Aristotle: ( REMEMBER?). Tragedy depicts the downfall of a noble hero or heroine, usually through some combination of hubris, fate, and the will of the gods. Tragedy aims to depict reality on stage. Jacobean and Elizabethan era: (REMEMBER?).
Tragedy depicts the downfall of a noble hero or heroine, usually through some combination of hubris, fate, and the will of the gods. Tragedy aims to depict reality on stage.
Jacobean and Elizabethan era:(REMEMBER?) All of Shakespeare’s tragedies during this era shared similar underlying themes- betrayal and greed. It is believed King James saw this as an opportunity to stress his greatness----(power in the wrong hands can lead to destruction)
… His plays attempted to provide somewhat of a historical view of a nation His plays reflected the political upheaval that was currently driving England during King James’ reign The protagonist was driven by his own greed, ambition, or lack of resolve (all that James believed he was)
REMEMBER? Tragic Hero: (Harmatia/Hubris) Characters’ characteristics and motives are always introduced early on in the tragedy Their role in the play is depicted by their personality The protagonist was driven by his own greed, ambition, or lack of resolve (all that James believed he was)
Remember? Aristotle says that a tragic hero must be an important or influential man who makes an error in judgment, as he finds his way through life-Oedipus is a perfect example of this- he desperately seeks answers based on his surroundings and what is told to him… Oedipus is considered to be a tragic hero- loved by many; a great king whose life falls apart due to the love (obsession) he holds towards his own accomplishments and titles.
Remember? Oedipus’ ( king of Thebes) narcissistic ways blind him from seeing the truth and recognizing his fate, hence leading to his own self-destruction Macbeth’s (great general, thane of Glamis) ignorance and greed allowed him to be convinced by Lady Macbeth to commit the murder, ignoring his own morals.
Revenge/Renaissance tragedy (Hamlet): Elements: (Harmatia & Hubris???) a play within a play, mad scenes, a vengeful ghost, and one or several gory scenes a central character who has a serious grievance against a formidable opponent central character takes matters into his own handsand seeks revenge privately, after justice has failed him in the public arena.
Hamlet as a Tragic Hero Does Hamlet fit the Aristotelian mold? (“KINDA…”): Hamlet goes against the Aristotelian mold of tragedy because he’s not a hero (Renaissance man, as opposed to???) Hamlet’s psyche is what moves the play; his battle to be able to go against his morals His inability to go against his morals, and murder Claudius, caused him to be murdered
… Hamlet’s death was caused by himself, not because of pride, arrogance, or ignorance, but because of his good nature (ability to reason) or inability to commit… His flaw was: not being able to commit to anything, as opposed to being fully convinced and committing an irrational act- OTHELLO, MACBETH, ETC.
… Hamlet was: Prince of passion and an intellect First protagonist in a Shakespearean play to not abandon his morals, but still caused his own demise Understands the ways of the court --- level-headed even in the face of those things that would drive others to rashness (think of Macbeth or Othello)
Dramatic Devices in Elizabethan Tragedies Act 1, scene 1 Ghosts and haunting often appeared throughout theater to seek vengeance, reclaim property or give warnings. Ghosts affects the atmosphere of horror and build suspense throughout the scene. Once the ghost appears, his presence is felt throughout the whole play (http://is.muni.cz/th/105557/ff_b/Seeing_and_Interpreting_the_Ghosts_in_Elizabethan_Revenge_Tragedy.pdf)
… The Ghost frames the action---dominates the initial stage of the play… he is the prime mover of the action in this play… (http://is.muni.cz/th/105557/ff_b/Seeing_and_Interpreting_the_Ghosts_in_Elizabethan_Revenge_Tragedy.pdf) Poor scenery, so focus was on diction/compositionof lines to instill emotions within the audience Nighttime setting and sound effects also assisted in building suspense and adding to the drama.
Act 1, scene 1 Ghost of King Hamlet appears to Marcellus, Horatio, Bernardo, and Francisco, Characters conclude the Ghost is a sign of things to come for Denmark
… Audience learns of young Fortinbras’s vengeance towards Denmark (subplot that supports the main theme or action within the play) (What seems to be the recurring theme here??)
Act 1, scene 2 Important characters & literary devices/elements are introduced: Claudius, brother of King Hamlet… current king of Denmark, and husband to Gertrude His opening lines reveal the current state of Denmark as well as his current position in the kingdom.
