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I urge you to enable the close captioning so you can appreciate and...

 

I urge you to enable the close captioning so you can appreciate and interpret the language as you watch and take notes. You should also consider going here for a full-text version of the play, which you should have open as you watch and consult as you respond to the questions. Answer the ALL question and any 2 additional questions. You do NOT have to answer all the questions; just answer the ALL questions and TWO more.

 

 

ALL: Using the unit's information on drama, find a few examples of Hamlet meeting the classification of drama as outlined in the lesson on "Characteristics of Drama." Spend some time pointing out how specifics from Shakespeare's Hamlet meet those characteristics by quoting and summarizing the Blackboard notes and relevant examples from the play. 

 

The rest of the questions are on the aesthetics and themes of Hamlet. When citing the play, include act, scene, and line number, like this: (I.ii.24-27). This indicates Act I, scene ii, lines 24-27. Again, follow along with the text, here, for a version that has line numbers.

 

1. Symmetry in the changing of the guard. In East Coker, Eliot says that a good work of literature contains its end in its beginning. Now that you've watched the play and have access to the text of the play how is the first scene, which is a changing of the guard, like the end of the play? In other words, what changes of roles take place at the beginning and end? Limit the definition of end to Act V scene ii. 

 

 

2. Language parallels. In what ways is the language of the beginning (consider first scene) like and unlike the language of the end (consider the last scene). For example, you might see "light" in scene I and "sunshine" in the final scene. 

 

 

3. Plot parallels. In what ways is the plot (what happens) of any moment in Act I like and unlike the plot of any moment in Act V? 

 

 

4. Microcosm. In the Eliot assignment, I asked you to find interrelationships among ideas to show you that great literature is cohesive and beautiful because it's unified around an idea (birth or death, for example). In Act III scene iv, Hamlet says, "'tis the sport to have the engineer / Hoist with his own petard." Look up the meaning of the phrase "hoist with his own petard." Then choose two of the following characters and explain how those TWO are hoisted with their own petards: Hamlet, Polonius, King Claudius, and Laertes.

 

5. Shakespeare's wisdom. Shakespeare is considered the greatest of the greatest not only because of the beautiful structure of his writing, word choice, and sound, but also because of his insights about human nature. The Renaissance, when Shakespeare lived, was a period of rebirth of the classics. Renaissance writers took the great old ideas that had stood the test of time of thousands of years and remixed them with the knowledge of Renaissance culture to create insights about human nature that have continued to endure. Choose any ONE of the following lines and (1) explain what it means and (2) discuss how it can help you to understand yourself and others. Feel free to agree or disagree with the quote. Ideally, you'd draw from your personal experiences for development.

 

A. On debt: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be / For loan oft loses both itself and friend" (I.ii.81-82). B. On deception: "That one may smile and smile and be a villain" (I.v.115).

C. On our intellectual blindness and limited understanding: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (I.v.187-188).

D. On mindset: "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so" (II.ii.269).

E. On thought and action. Hamlet says "conscience" makes "cowards of us all," causing our "resolution" to be "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought" (III.i.84-86)

F. On forgiveness and penance. "May one be pardoned and retain th' offense?" (III.iii.56). 

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