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Shakespeare��s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark


Shakespeare��s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

 
 

Characters:

Claudius, King of Denmark    Marcellus, officer

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark    Bernardo, officer

Polonius, Lord Chamberlain    Francisco, soldier

Horatio, friend to Hamlet    Reynaldo, servant to Polonius

Laertes, son of Polonius    Fortinbras, Prince of Norway

Voltemand, courtier     Queen Gertrude

Cornelius, courtier     Ophelia, daughter of Polonius

Rosencrantz, courtier    Ghost of King Hamlet

Guildenstern, courtier    Clowns, Gravediggers, etc.

Osric, courtier 

Storyline:

King Hamlet has suddenly died; his brother, Claudius, has taken the throne through marriage to King Hamlet��s wife, Gertrude.  Prince Hamlet is very upset—both about the death of his beloved father, and his mother��s quick marriage to her brother-in-law.  Hamlet learns through Horatio that his father��s ghost has appeared on the battlements of Elsinore.  Hamlet encounters the ghost there and learns that Claudius has murdered his late father.  Hamlet swears he will have swift vengeance, but he doubts the honesty of the ghost—was it truly his late father?  Prince Hamlet feigns madness in order to confirm his uncle��s guilt.  He denounces Ophelia, whom he had loved, and succeeds in convincing her father, Polonius, of his madness.  The arrival of a company of actors at the Danish court provide him with further opportunity; he persuades them to stage an old play whose story parallels Claudius��s crime.  Claudius gives himself away and orders Hamlet to England, where he plans to have Hamlet killed.  Hamlet confronts Gertrude in her chamber, and stabs the eavesdropping Polonius, mistaking him for King Claudius.  Determined to avenge Polonius��s death, his son Laertes returns to Denmark, where he finds Ophelia mad.  News reaches Claudius that Hamlet is back in Denmark; he plots with Laertes a duel in which Hamlet��s death will be assured by a poison-tipped sword.  News of Ophelia's drowning death makes Laertes even more determined to make Hamlet pay for his actions.  The duel between Laertes and Hamlet takes place; it culminates in the death of Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet.  The play ends with Fortinbras of Norway, newly-proclaimed King of Denmark, ordering a military funeral for Hamlet. 
 
 

Subplots:

While the main plot focuses on Hamlet, the subplots of the play are also significant.  They are:

--The loss of a father figure—Hamlet has lost his father, and has a new ��father figure�� in Claudius].  Two other sons lose their fathers during the plot of the play, Laertes and Fortinbras—but their reactions are quite different.  What is this meant to illustrate?

--The political situation between Denmark and Norway—and the character of young Fortinbras, as a contrast to Prince Hamlet, is important.  Politics play a significant role in the play, as does the idea of what qualities make a good political leader; we can not forget that Hamlet is to one day be king of Denmark. 
 

Major Themes:

--Revenge:  Hamlet searches continuously for the answer to the question of whether or not he should avenge his father��s death.  His concern with right and wrong in religious, moral, and political terms causes him much inner turmoil.  Contrast this with the revenge taken by Laertes and the actions of young Fortinbras. 

--Appearance vs. Reality:  The play contains many situations in which the surface appearance of things does not always match reality.  Hamlet struggles to determine who his true friends are; the players in the acting troupe assume new identities; Claudius appears to be a true and just king, and Gertrude his virtuous queen—but are these appearances reality? 

--Sanity vs. Insanity:  In many ways this conflict is intertwined with the theme of appearance vs. reality.  Hamlet��s sanity or insanity has baffled critics for years.  Even the characters in the play discuss the inconsistencies in Hamlet��s behavior, sometimes assuming his is really insane, and at other times noticing his clarity of thought.

Timing, Timing, Timing:  When events occur is often important, so here is a list: 

Acts and scenes   Times and Places

Act I, scene i   Midnight, at the battlements of Elsinore

Act I, scene ii and iii  The next day

Act I, scenes iv and v  The following night

Act II, scenes i and ii  Six or eight weeks later

Act III, scene i   The next day

Act III, scenes ii, iii, iv  That evening

Act IV, scenes i, ii, iii, iv  The same evening, immediately following

Act IV, scenes v, vi, vii  A few weeks later

Act V, scenes i and ii  Four or five days later 

 

ACT I

Scene i:

Significant quotes: Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important. 

