Hamlet Act 1 - Paige Keenan & Saba Nafees 1B 24th Jan,...

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1B 24 th Jan, 2010 Hamlet: Act I Questions 1. The humor of Horatio speaking to the ghost is that Horatio not only can not get the ghost to speak, but he also offends it, and it flees away. The fact that Horatio is a supposed “scholar” and can’t get the ghost to speak, and he actually becomes frightened by the ghost when he is supposedly the smart one is ironic. If he were truly a “scholar,” he would be able to force the ghost to speak since the ghost will only speak to such men. 2. The opening and closing of any play (just like any work of art) are perhaps the most important features that lead to an overall understanding of the work. Shakespeare rightfully opens the play with an apparition in the dead of the night in order to establish the overall dark mood of the play. It foreshadows the dark period that Denmark is about to face as violence and turmoil will envelope it. Overall, it reflects the darkness of a “tragedy of betrayal, revenge and bitter choices.” 3. Because King Hamlet killed Fortinbras, King Hamlet gained all of Fortinbras’s land. Since the ghost appears as Hamlet’s father wearing armor, Hamlet takes it as a sign to be weary of military attacks. The son of Fortinbras is still alive, and Hamlet believes he may come to avenge his father’s death. 4. Among the many superstitions attributed to the times of Renaissance, ghosts were known to appear when a spirit was uneasy and desired revenge. Its’ appearance also was thought of as an omen for bad things to occur. In this case, Horatio believes that the late king’s spirit is a bad omen for Denmark. It was also thought that only scholarly people could converse with them, as evidenced by the guards. 5. Hamlet’s uncle has just married the queen making him the new king of Denmark. Hamlet is upset at the rash-ness of the wedding, but the king claims he is balancing out the mourning that Hamlet and the country are experiencing with the greatness that is the marriage. He is fearful of Fortinbras and sends Cornellius and Voltemand to Norway. 6. The king tells Laertes that he will listen to whatever he has to say due to the great respect he has for Polonius. This respect arises from the fact that Polonius is as close to the throne as the “mind” is to the “heart.” Therefore, since Laertes is Polonius’ son, he will grant him whatever he asks of him. 7. A) The puns suggest that Hamlet has a sarcastic and untrusting personality. He is not one to immediately let people into his life without them having proven themselves. B) Since Hamlet is speaking in puns that no one else he is speaking to notice, it shows that Hamlet is very smart and takes pride in being able to insult people to their faces without them even noticing. C) The pun “a little more than kin and less than kind” suggests that Hamlet is bitter
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Hamlet Act 1 - Paige Keenan & Saba Nafees 1B 24th Jan,...

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