What kind of plays?. During Shakespeare’s career, fashions and tastes in drama changed. He wrote mostly comedies and history plays during the Elizabethan period – 1558-1603 Tragedies and tragicomedies during the reign of King James – 1603-1625. What Kind of Plays?. Tragedy
In addition, the tragic hero may achieve some revelation or recognition. Aristotle terms this sort of recognition "a change from ignorance to awareness."
HAMLET, the prince of Denmark, returns home from college for the funeral of his father, KING HAMLET. He finds that his mother, QUEEN GERTRUDE, is now married to the new king, CLAUDIUS, brother of the old king, and Hamlet’s uncle. The ghost of Hamlet’s father visits Hamlet, claims he was murdered by Claudius, and commands Hamlet to avenge him. Hamlet is uncertain of the right course of action, and so feigns madness as he ponders the deed. His unusual behavior alarms those around him, including his girlfriend OPHELIA. To test Claudius’s guilt, Hamlet stages a play that includes the exact details of the murder. When Claudius storms out of the audience, Hamlet is convinced of his guilt and plans to kill him.
He later discovers Claudius praying but decides not to kill him. Then, while Hamlet is talking with his mother, the queen, he discovers that someone is hiding behind the curtains. Thinking it’s Claudius, Hamlet stabs him — only to discover that he has killed Claudius’s advisor, POLONIUS, father of Ophelia and Laertes .
Claudius banishes Hamlet to England, with a secret plan to have him executed on arrival. Hamlet learns of the plot and
escapes. Upon returning home, he finds that OPHELIA has
drowned herself. LAERTES, Ophelia’s brother and Polonius’
son, teams up with Claudius to devise a plan to kill Hamlet
during a duel with a poison tipped sword. The plan backfires:
Queen Gertrude dies, Laertes dies, and Hamlet is fatally stabbed. Before succumbing to his wounds, Hamlet slays
Claudius. FORTINBRAS, the Prince of Norway, takes over as
the new king.
- ACT 1
Scene 1: The ghost appears outside the castle.
Scene 2: Hamlet grieves for his dead father.
Scene 3: Polonius and Laertes warn Ophelia about Hamlet.
Scene 4: Hamlet meets the ghost.
Scene 5: The ghost commands Hamlet to avenge him.
- ACT 2
Scene 1: Hamlet’s behavior frightens Ophelia.
Scene 2: Plans are made to watch Hamlet.
- ACT 3
Scene 1: The “To be or not to be” scene.
Scene 2: The “play within a play” scene.
Scene 3: Hamlet doesn’t kill Claudius as he prays.
Scene 4: Hamlet kills Polonius thinking that he is Claudius.
- ACT 4
Scene 1: Claudius decides to banish Hamlet to England.
Scene 2: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern retrieve Hamlet.
Scene 3: Claudius announces Hamlet’s banishment.
Scene 4: While on the way to England, Hamlet encounters
Scene 5: Ophelia goes mad.
Scene 6: Horatio finds out that Hamlet has escaped.
Scene 7: Claudius and Laertes plot to kill Hamlet. Ophelia dies.
- ACT 5
Scene 1: Gravedigger’s scene and Ophelia’s funeral.
Scene 2: The duel: all but Horatio die. Fortinbras becomes the
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world
……….’Ti an unweeded garden (Lines 33-5)
- Critical comments
- Critical comments: Character Revelation; Atmosphere of Horror
A soliloquy is a dramatic device which allows a character to reveal his thoughts to the audience but not to the other characters in the play. In Shakespeare’s time soliloquies were widely used. When an actor was alone on the stage he could speak aloud his thoughts, thus giving the audience clear insights into his character and his intentions.
The soliloquy :Dramatic significance
(1) His father was murdered by his uncle who has become the king of Denmark;
(2) His mother was married to his uncle right after his father’s death;
Hamlet berates himself for doing nothing, even when motivated by a ghost, in comparison to the player whose emotions run away with him due to nothing but a fiction.
So he plans the Mousetrap.