… Voltemand and Cornellius- Courtiers (representatives of the King’s court) are sent to Norway to address Fortinbras’ uncle of young Fortinbras’ plan Laeretes – son of Polonius, brother to Ophelia (Hamlet’s boo!), asks to return to France for school. He returned to Denmark for Claudius’ coronation (what’s that??)
… Polonius- The Lord Chamberlain (chief officer of the royal household) of Claudius’s court, a pompous, conniving old man. Gertrude- mother of Hamlet, current wife of Claudius, widow of Sir Hamlet
… Gertrude attempts to appeal to Hamlet--- *What’s interesting about her current attitude? *Does Gertrude’s attitude/tone play a role in dictating Hamlet’s current emotional state?
Hamlet’s intro vs. Macbeth & Othello’s Hamlet- Analyzing Hamlet’s attitude---the diction implies Hamlet is sarcastic (as noted in the ASIDE--- “a little more than kin and less than kind”---What is he insinuating, here? What conclusion can audience draw?) Exploring his speech-what’s interesting about his tone? *What does his tone reveal? *What Aristotelian element of creating a tragedy is being stressed here? *How does his aside affect the audience and the story?
… Hamlet’s current mental state reveals his manipulative nature, which is what makes him so interesting Renaissance man---- *What conclusion can be drawn about Hamlet as a Shakespearean protagonist upon witnessing his interaction with Claudius and Gertrude? Although he is sad and hurt, he’s able to effectively hide it to fool Claudius & Gertrude
… Hamlet’s 1st soliloquy: “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew…” *What does his soliloquy reveal to the audience? Horatio informs King Hamlet’s ghost appears.
Act 1, scene 3 & 4 Laertes & Polonius advise Ophelia against Hamlet’s love. Polonius’s character is somewhat whimsical as introduced in his rambling to Laertes as he departs to France. Ophelia admits her love for Hamlet, but ultimately decides to obey her father and brother’s wishes.
Act 1, scene 5 Ghost appears- Hamlet's 2nd soliloquy: “O al you host of heaven! O earth! What else?” Hamlet’s tone reveals he’s overwhelmed *Do you think this is the case? Why?
… Ghost reveals, he was poisoned by Claudius Ghost asks Hamlet to seek revenge Hamlet forces everyone to secrecy upon the conclusion of the night
Terms introduced in Act 1: Soliloquy an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character's innermost thoughts) Pun (n) exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or words that sound alike, but have different meanings. (V)- Make a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word.
… Aside- A piece of dialogue intended for the audience and supposedly not heard by the other actors on stage. Theme-common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. Diction- is the actual composition of the lines that are recited.
… Metaphors- phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.” Similes- a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”
… Allusions- an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference. I.e. Hamlet's soliloquy references his dead father as Hyperion( Ancient Greek titan) & his uncle Claudius as a satyr (A grotesque creature, half-man and half-goat, symbolic of sexual promiscuity). His father is godlike while his uncle is bestial.
Upon concluding Act 1, I should know: Act I: serves to introduce the conflict(s), set the scene and mood, introduce the principal players, and set the plot in motion.
Before reading Act 2, I should know: Act II: serves to add complications to the conflict(s) and to develop both characters and plot lines. Themes developed in Act 2: Appearance vs. Reality Betrayal Secret plots
… Elements of a Revenge Play are explored: d. a play within a play e. mad scenes, a vengeful ghost, and one or several gory scenes f. a central character who has a serious grievance against a formidable opponent g. central character takes matters into his own handsand seeks revenge…
Act 2, scene 1 The theme of secrecy is explored further Polonius asks Reynaldo to secretly investigate Laerte’s conduct in Paris He rambles on about how Reynaldo should do it----he gives Reynaldo explicit directions on how to investigate Laertes.(1st theme???)
… Hamlet visits Ophelia and seems extremely scared and nervous---he hands Ophelia a letter He’s unsettled and pale as described by Ophelia to Polonius Polonius concludes that Hamlet is “love sick” and feels he should inform the king
Act 2, scene 2 Claudius secretly plots to discover the reasons for Hamlet’s supposed madness. He has summoned two of Hamlet’s school friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, both to comfort his nephew/son and to try to discover the reason for his distemper (supposedly)
… Voltemand and Cornelius inform Claudius about the current King of Norway, Fortinbras’ uncle, rebuking Young Fortinbras’ plans to attack Norway seeks Claudius’ permission to allow Fortinbras passage through Denmark in this proposed campaign against Poland. Claudius declares his approval of this message and says that he will consider its details soon.
