To quiz or not to quiz: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

By: Reverie Black

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”


That may well be so, but there are some things you do need to be sure of if you are studying Hamlet at A Level - namely, what happens in the play! Have a go at our quiz below to test your knowledge.

Correct answers at the bottom of the page

1. What is the name of the play within the play that Hamlet stages to catch his uncle's conscience?

  1. The Murder of Gonzago
  2. The Death of Giorgio
  3. Love's Labour's Lost
  4. Gonzago’s Revenge

2. What does Polonius believe is the cause of Hamlet's madness?

  1. Hamlet's love for Ophelia
  2. The death of Hamlet’s father
  3. The remarriage of his mother
  4. Being kidnapped by pirates

3. "This above all: to thine own self be true." Who delivers this line?

  1. Polonius
  2. Hamlet
  3. Horatio
  4. Laertes

4. Who is Laertes seeking revenge against?

  1. Hamlet, for killing his father, Polonius
  2. Claudius, for killing the King
  3. Claudius, for manipulating him
  4. Gertrude, for marrying Claudius

5. Who are the first characters to see the ghost of Hamlet's father in the play?

  1. Ophelia, Laertes and Horatio
  2. Polonius, Hamlet and Claudius
  3. Gertude, Horatio and Yorick
  4. Horatio, Marcellus and Barnardo

6. "Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies; good night, good night." Who says this line?

  1. Ophelia
  2. Gertrude
  3. Hamlet
  4. Laertes

7. What is the cause of Ophelia’s death?

  1. Drowning
  2. Poison
  3. Old age
  4. Murder

8. "Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love." This quote is addressed to:

  1. Ophelia
  2. Gertrude
  3. Horatio
  4. Hamlet

9. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Who says this line?

  1. Gertrude
  2. Ophelia
  3. Hamlet
  4. Polonius

10. What is the name of the character who is the chief counsellor to the king and is killed by Hamlet?

  1. Polonius
  2. Rosencrantz
  3. Guildenstern
  4. Fortinbras

11. Who is the prince of Norway who appears in the final act of the play?

  1. Rosencrantz
  2. Fortinbras
  3. Hamlet
  4. Yorick

12. "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." This quote is uttered by:

  1. Hamlet
  2. Horatio
  3. Claudius
  4. Marcellus

13. "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go." Who speaks these words?

  1. Hamlet
  2. Polonius
  3. Gertrude
  4. Claudius

14. "Brevity is the soul of wit." These words are uttered by:

  1. Ophelia
  2. Horatio
  3. Hamlet
  4. Polonius

15. What is the name of the castle where most of the action occurs?

  1. Vormir
  2. Elysium
  3. Elsinore
  4. Leydell



For more information about our A- Level study guide for Hamlet, which features a summary of the plot, plus key information about characters, themes, contexts, key critical debates, and Shakespeare’s use of language, form and structure, please click here 

There is also an online version available, which includes the following additional resources: video tutorials, sample essay plans and answers, and revision cards. 



A) The Murder of Gonzago
B) The death of Hamlet’s father
A) Polonius
A) Hamlet for killing his father, Polonius
D) Horatio, Marcellus and Barnardo
C) Hamlet
A) Drowning
D) Hamlet
C) Hamlet
A) Polonius
B) Fortinbras
A) Hamlet
A) Hamlet
D) Polonius
C) Elsinore