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Q1) Who said that Shakespeare was not of an age, but for all time?
Ans) These words of praise, probably the most famous ever written about Shakespeare,
were penned by Shakespeare's good friend and fellow writer, Ben Jonson. The line
appears in the Preface to the First Folio, along with other glorious elegiac poetry from
Hugh Holland, Leonard Digges and James Mabbe.
Q2) Shakespeare owned a theatre named Globe in which most of his celebrated
plays took shape and life. Write a brief note on ‘the Globe’?
Ans) This was a Theatre, Shakespeare and his fellow actors (The Lord Chamberlain’s
Men later renamed The King’s Men) performed the majority of their plays at. It was built
for The Lord Chamberlain’s Men expressly as a theatre on land leased from a Nicholas
Brend. Opening in 1599, it was later burned to the ground in 1613 reopening a year later
in 1614.
Q3) Shakespeare’s plays appeared in folio form? What is The First Folio?
Ans) The First Folio of 1623, complied by Shakespeare’s fellow actors John Hemminges
and Henry Condell was the first ever publication of Shakespeare’s plays. It contains all
36 plays that we can read today. All publications of Shakespeare’s plays are derived
from this Folio. Only 250 original copies are said to exist today, each worth roughly just 1
Pound in 1623. Today each Folio would fetch nearly 3 million dollars (US). Unfortunately
Cardenio was not included and so this play has been lost to time for the present day
Q4) Write a short note on Hamlet’s soliloquy “To be, or not to be.” Give your
reasons as to why this soliloquy has become very famous?
Ans) Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy is arguably the most famous soliloquy in the
history of the theatre. In this soliloquy, Shakespeare strikes a chord with a fundamental
human concern: the validity and worthiness of life. Would it not be easier for us to simply
enter a never-ending sleep when we find ourselves facing the daunting problems of life
than to "suffer / the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"? However, it is perhaps
because we do not know what this endless sleep entails that humans usually opt against
suicide. "For in that sleep of death what dreams may come / When we have shuffled off
this mortal coil / Must give us pause." Shakespeare seems to understand this dilemma
through his character Hamlet, and thus the phrase "To be, or not to be" has been
immortalized; indeed, it has pervaded our culture to such a remarkable extent that it has
been referenced countless times in movies, television, and the media.
Q5. Why does Shakespeare raise religious elements in his plays?
Ans: The religious elements in the play like sin, prayer and repentance that appears
specifically in Hamlet are used to shed light on human character and enhance their
nature rather than preach values.
Q6. What are the key differences between Shakespearian tragedies and comedies?
Ans: Tragedies are an in depth reflection of life, death and other spiritual aspects
whereas comedies are a light take on life. The women characters in tragedies are not
attributed strength and courage but in comedies they stand independent without having
the need of a male actor.
Q7. How is the word ‘nymph’ used for Ophelia interpreted in this play?
Ans: Ophelia has been created as a weak character who can easily be used as a tool
thus her character is given ambiguous names through out which reflects her personality.
A nymph means a beautiful woman but a nymph is also interpreted as a prostitute.
Earlier too, Polonius has been referred to as a fishmonger which can be connected to his
daughter being called a nymph.
Q8. How does the religious motif inform Hamlet’s decision to not kill his uncle?
Ans: Hamlet argues that since his uncle is praying, his death might lead him to heaven.
But if his killing happens at an unprepared sinful moment that is, while he is sharing
‘incestuous bed’ with Gertrude, is angry or in drunken sleep which are all considered
demonic actions, his last evil actions will themselves pave his way to hell.
Q9. Why is the play regarded as a play of conscience?
Ans: Hamlet procrastinates the killing of the wicked King because firstly he wants to
verify the ghost’s allegation, secondly he wants to kill him at an appropriate moment and
finally, when the King poison’s his own wife Gertrude that is Hamlet’s mother, he realizes
that now is the right moment to kill him as the man as committed more than one
unforgivable crime which includes his mother’s killing at the end. Therefore it is a deeply
thought blood shed and regarded as the play of conscience.
Q10. Which character symbolizes ‘repentance in words and not in actions’?
Ans: King Claudius stands for repentance of mere words which does not lead one to
heaven as it goes against the basic virtue of repentance where a person vows to never
commit the same mistake again but Claudius only prays and does nothing to undo his
evil deeds.
Q11.Which Shakespeare character has Claudius been compared with?
Ans: Claudius has been compared to Antonio in Tempest who kills for the pleasure of
Q12. How does Hamlet echo 20th century India?
Ans: The delay in judgments in the Indian context echo in Hamlet through the late
revenge of crime in the play.
Q13.Why does T.S. Eliot feel that Shakespeare is a failure?
Ans: Shakespeare has used indefinite and definite article in a sentence which disturbs
the syntax but holds semantic value in the Shakespearean context. However, it was for
this kind of language and ungrammatical structures that Shakespeare was criticized by
Q14. Who conspires with the King to kill Hamlet?
Ans: Laeritus conspires with the King to kill Hamlet which makes it a strong reason for
Hamlet to kill his uncle..