  1. Our last king,

    Whose image even but now appeared to us,

    Was as you know by Fortinbras of Norway,

    Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride

    Dared to the combat, in which our valiant Hamlet

    (for so this side of our known world esteemed him)

    Did slay this Fortinbras. . .

    . . . Now, sir, young Fortinbras. . .

    . . .to recover of us by strong hand

    And terms compulsatory those foresaid lands

    So by his father lost�� [I. i. 80-104] 
     
     
     
     

    1. ��If thou hast any sound or use of voice,

       Speak to me. . .

       If thou art privy to thy country��s fate,

       Which happily foreknowing may avoid,

       O, speak!�� [I. i.128-135] 
     

    1. ��But let us impart what we have seen tonight-

      Unto young Hamlet, for upon my life

      This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him

      Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,

      As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?�� [I. i. 169-173].  
       

      SUMMARY:  Act I, scene I:  On the castle wall in Elsinore, a sentry, Bernardo, replaces Francisco on guard and is joined by Horatio and Marcellus.  Bernardo and Marcellus tell of a supernatural being they have seen.  The ghost of the late King of Denmark silently appears and withdraws.  The three agree that this visitation seems especially ominous in view of an impending war with Norway.  The Ghost reenters, but disappears again when a cock crows.  Horatio decides that they should tell Prince Hamlet of the appearance of his father��s spirit.

     
     

    Act I, scene ii:

    Significant quotes: Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother��s death

      The memory be green, and that it us befitted

      To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom

      To be contracted in one brow of woe. . .

      Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen

      Th��imperial jointress to this warlike state. . .

      In equal scale weighing delight and dole

      Taken to wife��  [I.ii.1-14]

     
     
     

    2.��How is it that the clouds still hang on you?  [I. ii.66]

     
     
     

    3.��I am too much in the sun��  [I. ii. 67]

    1. ��Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, 
       

      And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.

      Do not forever with thy vailed lids

      Seek for thy noble father in the dust.

      Thou know��st ��tis common.  All that lives must die,

      Passing through nature to eternity�� [I. ii. 68-73].

    1. ��But you must know your father lost a father, 
       

      That father lost, lost his,. . .

      . . . But to persever

      In obstinate condolement is a course

      Of impious stubbornness.  ��Tis unmanly grief.

      It shows a will most incorrect to heaven�� [I. ii. 89-95].

    1. ��O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, 
       

       Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,

       Or that the Everlasting had not fixed

       His canon ��gainst self-slaughter!  O God!  God!

       How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

      Seem to me all the uses of this world!��  [I.ii.129-4]

    1. ��Why, she would hang on him 
       

      As if increase of appetite had grown

      By what it fed on, and yet within a month—

      Let me not think on��t; frailty, thy name is woman--!��

      ��Within a month��

      She married.  [I. ii. 143-156]

    1. ��The funeral baked meats 
       

      Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables�� [I. ii. 180-1].

    1. ��I shall not look upon his like again.�� [I.ii.189] 
       
    1. ��A countenance more in sorrow than in anger�� [I. ii. 232]. 
       
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act I, scene ii:

     
     
     
     
     

    Act I, scene iii:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��For Hamlet, and the trifiling of his favor,

      Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,

      A violet in the youth of primy nature,

      Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,

      The perfume and suppliance of a minute,

      No more��  [I. iii. 5-10].

    1. ��His greatness weigh��d, his will is not his own�� 
       

            ��for on his choice depends

           The safety and health of this whole state.��  [I.iii.14-18]

    1. ��And these few precepts in thy memory 
       

      Look thou character.  Give thy thoughts no tongue��

           Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

            Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel��  Beware

           Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in

           Bear��t, that the opposed may beware of thee.

           Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice��

           Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy��

           For the apparel oft proclaims the man��

           Neither a borrower nor a lender be��

           This above all, to thine own self be true,

      And it must follow as the night the day

      Thou canst not then be false to any man��  [I. iii.58-80].

