Shakespeare and Hamlet Livaudais Spring 2018 The Tragedy of Hamlet: Introduction Theres something rotten in the state of Denmark . . . The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background The Tragedy of Hamlet was first performed at the
Globe Theatre in England. Written during the first part of the seventeenth century (probably in 1600 or 1601), Hamlet was probably first performed in July 1602. It was first published in printed form in 1603 and appeared in an enlarged edition in 1604 The theater opened in 1599. It was the home for many of Shakespeares plays.
Setting Denmark during the late middle ages (circa 1200), though characters in the play occasionally reference things or events from the Elizabethan Age (circa 1500). Historical Relevance
Story of Hamlet based on a Danish revenge story from the 1100s -Shakespeare modified to fill with dread and uncertainty Product of Reformation (Protestants broke away from church & skeptical humanism)
Hamlet has constant anxiety about appearance vs. reality, concerns with religion (related to the Reformation) The Tragedy of Hamlet: Introduction Prince Hamlet returns home from university to discover that his father is dead and his mother has married his uncle Claudius.
And now Claudius has declared himself king. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Introduction As if thats not bad enough, the ghost of his father appears to Hamlet . . . He tells Hamlet that hes
been murdered by Claudius and demands that Hamlet get revenge. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Introduction What should Hamlet do? Instead of jumping into any action, Hamlet broods over his options and then starts acting very strange.
The Tragedy of Hamlet: Introduction He starts talking in riddles. He acts cruelly to Ophelia, a girl who loves him. Hes suspicious of everyone. Hamlet
The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist. About thirty 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, Claudius. Hamlet continued
Hamlet is melancholic, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle's scheming and disgust for his mother's sexuality. A reflective and thoughtful young man who has studied at the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet is sometimes indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts. Claudius The King of Denmark, Hamlet's uncle, and the
play's antagonist. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power, but he occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling his love for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere.
Gertrude The Queen of Denmark, Hamlet's mother, recently married to Claudius. Gertrude loves Hamlet deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status more urgently than moral rectitude or truth.
Ophelia Polonius's daughter, a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. Ophelia is a sweet and innocent young girl, who obeys her father and her brother, Laertes. The Ghost
The specter of Hamlet's recently deceased father. The ghost, who claims to have been murdered by Claudius, calls upon Hamlet to avenge him. The Ghost continued It is not entirely certain whether the ghost is what it appears to be, or whether it is
something else. Hamlet speculates that the ghost might be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder, and the question of what the ghost is or where it comes from is never definitively resolved. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Two slightly bumbling courtiers, former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg, who are
summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlet's strange behavior. Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Appearance vs. Reality Appearance doesnt match reality often. Hamlet struggles to determine who his true friends are Claudius appears to be a true and just king and Gertrude his virtuous queen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appear to be true friends, etc. Sanity vs. Insanity
In many ways this theme is intertwined with the theme of appearance vs. reality. Hamlets sanity or insanity has baffled critics for years. Even the characters in the play discuss inconsistencies in Hamlets behavior, sometimes assuming he is really insane, at other times amazed by his clarity of thought. 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.
The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background The Globe was a sixteen-sided polygon and was probably open to the sky. The stage jutted out into the audience so that the actors were very close to the spectators. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background The audience expected to combine their imagination with the stage effects before
them to see the plays action. Shakespeares plays often contain clues in the dialogue to indicate time of day or place. However, the plays often used dramatic effects, such as flying actors on a wire above the stage, as well. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background The theater had two trapdoors. One, above the stage, allowed the actors to descend from the heavens.
The other door was on the stage and often indicated a doorway to hell. The ghost in Hamlet entered the play through the trapdoor on the stage. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background The period in which Shakespeare wrote is called the Elizabethan period.
Queen Elizabeth was the head of the royal family (15581603). The queen saw many of Shakespeares plays in special court performances. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background Shakespeare may have used the Hamlet story and other plays that featured murdered kingsto
reflect the concerns of his own time. To the Elizabethans, social order was very important, yet there had been political and religious conflicts before and during Elizabeths rule. Hamlet depicts a conflict over what to do when an orderly state is actually corrupt inside and there seems to be no civilized answer. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Background The language of the play is unrhymed. This is called blank verse.
