Hamnet Book Club Discussion Questions

Read synopsis.

Discussion Questions:

1. What was the significance that William Shakespeare was not mentioned by name but referred to as dad, husband, Latin tutor etc.? Why did the author not mention his name?

2. Agnes and her husband William, were they well suited? Why, why not?

3. What did you think of Agnes? Did you like her? Why did the author make her character a healer?

4. Why did Agnes have her first child in the woods? Why did she want to have her other kids there? What was her thought process?

5. Which part of the book did you enjoy the most?

6. Did you find the book confusing?

7. What did you think of the title, Hamnet, a novel of the plague? Was the book title misleading? Was it what you expected?

8. Which character did you relate to the most?

9. Why did Agnes not get on with Mary, her mother-in-law?

10. Discuss Joan’s relationship to Agnes. Why is Agnes and her stepmother’s relationship so tumultuous?

11. Hamnet and Judith were twins and they had a special connection. Would you sacrifice yourself if you were a twin for your twin?

12. How does grief affect Agnes and her relationship with her husband William Shakespeare?

13. Why does William leave for London after Hamnet’s death? Should he have stayed with Agnes and his family?

14. Hamnet contained many themes such as marriage, motherhood, death, grief, and loss to name a few. What themes impacted you the most?

15. The book ends with the words “Remember me.” What do these words signify? Did you like the ending?

16. After reading Hamnet, who would you recommend it to?

Check out Hamnet book review!

Enhance Your Book Club:

Check out Study Guide: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell for chapter summaries and analysis, including quotes and key themes.

Choose a medicinal herb, such as lavender, comfrey, rosemary or valerian mentioned in Hamnet, and share the herb, and its possible health benefits and uses.

Check out the video of Maggie O’Farrell reading Hamnet and her thoughts on the writing the book.

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