William shakespeare
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William Shakespeare. AP Lit and Comp. Hamlets. Hamlet Movies. Announcements. Song and poetry paper pushed back. Focus on poetry terms– studying the poems we covered in class. Block Day will be our last poetry day, and then we will test Friday or Monday. Seneca ( c . 4 BC – AD 65).

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William Shakespeare

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William shakespeare

WilliamShakespeare

AP Lit and Comp


Hamlets

Hamlets


Hamlet movies

Hamlet Movies


Announcements

Announcements

  • Song and poetry paper pushed back.

  • Focus on poetry terms– studying the poems we covered in class.

  • Block Day will be our last poetry day, and then we will test Friday or Monday.


Seneca c 4 bc ad 65

Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD 65)

  • Roman philosopher and dramatist

  • Hercules Furens (The Madness of Hercules) Troades (The Trojan Women) Phoenissae (The Phoenician Women) PhaedraThyestesHercules Oetaeus (Hercules on Oeta): there is doubt by some scholars whether this tragedy was written by Seneca. AgamemnonOedipusMedeaOctavia


Why is shakespeare so hard to read

Why is Shakespeare so hard to read?

  • Geoffrey Chaucer solidified English by writing his works in Middle English

  • Shakespeare vaulted literature/language into what we consider modern English. However, there are some words that are no longer used or words that do not have the same denotation today as they did in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    • Helpful: footnotes, watching the play as you read it.

  • English sentence structure determines meaning:

    • The dog bit the boy. vs. The boy bit the dog.

  • Shakespeare shifts his sentences away from “normal” structure in order to create a particular rhythm: emphasize a certain word, give a character his own speech patterns, create a tone, etc.

  • “He goes” changes to “Goes he.” “I hit him” changes to “Him I hit”


Why is shakespeare so hard to read1

Why is Shakespeare so hard to read?

  • Wordplay

    • Notice the characters that use it

    • Notice the characters who seem oblivious to ironic or satirical statements

    • “Seems” I.ii.74-79

    • How is it different with Hamlet and Polonius?

  • Implied Stage Action

    • Little stage direction written into the play

    • Much is mentioned through dialogue

      • Bernardo says of the ghost, “See, it stalks away.”

      • “I’ll cross it, though it blast me.”


Act 1

Act 1

  • The fact that a ghost has been seen walking the ramparts suggests, as is usual in Shakespeare’s plays, that nature is out of harmony. For example, Horatio comments that the ghost’s appearance “bodes some strange eruption to our state.”

  • Horatio’s stoic nature allows us to trust him when surrounded by so many emotionally charged characters.

  • Claudius’ opening speech

  • Hamletvs. other characters


Act 11

Act 1

  • Hamlet’s first soliloquy reveals a desperate character who is apathetic and despairing about life. He is satiric and melancholic to himself and others. Consider that satire is used to destroy the imperfections in life, melancholy to destroy the self because it can no longer endure those imperfections.

  • “Frailty, thy name is woman” is key to understanding Hamlet’s view of the world, and, more particularly, his misogynistic attitude toward Ophelia and women in general.


Act 12

Act 1

  • Laertes and Polonius are both concerned with Ophelia’s honor. Laertes warns Ophelia to guard her “chaste treasure,” to which Ophelia responds that he should not do “as some ungracious pastors do” and lead her up “the primrose path of dalliance” and not heed his own advice. Perhaps she knows her brother well!

  • Both Polonius and Laertes are concerned with their family honor but do not appear to act with any. Polonius does have some useful fatherly advice: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” “to thine own self be true.”

  • Recognize the tragic consequences of Polonius’ order to Ophelia and her response:

    POL.“I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth

    Have you so slander any moment leisure

    As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.

    Look to’t, I charge you.”

    OPH.“I shall obey, my lord.”


Act 13

Act 1

  • MAR. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

  • Hamlet’s reaction to the ghost suggests that he has had his suspicions:

    GHOST. “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life / Now wears his crown.”

    HAM. “O my prophetic soul! My uncle!”


Act i discussion questions

Act I Discussion Questions

  • Within your group, answer the assigned questions. Be prepared to share your answers. Each of you should write your answers to these questions as study materials for later.


Act ii

Act II

  • Ophelia’s report to her father about Hamlet’s appearance and actions suggest that he is passionately distracted. Hamlet’s later fascination with the actor’s ability to so passionately display Hecuba’s emotional trauma seems to suggest he is genuinely mad in this scene [As with most interpretations of Hamlet’s character, this observation is also open to . . . interpretation]

  • Ophelia is a good girl, but obeying her father has tragic consequences. When Polonius asks, “What, have you given him any hard words of late,” Ophelia responds, “No, my good lord, but as you did command / I did repel his letters, and denied his access to me.” Remember, Hamlet already has been betrayed by his mother’s actions.

  • Polonius’ aside, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” may reinforce the idea that Hamlet has truly put on an “antic disposition.” We are constantly left wondering whether he is actually mad at times or whether he is in control of his faculties.


Act ii1

Act II

  • Hamlet’s “What a piece of work is man” speech does not sound like a madman – even if he is speaking in prose.

  • The actors play a scene where Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, takes revenge for his father’s death by killing King Priam.

    • If Pyrrhus = Claudius then Hamlet may be stirring up feelings of pity for his father and hatred for Claudius.

    • If Pyrrhus = Hamlet then he may be looking for the inspiration to become a cold-blooded killer.

    • Hamlet may be dubious about the morality of revenge and needs the hellish scene replayed to confirm his doubts.

    • Hamlet may realize that killing would reduce him to Claudius’ level.


Act ii2

Act II

  • Hamlet’s “rogue and peasant slave” soliloquy sees Hamlet enraged that he can’t “act” when the actor playing Hecuba is so convincing in his portrayal of a grieving wife. He rages that he has not killed the “[bloody], bawdy villain!” He then recovers his wits to conceive of the plan to expose Claudius’ guilt.


Act ii discussion questions

Act II Discussion Questions

  • Within your group, answer the assigned questions. Be prepared to share your answers. Each of you should write your answers to these questions as study materials for later.


Act iii

Act III


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