Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hamlet Study Guide for Act 1:1 - 3:1

The first thing you should do is click this link. I created a label for all the Hamlet Videos, which you will see at the bottom of the posts. Clicking that link will do the same thing; it narrows down the content on the blog.

You have until Monday night @ 11:59 to complete this assignment. Late posts will not be accepted (since this is to also serve as a group study guide for the exam on Wednesday, March 5.) It is worth 50 points and will be graded with the open response rubric.

Choose any one of the following six passages from Hamlet and present your thoughts and observations on its significance to the play. Though your writing does not have to be as formal as it would be in an explication, you still need to present ideas with depth and evidence.

All things you can write on (though not a complete list):
  • present an explication of some lines
  • explain allusions
  • explain how Shakespeare develops symbols, images, or words (like your strand)
  • explain how Shakespeare develops characterization
  • address Hamlet's sanity
  • connect to other moments in the play (give specific evidence--this is essential for character and strand development)
  • critique the performance of the delivery of the video (least important for this particular assignment, though we'll get to this later)

You should have a mountain of writing about this play already, so I'll expect the posts to be substantial.

When you post, make sure you read what is there in the comment stream. What you write must be new: I certainly do not want a recap of things that were said in class or already posted by your peers.

Post in the comment stream of the video. Feel free to log in again and comment on theories that you like.


Brian A. 6 said...

In Act 1, Scene 5, lines 92-112 Hamlet’s soliloquy Shakespeare is literal with this piece, however, during Hamlet’s speech he reveals a lot bout himself and his views of society. To begin, Hamlet says “ O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else? And Shall I couple Hell?” (lines 92-93) which literally means what else can this world throw at me? Hamlet goes on and says into the air “ But bear me [ stiffly] up. Remember thee! Ay, thou poor ghost, whiles memory holds a seat; In this distracted globe. Remember Thee! Yea, from the table of my memory; I will wipe away all trivial fond records, all saws of books, all forms, all pressures past that youth and observation copied there, That thy commandment all alone shall live ; Within the book and volume of my brain.” Hamlet then swears to his ghostly father that him and his commandment to kill Claudius and leave his mother out of it shall live in his brain forever.

It is interesting that Hamlet calls his brain a distracted globe. There is a side note for globe, it means head, however, if one considers Hamlet’s head a globe would that his father’s the sun? And is everyone else around him other planets? It is inferred at this moment that Hamlet has no clue what to do with his life, it was just revealed to him that his was murdered by his uncle. His uncle now the king of Denmark and his mother remarried, I would be pretty distracted myself. However on line 99 Hamlet says “ I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records” Does this mean Ophelia? Or his past that people may actually be good, that society is not a prison. Trivial has multiple means which could make this line go in many different directions such as in biology trivial means specific, as distinguished from generic. He could be distinguishing Ophelia as not generic perhaps this is the real deal maybe he loves her? But he is willing to give her up for his father and kill Claudius?

On line 106 hamlet says “O most pernicious woman!” Who the woman is, is unclear. It could be Ophelia or Gertrude it works both ways. Pernicious means causing insidious harm or ruin and evil which hamlet feels his mother has done, marrying her brother-in-law tainting the very name of Denmark. He may just be says O most evil woman about his mother. But this is where Ophelia may fit in, pernicious also mean obsolete, which then makes Ophelia out of date and he put his fathers commandments in place of her or his mother.

The rest of his soliloquy continues with him says “ O, villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! My tables- meet it is I set it down; That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain! At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark; So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word It is “ Adieu, Adieu! Remember me.”” I have sworn’t “ ( lines 107-112) I find it interesting that Hamlet uses the idea of three. This is a possible reference to the bible. I find it interesting that Hamlet openly says he does not know much about the world around him. “At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark” I am sure of it, however, it shows a lot about Hamlet that he writes “Adieu, Adieu! Remember me” because if you pronounce Adieu it is A-die-you. But I find it interesting that Hamlet writes the statement as if it is reference to the Ten Commandments like so it is said so it is written, it is in writing and writing lasts forever. And finally he has sworn for his father’s revenge so hammy is out for Claudius.

