Press Conference/Hot Seat Discussion Questions

For Hamlet  |  For Claudius  |  For Gertrude  |  For Polonius  |  For Ophelia  |  For Laertes  |  For Horatio

For Hamlet:

Are you a good son?

Are you honorable as Fortinbras says or are you more of a coward?

Did you really think it was your uncle behind the arras in your motherís chamber?  (I mean, you had just left Claudius in another room.)

Why is it that you had no difficulty over killing Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern?  Do you have a moral conscience about their deaths?

Did you really love Ophelia?

Why is it that you have such a problem with others being deceitful, and yet you yourself deceive others (particularly Ophelia)?

Why do you question everything?

Why ultimately motivated you to kill Claudius, when you spent so much time not taking revenge?
Whose betrayal was the greatest blow to your person?
Do you still love your mother even though you have lost respect for her?
If you thought everyone was against you, why didn't you act sooner?


For Claudius:

Why didnít you prevent Gertrudeís death?

After "The Mousetrap," did you react only from guilt?  Did you feel remorse at all?  Was your attempt to pray an attempt to make yourself feel better or was it a genuine moment of seeking God's mercy?

Do you value Gertrude only as your wife/love, or do you also value her as a political figure/leader?  Why?

For Hamlet  |  For Claudius  |  For Gertrude  |  For Polonius  |  For Ophelia  |  For Laertes  |  For Horatio

For Gertrude:

What motivated you to betray your son and marry Claudius, your dead husbandís brother, right after his death?

If you had to choose between love for your son, love for your husband, and love for your kingdom, which would you choose and why?

Were you jealous of Hamletís love for Ophelia?

Do you consider yourself a good mother?  Why?

Why is your explanation of Ophelia's death so detailed and poetic?  Why is it that you seem to know so much about how she died?

How aware were you of Claudius's plot to kill your husband?  Were you involved?

Did you believe Hamlet when he told you he wasn't really mad but only "mad in craft?"  How did your belief (or lack of) dictate your behavior after Hamlet left for England?


For Polonius:

Other people consider you to be a hypocrite.  How do you respond to that?

Why don't you trust your children?

Why are you so damn nosy?

For Hamlet  |  For Claudius  |  For Gertrude  |  For Polonius  |  For Ophelia  |  For Laertes  |  For Horatio

For Ophelia:

What ultimately drives you to madness?

You seemed to betray Hamlet by allowing yourself to be a pawn in your father's spy game.  Did you ever really love Hamlet?

Why, after Hamlet berates you in the courtyard, do you allow yourself to entertain his company just before "The Mousetrap?"

Do you feel you deserve a Christian burial?


For Laertes:

Were you jealous of Ophelia's love for Hamlet?

Why is such an educated and clearly honorable guy like you so easily taken in by Claudius, the slime-ball?


For Horatio:

Do you (or why don't you) think to act on anyone's behalf?

Are you going to carry on Hamlet's legacy/message?  Why?