… Polonius informs Claudius of Hamlet’s strange visit to Ophelia (again pay attention to Polonius’s whimsical nature) He reads Ophelia’s letter from Hamlet to Claudius and Gertrude, and concludes Hamlet is insane
… Hamlet’s letter: Hamlet’s tone is inconsistent and he rambles on Hamlet clearly declares his love/trust for her, but he does it in a contradictory fashion. What do Hamlet’s words reveal about his current mental/emotional state as you read his letter? *Upon reading his letters, do the words in this letter and the reactions of the characters affect the current tone of the play?
Back to Act 2, scene 2 Polonius & Claudius agree to spy on Hamlet by using Ophelia Polonius takes it upon himself to secretly investigate Hamlet’s behavior Hamlet entertains Polonius’ inquiries--- Hamlet acts as if he doesn’t recognize Polonius, and his speech is unclear. ((WHY??) (What theme is being developed?)
Act 2, scene 2 Polonius and Hamlet’s conversation in prose: Hamlet refers to Polonius as a “fishmonger” Hamlet’s replies to Polonius seem melancholy (sad), and nonsensical ( Why is Hamlet doing this?)
… c. Hamlet toys with Polonius; fooling him to think exactly what he wants to think *What does this interaction with Polonius reveal to us about Hamlet? *Why is Hamlet acting or speaking this way? *Upon witnessing how he handles the conversation with Polonius, what can we conclude?
Act 2, scene 2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: They enter, surprising Hamlet with their visit Hamlet immediately questions their presence in Elsinore, which he refers to as a prison (Why?) “A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.”
… Rosencrantz and Guildenstern avoid the question, declaring that they have come for no other reason than to visit him. (*Hamlet immediately seems suspicious!) Hamlet’s responses are investigative, further fueling his curiosity… “Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, deal justly with me. Come, come! Nay, speak.” *Why does Hamlet ask all these questions?
Act 2, scene 2 Polonius enters with the Players: Hamlet asks for the player to recite Aeneas’ tale to Dido, specifically---Phyrrus’ murder of Priam. Hamlet reacts emotionally to the player’s passionate display… Why? Polonius watches Hamlet very closely…Why?
… Upon the conclusion of the Player’s individual performance, Hamlet requests they perform a play, “tomorrow” in front of the royal court Hamlet requests the addition of 16 lines, he wishes acted out during their performance
Act 2, scene 2 Hamlet’s 3rd Soliloquy: Hamlet’s lines confirm his feelings towards his current situation… “O What rogue and present slave am I…” Hamlet is disgusted with himself. First player could weep for Hecuba, but Hamlet--- “can say nothing; no, not for a king, upon whose property and most dear life/ A damn’d defeat was made…”
Act 2, scene 2 b. Hamlet seems hard on himself and begins to question his courage and his ability to commit Hamlet seems to be blaming himself, half-mockingly, he says that If the player had the same “motive and cue for passion” he would” he would “drown the stage with tears…”
Act 2, scene 2 c. Hamlet seems to be accusing himself of having the player’s passion, of not hating Claudius strongly enough.
Before reading Act 3, I should know: Hamlet is still battling with his decision: …and continues the building of complications until the action comes to a climax. The action following the climax is the falling action. The climax is the turning point!
… d. At the climax the audience begins to sense the conclusion or denouement. e. Three different points that may be considered the climax of Hamlet ( PAY ATTENTION)
Act 3, scene 1 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern inform Claudius & Gertrude of Hamlet’s continuous craze Polonius informs them of Hamlet’s invitation to to see the players’ performance; they agree to join. (What is Hamlet’s plan?)
… Polonius, Claudius, and Ophelia: Polonius uses Ophelia to bait Hamlet, as this occurs, Polonius and Claudius eavesdrop (Why?)
Act 3, scene 1 Hamlet’s 4th soliloquy--- “To be or not to be:” Hamlet seems to be questioning his current existence, and the position he is in. *What do you think he’s contemplating here? What's stands out to you about his tone?
Act 3, scene 1 b. Hamlet battles with the idea of what his afterlife may entail as a result---- “To sleep: perchance to dream:—ay there’s the rub; / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…” *What do you think he’s referring to, when he says “dreams”
Act 3, scene 1 The “dreams” that he fears are the pains that the afterlife might bring There is no way to be positive that death is the solution, he is forced to question death again. *What affect do these lines have on the mood/tone of the play?
Act 3, scene 1 c. When he revisits the idea of death, he thinks of the sufferings again--- “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man’s contumely…” *Upon hearing these lines--- what conclusions do you think the audience is drawing about Hamlet?
