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Test Yourself

What do you remember about the play?

From memory, type in the numbered gaps in this brief summary of the play using the words below (some will need to be used more than once).

Ghost performance avenge Ophelia fencing murdered
Hamlet Heaven spy melancholic death guilty
confesses sword love-sick military arras rude

A (1) appears on the battlements of the castle of Elsinore. It refuses to speak to anyone except (2) . The Ghost of Hamlet's dead father tells him that he was (3) in his sleep by his brother, Claudius, who has since become King and married the Queen. He asks Hamlet not to forget this crime and to (4) his murder.

Hamlet is horrified by this news. He becomes distracted and (5) as he wonders what he should do. The King and Queen notice his strange behaviour and they try to cheer him up. They also ask Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to (6) on him to find out what is wrong.

Polonius thinks that he knows what the problem with Hamlet is: he thinks that he is (7) for his daughter, (8) . She has told Polonius that Hamlet has given her love letters in the past. Claudius and Polonius arrange a meeting between them so that they can spy on them and find out what is wrong with Hamlet. But Hamlet guesses what they are doing and he is (9) to Ophelia and then leaves.

A group of travelling players have arrived at Elsinore and Hamlet asks them to put on a special (10) about a man who murders the king and then steals his wife. He wants to test Claudius's reaction to this play and, if he looks (11) , then it will spur him on to avenge his father's murder. During the performance, when it gets to the part in the play where the murder takes place, Claudius leaves abruptly and the play is stopped.

Hamlet knows that Claudius is guilty and is determined to kill him now. But as he goes to speak with his mother he sees Claudius praying. He decides not to kill him while he is repenting, because he doesn't want him to go to (12) .

When Hamlet sees his mother, he angrily tells her off for marrying Claudius so soon after his father's death. Polonius is spying on them from behind the (13) and when he hears the Queen cry out he shouts for help. Hamlet stabs him because he thinks that it is Claudius behind the arras. When he realises that it is in fact Polonius, he drags the body away and tells his mother to stay away from Claudius.

Claudius knows that Hamlet will avenge his father's murder, so he arranges for him to be sent to England (with some letters that will ensure his (14) there). Meanwhile, Ophelia has gone mad with grief at the loss of her father and of Hamlet's love. She drowns herself in the river and when her brother Laertes comes back from Paris he swears that he will take revenge on Hamlet.

Claudius and Laertes arrange a (15) match between Hamlet and Laertes. They plan to use a poisoned (16) and a poisoned cup to make sure that Hamlet dies. But during the fight, the Queen drinks from Hamlet's cup and dies. Both Hamlet and Laertes are wounded with the poisoned (17) and Laertes (18) that Claudius has poisoned them. As Laertes dies, Hamlet turns and stabs Claudius. He makes him drink the rest of the poisoned wine that killed his mother, and finally fulfils the Ghost's request to avenge his murder. Then Hamlet himself dies. Fortinbras (from Norway) recognises him as a brave soldier and gives him a burial with full (19) honours.