Provincial Prep

All practice provincial exams can be found here:

The e-exams will mark the multiple choice sections for you automatically.

The keys contain guidelines for how your writing will be marked. Please read the marking rubric for composition very carefully.  You received a paper copy of the marking rubric several weeks ago as well.


Monday June 9th – Thursday June 12th

We will be working on Hamlet on Monday June 16th and Tuesday June 17th.

Due to some uncertainty regarding how the school year will finish, this week we will look at preparing for the provincial exam.

Monday June 9th: August 2012 and August 2013 multiple choice sections completed and self-marked
Tuesday June 10th and Wednesday June 11th: written sections completed
Thursday June 12th: writing analysis with self and peer editing.

Act 3

1) Do you think Claudius and Polonius overhear Hamlet’s famous soliloquy?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having them hear his speech?
2) Rewrite the “To be, or not to be” speech in everyday language.
3) What is the significance of Hamlet titling the play written for the players “The Mousetrap”?
4) Rosencrantz uses a metaphor to express a subject’s duty to one’s king. Explain the metaphor.  What is another metaphor that would work as well in explaining the importance of the king’s well­being.
5) Why can’t the King expect God to forgive him for killing Hamlet’s father?
6) Why does Hamlet shift to speaking in poetry when talking to his mother?
7) Hamlet reveals his plans to trick Rosencrantz & Guildenstern to his mother.
Why does he do this? Why doesn’t his mother tell Claudius of his plan?

Act II

Scene 1
1. What does Polonius want Renaldo to find out about Laertes’ life in France?
2.What is Hamlet’s first act of “madness” and why do you think he chooses this incident as his first display of insanity?
Scene 2
3. What is the meaning of Polonius’ lines 141-142? (about Hamlet)
4. Why would Hamlet call Polonius a fishmonger? (Line 188)
5. Why does Shakespeare change Hamlet’s language from poetry to prose in this scene and for much of the rest of the play? Why now?
6.Why does Polonius initially think Hamlet is crazy? What is the meaning and the implication of Polonius’ statement, “Though this madness, yet there us method in’t” (lines 220-221)?

Hamlet, Act 1

Scene i
1. Why does Shakespeare start the play with the appearance of the Ghost? What is the “dramatic”
purpose of this beginning and what effect do you think it would have on an Elizabethan audience?Scene ii
2.What is the meaning of Hamlet’s line 67 Act I Sc. ii ?
3. “Frailty thy name is woman.” (I.ii.146).  What does this line mean? In what way does it foreshadow events to come? Does Hamlet really view women as weak, why or why not?
4. In scene 2 identify and discuss meaning of the 3 allusions in Hamlet’s soliloquy. (I.ii.131-161)
5. Why is the Ghost armed?
Scene iii
6. What is Laertes’s advice to Ophelia? At this point in the play do you think he likes or dislikes Hamlet? Explain your answer. (I.iii.13-46)
7. Examine the advice that Polonius gives to his son (I.iii.59-85). In your opinion what will be the most useful in modern times?
Scene iv
8. In scene 4 line 99 Marcellus says “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” and Horatio replies on line 100 with “Heaven will direct it.” What do you think is meant by these statements?Scene v
9. What is the symbolism behind the fact that Hamlet Sr. was bitten by a serpent. How does this relate to the story?
10. Why does Hamlet tell his friends that he intends to appear to be insane? In your opinion, is this pretence real or is it done because Hamlet fears that he might actually be going insane? Explain your answer.
11. Paraphrase Hamlet’s last speech in Act I.