Act 3, scene 1 Hamlet & Ophelia’s encounter: Ophelia continues her distance from Hamlet, and chooses to return some mementos Hamlet acts as if he’s unfamiliar with the letter she presents to him, and denies ever giving it to her. (Why do you think Hamlet does this?
Act 3, scene 1 Hamlet is extremely hostile towards her, and continuously insults her---- “Get thee to a nunnery! Why wouldst thou be a(130) breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest but… it were better my mother had not borne me.” Why does Hamlet say such things?
Act 3, scene 1 Hamlet doesn’t trust Ophelia; he suspects someone is listening to their conversation--- “Where's your father?” Hamlet doesn’t believe her response that Polonius is home… What does Hamlet say that makes this evident?
Act 3, scene 1 Ophelia is hurt by Hamlet’s insults, as well as her part in driving him away Claudius concludes that Hamlet’s actions are not due to his mad love for Ophelia--- “Love? His affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little, Was not like madness. There's something in his soul…”
Act 3, scene 1 King Claudius decides to send Hamlet to England---he no longer believes Hamlet is merely lovesick. Polonius' plan to eavesdrop on Hamlet's conversation with his mother after the play to hopefully learn more from Hamlet.
Act 3, scene 2 At the onset: Hamlet gives very specific and meticulous instructions to the players. Hamlet’s conversation shows that he trusts Horatio. What affect does this have on the plot, character, or the theme? Does he admit anything to Horatio just before everyone arrives?
Act 3, scene 2 Once the people enter: Hamlet’s character seems full of energy; different from what we’re used to seeing. His speech is very vulgar and insulting towards Ophelia What’s the cause of this sudden change?
Act 3, scene 2 Play within a Play (R.P. element): Hamlet’s play, “The Mouse Trap” or “The Murder of Gonzago,” is performed. The mime preceding the play mimics the Ghost's description of King Hamlet's death. It causes King Claudius to react---- Hamlet’s convinced that his uncle did indeed poison King Hamlet
Act 3, scene 2 Hamlet pretends not to know that the play has offended King Claudius. Hamlet agrees to speak with his mother in private... Why the sudden change in Claudius’ attitude? What’s interesting about Gertrude’s reaction upon seeing the play?
Act 3, scene 3 Claudius’ 1st Soliloquy: Alone, King Claudius reveals in soliloquy his own knowledge of the crime he has committed (poisoning King Hamlet) and realizes that he cannot escape divine justice... Hamlet’s 5th Soliloquy: Hamlet questions his timing and his ability to commit---he’s paralyzed, and shows evidence of his self-disgust.
Act 3, scene 4 Queen Gertrude attempts to scold Hamlet; instead Hamlet scolds her for her actions. Why? Queen Gertrude cries out in fear; Polonius echoes it and is stabbed through the arras (subdivision of a room created by a hanging tapestry) where he was listening in.
Act 3, scene 4 Hamlet continues to his mother but the Ghost reappears, telling Hamlet to be gentle with the Queen. Queen Gertrude agrees to stop living with King Claudius, beginning her redemption.... King Claudius fears Hamlet and decides to send him overseas to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in order to protect himself.
Act 4 The climax and still occurring ---- the highest point of interest!! Hamlet is being forced into a course of action. Things begin to unravel.
Act 4, scene 1 Hamlet exits, dragging Polonius’ body. Gertrude says it was accidental, and Claudius becomes afraid. What’s intresteing about Gertrude’s response to Claudius?
Act 4, scene 1 The king orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find Hamlet and discover where he has taken Polonius’ corpse.
Act 4, scene 2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern question Hamlet about Polonius’ whereabouts. Hamlet evades their questions playfully, accusing his former friends of loyalty to the king.
Act 4, scene 3 Claudius is greatly distracted by the death of Polonius as he attempts to find the body. Claudius questions Hamlet as to where he has taken Polonius. After some morbidly humorous replies, Hamlet reveals that he hid Polonius “up the stairs into the lobby.” What’s interesting about Hamlet’s tone?
Act 4, scene 3 Claudius then tells Hamlet that he is to depart immediately for England, as planned. Hamlet mockingly departs. Claudius prepared letters asking the English king to kill Hamlet as part of the duties owed by right of conquest.
Act 4, scene 4 Next we see Fortinbras’ Norwegian army. They are at the borders of Denmark… on their way to claim “worthless land.” The captain meets with Hamlet, who is being conveyed by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the ship to England. What’s the irony here?
