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What kind of a man was King Hamlet, young Hamlet's father? What do we know of his character and behavior before his untimely death?
When was young Hamlet born? Why does the gravedigger claim that he began digging graves on the day of Hamlet's birth? What else happened on that day?
Is there any significance to the manner in which King Hamlet is said to have been killed? Why poison in the ear? Is poison in other forms present in the story? What does poison symbolize? Who dies/kills by poison?
What does the ghost want? Why does he speak only to Hamlet? Are there any significant differences in the ways in which Horatio and Hamlet address the ghost? Are those differences related to the reasons why the ghost won't speak to Horatio? What are the implications concerning the nature of the ghost? What does the ghost symbolize?
Is Hamlet mad? Is Hamlet indecisive? What does Hamlet want?
Does Hamlet have alternatives to his involvement in the court politics and intrigue at Elsinore? What are those alternatives? Where was Hamlet before his coming to Elsinore for his father's funeral and his mother's wedding? What does such a place represent?
Are there any similarities in the situations of Hamlet and Ophelia? How about the circumstances of their deaths? How does Ophelia die? What are the causes of her death (direct and indirect)? How does the clown/gravedigger characterize her death? Is there any sense to his interpretation? Does Ophelia have any alternatives? Can she avoid becoming entangled in the court politics and intrigue at Elsinore? How?
Are the deaths of Hamlet and Ophelia ultimately connected to their own actions and decisions? Are they innocent victims of the schemes of evil people?
In what ways is Hamlet different from or similar to the other courtiers at Elsinore? Does Hamlet lie, set traps for others and/or commit murder? What does that imply?
Why so many deaths by the end of the play? Is there justice in this ending? Explain.
Are there any similarities in the situations of young Fortinbras and young Hamlet? What is the significance of young Fortinbras's claiming the throne of Denmark at the end of the play? Who was young Fortinbras's father? How did he die? Is there a kind of justice enacted at the end? Is the ending in any way connected to the events of the beginning? When does it all begin? When does it end?
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