Hamlet By William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Hamlet is full
Hamlet By William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Hamlet is full of dead bodies, murder, suicide, disease, graves, and talk about death. And there is no traditional Christian comfort or promise of eventual justice or happiness for
the good people. But the message is ultimately one of hope. You can be a hero. Idea for theme As you read the play, watch how Hamlet -- who starts by wishing he were dead -- comes to terms with life, keeps his integrity, and strikes back
successfully at what's wrong around him. On a sheet of paper Write down your name Write down your mother's name Write down your father's name Write down your paternal uncle's name (paternal = fathers side) (If you do not have an uncle, write the name of a godfather or a male who acts
as an uncle to the family) To connect to the play, cross out your father's name. He just died. Draw a line connecting your mother's name to your uncle's. A month has passed. Your mother has just married your uncle. The issue of Gertrude's marriage to Hamlet's uncle surfaces immediately in the first words Hamlet speaks in the play: A little more than kin and less than kind (1.2.67).
Notice whether Claudius and Gertrude's marriage was politically or romantically motivated and whether Gertrude played a part in the death of King Hamlet. Hamlet is the first work of literature to look squarely at the stupidity, falsity and sham of everyday life, without laughing and without easy answers. In a world where things are not as
they seem, Hamlet's genuineness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity make him special. Hamlet is no saint. But unlike most of the other characters (and most people today), Hamlet chooses not to compromise with evil. Theme idea Unlike so much of popular culture today, Hamlet leaves us with the message that life is indeed worth
living, even by imperfect people in an imperfect world. Written around 1601 Published in 1603 Setting: Denmark Shakespeare's Hamlet was a remake of an already popular play, based in turn on historical fiction, based in turn on an episode from the Dark Ages: the lawless, might-makes-right
7th century era. In Hamlet, Shakespeare holds up a mirror to nature, showing us ourselves. If this were an action-movie, Hamlet might be entirely sympathetic, and his enemies altogether despicable; however it's characteristic of Shakespeare's tragedies that our sympathies are divided. The audience comes away from Hamlet liking the prince very much. He is a thinker, and he is funny. We see into his own mind and discover him to be genuine and sincere. We admire
him for resisting the evil around him. But he begins the play with a nasty, bitter outlook on life. If you do not like everything about today's teenaged goth culture (wearing black, being clever and disrespectful, playing with people's feelings, complaining that life seems meaningless and empty), you may not like the Hamlet whom we meet at the beginning. We see him as both stupid and mean when he kills Polonius. Say What?
What do you know about the play just from those few words? Pay attention to how the play begins: with a question The blurring of appearance and reality is a motif in this play Sample test questions: fate, supernatural, family, tragic hero, justice. Your test will be one question.
Character List Hamlet: The Prince of Denmark. About 30 years old at the start of the play, Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Cladius. Claudius: The King of Denmark, Hamlets uncle, and the plays
antagonist Gertrude: The Queen of Denmark, Hamlets mother, recently married to Claudius Polonius: The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius court; father of Laertes and Ophelia Horatio: Hamlets close
friend, who studied with him at the university in Wittenberg Ophelia: Poloniuss daughter, who obeys her father and her brother, Laertes. Hamlet
has been in love with her. Laertes: Poloniuss son and Ophelias brother Fortinbras: The young Prince of Norway, whose father the king (also named Fortinbras) was killed by Hamlets father (also named
Hamlet). The Ghost: The specter of Hamlets recently deceased father Marcellus and Bernardo: Officers who first see the ghost and who call Horatio to witness it. Marcellus is
present when Hamlet first Francisco: A soldier and guardsman at Elsinore (the castle) Reynaldo: Poloniuss servant, who is sent to France by Polonius to check up on and spy on Laertes Tragic hero A tragic hero has the potential for
greatness but is doomed to fail. He makes some sort of tragic flaw, and this causes his fall from greatness. Realizes he has made an irreversible mistake Faces and accepts death with honor Meets a tragic death Tragic heroes are:
Born into nobility Responsible for their own fate Endowed with a tragic flaw Doomed to make a serious error in judgment
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