Mr. G said...

post in correct comment stream please!

Katie S6 said...

wait MR.G, im doing Act 1:4-5
which video do i post it under?

Mr. G said...

katie, you did it right.

Danielle S. 5 said...

Danielle S. 5

Hamlet Study Guide

Topic: Hamlet’s Sanity

Throughout the course of this novel Hamlet the son of the deceased King Hamlet has portrayed himself with a very unusual outlook on his surrounding world as far as how things are intended to happen or in his view, just fall in place. Ever since Hamlet found out that that is father died, who killed him, and to the extent that his mother and uncle betrayed him, Hamlet lost almost all cense of sanity.

Throughout the course of this novel Hamlet’s devastation realization of his mothers wrong doings towards him was hard to take. It left him without a fatherly figure in his life and more importantly without a motherly figure, which for Hamlets was something that he just couldn’t coup with so he found someone to fill that void , he found Ophelia the sister of Laertes and the daughter of Polonius. Ophelia turned out to be more of a quick fix for Hamlet in the end, though it is not certain one may theorize that Ophelia was never really in love with Hamlet or if she was originally she fell out of love with him quickly. Polonius, Ophelia’s father viewed Hamlet as a threat to his daughter; He felt that if they dated that Ophelia would be turned into something that she’s not. Polonius feared that Hamlet would have little to no time for Ophelia in their relationship seeing as how he is royalty, so therefore Polonius made Ophelia swear to avoid Hamlet at all costs which she did. One may theorize that avoiding Hamlet wasn’t such a hard thing for her to do in fact it may have been very easy for her. Along with his father Polonius, Laertes shares the same feelings toward the relation between his sister Ophelia and Hamlet. So we see that Hamlet has the odds against him.

Although it is not brought up in the novel a great deal we see Hamlet’s lack of a fatherly figure. Hamlet’s biological father king Hamlet the king of Denmark was killed by his uncle Claudius who in turn married his mother and took over power as the new and improved King of Denmark. When Hamlet finds this out it is a complete shock to him he looses all faith in fatherly figures and men in general, but the true icing on the cake is when Hamlet expresses his love for Ophelia and that desperate expression is turned down by the two people who should ideally accept hamlet into Ophelia’s life both Leartes and Polonius.

So the moral of the story and this study guide is to point out the fact that Hamlet’s insanity all started out because he wasn’t given the equal opportunity to have a fraternal or paternal figure in his life. He was forced to adapt to way that he weren’t accustomed to and in the end it lead to his down fall along with all those around him. One may theorize that it wasn’t so wise to push Hamlet away because it lead to the downfall of all those who pushed hamlet away.

Hayden Robel said...

Hello my name is Hayden Robel and I am a member of Ernest Righetti High school's AP Literature class of 2012. I realize this blog post may be dated and quite possibly abandoned but if anyone happens to somehow be alerted of this post i have a question of my own on Hamlet as we too are reading the Shakespearean works utilizing blogs for our class structure.

In your opinions do you believe there could have ever been a paceful resolution between Hamlet and Claudius? Could you ever see a scenario in which Hamlet sets aside his vengeance quest and forgive the uncle king? Creative alternatives to the Act V climax are encouraged!

Again if anyone happens too see this please feel free to contact me by my blog:

Thanks again!
Hayden Robel

Ubi Kim said...

Hayden beat me here, but I am also a member of the AP Lit class of the 2012-2013 school year. In class we just completed the final act of Hamlet, and I was wondering about your opinions on the way that Shakespeare went about killing almost every character in Hamlet.

My course blog:


Michelle Crosby said...

Howdy! So like the previous two commenters before me I'm from Ernest Righetti High School's AP Lit Comp Class (2012-2013).
We're just finishing up reading Hamlet as a class and I was wondering if you guys had any ideas about why Shakespeare even included Ophelia in the play.
My blog is:
Thanks. :D

Felicitas Ruiz said...

As you can see, some of my classmates already beat me here, and I am also a member of the AP Lit class of the 2012-2013 school year. In class we just completed the final act of Hamlet, and I was wondering about your opinions on Shakespeare's view on revenge and tragedy? Why does the protagonist always die?

My blog is