At his heels a stone.”  (IV, v, 30)
  4. “O, this is the poison of deep grief.  It springs/ All from her father’s death, and now behold!  A Gertrude, Gertrude, / When sorrows come, they come not single spies, / But in battalions…” (IV, v, 80)
  5. “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.  Pray you, love, remember.  And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”  (IV, v, 200)
  6. “Let this be so.  He means of death, his obscure funeral/ (no trophy, sword, nor hatchment o’er his bones, No noble rite nor formal ostentation)/ Cry to be heard, as twere from heaven to earth,. That I must call’t in question.” (IV, v, 238)
  7. “Now must your conscience my acquittance seal, / And you must put me in your heart for friend,/ Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,/ That he which hath your noble father slain/ Pursued my life.” (IV, vii, 1)
  8. “High and mighty, you shall know I am set naked on your kingdom.  Tomorrow shall I bet leave to see your kingly eyes, when I shall (first asking your pardon) thereunto recount the occasion of my sudden (and more strange) return.” (IV, vii, 48)
  9. “What would you undertake/ To show yourself indeed your father’s son/ More than in words?” (IV, vii, 141)
  10. “When in your motion you are hot and dry/ As make your bouts more violent to that end And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared for him / A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, If he by chance escape your venomed stuck, Our purpose may hold there.” (IV, vii, 178)
  11. “Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears.” (IV, vii, 212)