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Hamlet “The Whisper Goes So” Act 1.1. AP English – Nov. 21, 2011. Warm-up.

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Hamlet the whisper goes so act 1 1

Hamlet“The Whisper Goes So”Act 1.1

AP English – Nov. 21, 2011

Warm up

Consider: “I perceived, as I read, how the collective white man had been actually nothing but a piratical opportunist who used Faustian machinations to make his own Christianity his initial wedge in criminal conquests. First, always “religiously,” he branded “heathen” and “pagan” labels upon ancient non-white cultures and civilizations. The stage thus set, he then turned upon his non-white victims his weapons of war. – Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

1. What is the author’s attitude toward the collective white man?

2. What is the tone of the passage? List the words that reveal it.

Apply: Rewrite the first sentence to read like positive propaganda for “the collective white man.” Don’t change the meaning, just the tone.

Discussion examining act 1 1 1 80
Discussion: Examining Act 1.1.1-80

  • Who are these people? What are they doing?

  • What information is provided about the physical setting?

  • What atmosphere/mood is created by this setting?

  • What do the physical aspects of the setting suggest about the characters’ behavior?

Quick write examining act 1 1 1 80 answer the following questions in your journal
Quick Write: Examining Act 1.1.1-80Answer the following questions in your journal.

  • What does the opening question “Who’s there?” imply about Barnardo and the situation?

  • Does anything in the conversation between Barnardo and Francisco reinforce these implications?

  • What additional information do we gain about Barnardo and Francisco from their conversation?

Discussion examining act 1 1 1 801
Discussion: Examining Act 1.1.1-80

  • Shakespeare wrote into the body of the play many signals and directions. What do the commands and questions in lines 1-20 suggest about staging this scene?

  • What inferences can be drawn about Horatio’s character? About his relationship to the guards?

Setting the scene
Setting the Scene

  • What is the mood?

  • What should the set look like?

  • Where do the entrances and exits go?

  • Where should the actors be positioned?

  • What props are needed?

Acting the scene
Acting the Scene

  • Actors, please come forward.

  • Directors, be prepared to guide your actors.

Weighing delight and dole
“Weighing Delight and Dole”

  • In reading scenes 1 and 2, did you come across situations or comments that could cause problems for Hamlet?

    • Claudius’ drinking

    • Claudius taunting of Hamlet

    • Claudius allowing Laertes to go back to school but not Hamlet

    • Hamlet following the Ghost against the advice of his companions

Claudius s opening speech how language reveals character
Claudius’s Opening Speech:How language reveals character

  • Use of royal “we”

    • Public = we; Private=I

    • When a monarch switches between first-person plural and firs-person singular it signals a change in situation or tone

    • Why does Claudius continue to use the royal “we” when addressing Hamlet, whom he calls his “son”?

Claudius s opening speech how language reveals character1
Claudius’s Opening Speech:How language reveals character

  • Antithesis: the balancing of two contrasting ideas, words, phrases, or sentences in parallel grammatical form

    • “An auspicious and drooping eye”

    • “with mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage”

    • What feelings do these juxtapositions evoke?

Claudius s opening speech how language reveals character2
Claudius’s Opening Speech:How language reveals character

  • Choice of words

    • Why does Claudius remember old Hamlet with “wisest sorrow” rather than “deep sorrow”?

    • Why does he say it “befitted” them to ber their “hearts of grief”?

  • Order of ideas he presents

    • Why does Claudius justify his marriage to Gertrude, deal with Norway’s impending invasion, and respond to Laretes’ petition before he addresses Hamlet?

Exchange between claudius and hamlet 1 2 66 96
Exchange between Claudius and Hamlet 1.2.66-96

  • When Claudius says, “But now, my cousin Hamlet and my son,” what does he really want?

  • What is he thinking?

  • Why might he choose a public place to greet Hamlet?

  • When Hamlet says, “‘Seems,’ madam? Nay it is. I know not ‘seems,’” what does he really mean?

  • What is he thinking about his mother?

  • Why does Hamlet use puns and riddles when he speaks to Gertrude and Claudius?

    • Pun= “kind” – affectionate or natural and lawful or “common” – universal occurrence and vulgar

    • Riddle = “Not so, my lord. I am too much in the sun,” to Claudius’s question “How is it that the clouds still hang on you?”


  • Read Hamlet’s soliloquy “O, that this too, too sullied flesh” (1. 2.133-164) several times out loud. Then,

    • Paraphrase it in your log

    • Note signals in the language that give clues to Hamlet’s innermost thoughts

      • Choice of words, construction of phrases, sequence of thoughts

    • Does he hide behind puns as he does with Claudius?

    • What does the antithesis reveal?

Ghost scene actors
Ghost Scene Actors

  • Prepare to perform next class.