Good, Basic, Can-You-Say-IB-Essay Questions for Hamlet

To be or not to be....  what is the question?

Compare and contrast the opening and closing scenes of Hamlet to bring out some of the dramatic effects sought for.  Explain how those effects are achieved.
Compare and contrast the presentation and portrayal of Hamlet with the presentation and portrayal of another character in the play.  Discuss effects of each.
The young and old occupy different positions in different societies.  Consider the presentation and importance of either or both of these groups in Hamlet.
Compare the presentation of two or three characters in Hamlet (for example, their introduction or dramatic interactions with other characters).  In each case, discuss how the presentation furthered the playwright's purposes, and how it rewarded your study.
Our current government participates in surveillance and spying at a rate not seen since the Red Scare of the 1950's.  What does the play Hamlet have to say about such governmental surveillance and through what techniques is that message presented?
Identify a stylistic or structural technique or pattern that Shakespeare uses to help distinguish one of his characters.  Discuss the effects of this distinction.
A tragic hero is one who is of noble birth and has a flaw that brings him to ruin.  Hamlet is a complex tragic hero.  What would you argue is his fatal flaw, the flaw which brought him to ruin?
Which secondary character do you believe was most important to achieving the overall effects of the play?
In only one scene does the action of Hamlet leave the castle.  Discuss how this use of setting contributes to the overall effects of this play.