However, it is based on a pattern called iambic pentameter. 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. 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. Round-robin reading 2 volunteers, please! Bernardo: Who's there? Francisco: Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself. Bernardo: Long live the King! Francisco: Bernardo? Bernardo: He.
Francisco: You come most carefully upon your hour. Bernardo: 'Tis now struck twelve. Get thee to bed, Francisco. Francisco: For this relief much thanks. 'Tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart. Bernardo: Have you had quiet guard? Francisco: Not a mouse stirring. Bernardo: Well, good night. If you do meet Horatio and Mercellus, the rivals of my watch,
bid them make haste. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ymgYEQgSqLI&disable_polymer=true 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. 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 Fun with Hamlet and his Friends See the man. What a funny man. His name is Hamlet. He is a prince. He is sad. Why are you sad, Hamlet?
"I am sad for my father has died," says Hamlet. "My father was the king." "Where are you going, Hamlet? "I am going to the castle," says Hamlet. On the way he meets a ghost. "Where are you going?" asks the ghost.
"I am going to the castle," says Hamlet "Boo, Boo" says the ghost. "What is you name, you silly ghost?" asks Hamlet, clapping his hands. "I am your father," says the ghost. "I was a good king. Uncle Claudius is a bad king. He gave me poison. Would you like poison?" "Oh, no," says Hamlet. "I would not like poison." "Will you avenge me, Hamlet?" says the ghost. "Oh
yes," says Hamlet. "I will avenge you. What fun it will be to avenge you."
On the way he meets a girl. "Where are you going ?" asks the girl. "I am going to the castle," says Hamlet. "Ha, ha," says the girl. "What is your name?" "My name is Ophelia." "Why are you laughing?" asks Hamlet. "You are a silly goose." "I laugh because you are so funny," says Ophelia. "I laugh because you are so weird!"
"I am not weird," says Hamlet, laughing and clapping his hands. "I pretend I am crazy. I pretend to fool my uncle. What fun it is to pretend." See Hamlet run. Run, Hamlet, run. He is going to his mother's room. "Oh, I have something to tell you mother," says Hamlet. "Uncle Claudius is bad. He gave my father poison. Poison is not good. I do not like poison. Do you like poison?
"Oh, no indeed!" says his mother. "I do not like poison. "Oh, there is Uncle Claudius," says Hamlet. "He is hiding behind the curtain. Why is he hiding behind the curtain? I shall stab him. What fun it will be to stab him through the curtain." See Hamlet draw his sword. See Hamlet stab. Stab, Hamlet, stab. See Uncle Claudius's blood gush.
Gush, blood, gush. See Uncle Claudius fall. How funny he looks, stabbed. Ha. Ha. Ha. But it is not Uncle Claudius. It is Polonius. Polonius is Ophelia's father. What fun Hamlet is having. "You are naughty, Hamlet," says Hamlet's mother. "You have stabbed Polonius. But Hamlet's mother is not cross. She loves
Hamlet. He is a good boy. And Hamlet loves his mother. She is a good mother. Hamlet loves his mother very much. Hamlet loves his mother very, very, very much. Does Hamlet love his mother a little too much? See Hamlet run. Run, Hamlet, run. Where are you going Hamlet?
"I am going to find Uncle Claudius." On the way he passes a brook. In the brook he sees Ophelia. Ophelia is drowning. "Where are you going?" asks Laertes, Ophelias brother. "I am going to find Uncle Claudius." "Oh ho! I am Laertes," says the man. "Let us draw
swords. Let us duel." "I don't think I'm going to find Uncle Claudius," says Hamlet. See Hamlet and Laertes duel. See Hamlet stab Laertes. See Hamlet's mother drink
poison. See Hamlet stab King Claudius. See everybody wounded and bleeding and dying and dead. The End
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