Hamlet A Final Discussion
Hamlet is the quintessential revenge play. A. True B. False
When Hamlet asks “To be or not to be,” he is seriously considering suicide. A. True B. False
Hamlet is the most intelligent character I have ever read. A. Yes, he trumps all of Shakespeare’s characters. He concocts a plan and is really witty. B. I don’t know about being the smartest in all of Shakespeare’s universe. Iago’s pretty smart. He concocted a plan and was really witty. C. He might not even be the smartest character we read this year. What about Darl in As I Lay Dying? D. Hamlet gets himself and his friends killed. How smart is that?
When did Claudius and Gertrude’s affair begin? A. Before Hamlet’s birth. Geez, Claudius could even be Hamlet’s dad. B. Before Old Hamlet’s death. Maybe Gertrude even had a hand in his murder. C. After Old Hamlet’s death. Gertrude was just a vulnerable widow. D. They never really had a romantic affair. It was all about power, not sex.
Could Hamlet be considered a villain? A. No way! He’s a hero! B. He’s no hero, but he’s no villain either. C. Well, if enacting vengeance is villainous, maybe. D. He is the reason everyone dies. He’s a villain!
When does Hamlet stop putting on his “antic disposition” and actuallybecome crazy? A. He never becomes crazy. He’s plotting all the time. B. He’s pretending until Ophelia dumps him. Then he goes crazy. C. He’s pretending until he kills Polonius. Then he goes crazy. D. He talks to ghosts. He writes plays about his father’s death. He’s attracted to his mom. He gets people killed. He’s crazy the whole time.
Why do you think Hamlet ages 8 years over the course of the play? • Christine Feeley perspective: He didn’t really care about his math getting in the way of telling a good story. After all, Romeo and Juliet met, fell in love, got married, and died – all within a matter of six days. Othello and friends travelled – by boat – from Venice to Cyprus. • Breanna Hughes perspective: He wanted to show that Hamlet had experienced eight years worth of emotional distress over the course of a short time. “It’s supposed to be figurative. Things in his life were going crazy, and he used it to represent that.” – Leigh Williams
What is Hamlet’s tragic flaw? A. He is obsessed with vengeance. B. He is too intellectual, and cannot escape the prison of his own mind. C. He blindly obeys his father’s wishes. D. He acts without considering consequences.
Who do you blame for Hamlet’s death? A. Hamlet himself B. Old Hamlet C. Claudius D. Laertes E. Gertrude
Hamlet is an important play to read. A. Of course! Shakespeare is the best, and this is Shakespeare’s best! It speaks to the nature of humanity. B. It is important for our cultural literacy. C. I think my life would have gone on just fine if I did not read this play. D. The play is antiquated and should be replaced with something more contemporary.