Hamlet Act 3 Study Questions

What message do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern carry to the king? Hamlet wants to put on a play.
Summarize the main points of the “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy. Hamlet ponders whether or not he should kill himself–why most people don’t.
According to Hamlet, why don’t most people kill themselves when they are miserable? “For fear of something after death”; FEAR OF THE AFTERLIFE
Describe Hamlet’s tone when he speaks to Ophelia. First, he is happy to see her. When he realizes she is rejecting him he becomes rude. When he realizes they are being watched, he becomes abusive.
Describe Hamlet’s feelings about marriage. He has lost faith in it–in part, because of his mother, but also because he has lost faith in humanity.
What do the King and Polonius decide about Hamlet’s condition after eavesdropping on Hamlet and Ophelia? They decide that Hamlet is not just lovesick and something has to be done about his behavior; the king wants to send him to England.
What was the King’s reaction to the play, and what does it mean? The king stopped the play at the poisoning. This means that the ghost was right–he did kill his brother.
The King has Rosencrantz and Guildenstern prepare to do what? Why? He has them prepare to go to England because he is afraid of Hamlet.
Why doesn’t Hamlet kill the King when the King is kneeling? The King is praying–he will go to heaven if Hamlet kills him, but Hamlet wants him to suffer.
How does Polonius die? Hamlet stabs him while he is spying on the meeting between Hamlet and his mother; Hamlet thinks he is the King.
What does the ghost tell Hamlet this time? He scolds him for his delay and instructs him to help his mother.
What would Hamlet have his mother do? Stop sleeping with the King.