Act 4, scene 4 Hamlet’s 6th Soliloquy: “How all occasions do inform against me.” These men are off to risk their lives for a worthless piece of land… His mind is full of bloody thoughts, but… What is ironic about this soliloquy?
Act 4, scene 5 The suspense/tension is still high Queen is informed of Ophelia’s current madness… *What do you think caused Ophelia’s sudden madness? *What words stand out to you in her song? Do they reveal anything? Laertes returns angrily- *What brings Laertes back to Elsinore?
… We notice the civil unrest in Denmark---the people are behind Laertes---- Polonius’ hidden death is revealed Claudius is accused of trying to hide Polonius’ death---he even tries to lie to Laertes—Why? The conversation btwn. Claudius and Laertes reveals Claudius’ fear and inability to lead *How/Why?
… *What elements of Laretes’ current character stand out to you now? *Why does Claudius agree to work with Laeretes? Is there a strategy behind this?
Act 4, scene 6 The suspense remains HEIGHTENED: A messenger approaches with a letter from Hamlet to Horatio. Letter reveals---Pirates attacked Hamlet’s ship, and he was taken by the pirates who agreed to return him to Denmark
… The letter goes on to inform Horatio to meet him quickly---it also reveals that he has information pertaining to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He tells Horatio to also allow the letters to reach Claudius *What stands out to you about the tone of the letter? *What’s the purpose of such short scenes?
Act 4, scene 7 Leartes & Claudius’ conversation: Laretes is angered b/c Claudius has not punished Hamlet for Polonius’ murder Claudius reveals why he couldn’t arrest or punish Hamlet--(Denmark’s support & Gertrude’s love for Prince Hamlet)
… Claudius reads Hamlet’s letter aloud to Laertes---Hamlet reveals he wishes to meet with Claudius in search for “forgiveness.” Claudius devises a plan to kill Hamlet, and asks Laertes to remain calm---Larets reveals that he wishes to be the one to kill him
… They arrange a duel between Hamlet and Laertes--2 accomplished swordsmen, though Laertes is the more reputed (known) Laertes decides he will dip his sword in poison so that the least scratch will kill Hamlet. Claudius then says he will prepare a poisoned cup and give it to Hamlet during the fight.
… Ophelia’s Death: Gertrude enters and reveals that Ophelia has drowned. Gertrude --- Ophelia seemed “ignorant of danger” and went to her death slowly, singing songs. This news further angers Laertes’ rage *What portion of the plot are we in? *Is this a new climax?
… *What conclusions can the audience draw about the current action of the play as well as the future action? *What, in this scene, can cause confusion for the audience? *Is there a correlation btwn. Hamlet’s psyche and this scene?
Act 5 Before I read: ACT V forces Hamlet and Claudius into a final confrontation. (we finally start seeing the falling action) Gravediggers scene marks the seriousness of the act ----prepares Hamlet for the finality of death. Scene 2 brings all forces to bear against each other.
Act 5, scene 1 The graveyard scene: Grave diggers provide comic relief The gravediggers are debating whether or not Ophelia deserves a proper burial
… Hamlet comes across gravedigger and is awed by the gravedigger's indifference towards his job--- “Has thou fellow no feeling of his business? He sings in gravemaking.” He picks up Yorick’s skull, an old jester (comedian of the court) *What’s the significance of this scene? *What’s interesting about Hamlet’s reaction?
Act 5, scene 2 Hamlet & Horatio’s conversation: Hamlet has already told Horatio happened to him and is now coming to the (crucial part) Horatio responds emphatically by responding “Remember it, my lord? The one part of that circumstance."
… The wager: Osric informs Hamlet of Claudius’ excessively highwage against him vs. Laeretes Hamlet openly mocks Laeretes *Is there a purpose behind Hamlet’s mocking tone? What can the audience conclude? *Why is the wager so high? *What were Claudius’ intentions?
Act 5, Scene 2 The Duel: Gertrude drinks the poisoned cup, mistakenly Hamlet is cut by Laeretes’ poisoned sword Hamlet then stabs Laretes with his own poisoned sword
Gertrude dies as a result of the poisoned wine As Laeretes is dying, he then reveals Claudius’ devilish plan Hamlet then forces Claudius to drink the wine *What portion of the plot are we entering?
Act 5, scene 2 Hamlet’s dying words: He promises the land to Fortinbras He asks Horatio to promise to tell his story *How does the end differ from Othello’s? *What conclusion does the audience draw of Hamlet’s character, now?