    1. ��Affection?  Pooh!  You speak like a green girl, 
       

      Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.

      Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?��  [I.iii.101-103].

    1. ��When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul 
       

      Lends the tongue vows��

      �� Ophelia,

      Do not believe his vows��

      I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,

      Have you��

      ��give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet�� [I.iii.116-134]

    SUMMARY:  Act I, scene iii:

     
     
     
     
     

    Act I, scene iv:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Angels and ministers of grace defend us!

      Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned,

      Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,

      Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

      Thou com��st in such a questionable shape

      That I will speak to thee.  I��ll call thee Hamlet,

      King, father, royal Dane.  O, answer me!��  [I.iv.39-45]

    1. ��Something is rotten in the state of Denmark�� [I.iv.89]. 
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act I, scene iv:

     
     
     
     
     

    Act I, scene v:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��But that I am forbid

      To tell the secrets of my prison house,

      I could a tale unfold whose lightest word

      Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

      Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,

      Thy knotted and combined locks to part,

      And each particular hair to stand on end

      Like quills upon the fretful porpentine��  [I. v.13-20].

    1. ��Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder��  [I.v.24]. 
       
    1. ��I, with wings as swift  
       

      As meditation or the thoughts of love,

      May sweep to my revenge�� [I.v.28-30]

    1. ��O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!�� [I.v.47] 
       
    1. ��Sent to my account 
       

       With all my imperfections on my head��

           But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,

       Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive

       Against thy mother aught.  Leave her to heaven�� [I.v.78-86]

    6.  ��There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy

      But come;

      Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,

      How strange or odd so��er I bear myself---

      As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

      To put an antic disposition on—

      That you know aught of me��  [I.v.166-80].

     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act I, scene v:

     

    Shakespeare��s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: ACT II

    Act II, scene i:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Before you visit him to make inquire

      Of his behavior��  [II.i. 3-4].

    1. ��Your party in converse, him you would sound�� [II.i.46] 
       
       
    1. ��Lord Hamlet,. . .  
       
       

      As if he had been loosed out of hell

      To speak of horrors—he comes before me��  [II.i. 77-84]

    1. ��. . .as you did command 
       

      I did repel his letters and denied

      His access to me��  [II.i.108-110].

     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act II, scene i:

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act II, scene ii:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��More than his father��s death, that thus hath put him

      So much from th�� understanding of himself,

      I cannot dream of.  I entreat you both. . .

      . . . so by your companies

      To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather

      So much as from occasion you may glean,

      Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus,

      That opened lies within our remedy��  [II.ii.8-18].

    1. ��And sure I am two men there are not living 
       
       
       

       To whom he more adheres��

       Your visitation shall receive such thanks

       As fits a king��s remembrance�� [II.ii.20-26].

     
     

    3.     ��I have found

      The very cause of Hamlet��s lunacy��  [II.ii.48-9].

     
     

    4.   ��I doubt it is no other but the main,

      His father��s death and our o��erhasty marriage��  [II.ii.56-7].

    1. ��Doubt thou the stars are fire; 
       
       

      Doubt that the sun doth move��

      Doubt truth to be a liar;

      But never doubt I love��  [II.ii.116-119].

    1. ��Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star. 
       
       

       This must not be�� [II.ii.79-80].

    1. ��To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand��  [II.ii.178-9]. 
       
       
    1. Words, words, words��  [II. ii.191]. 
       
       
    1. ��Though this be madness, yet there is method in��t��  [II.ii.203-4]. 
       
       
    1. ��O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams��  [II.ii.251-3]. 
       
       
    2. ��What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties; in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god:  the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!  And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?  Man delights not me—nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so��  [II.ii.300-306].
    1. ��I am but mad north-north-west.  When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw�� [II.ii.365-6]. 
       
    1. ��O vengeance! 
       

      Why, what an ass am I!  This most brave,

      That I, the son of a dear father murdered,

      Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,

      Must like a whore unpack my heart with words. . .

      About, my brain!...

      I��ll have these players

      Play something like the murder of my father

      Before mine uncle.  I��ll observe his looks. . .

      . . . The spirit that I have seen

      May be a devil, and the devil hath power

      T�� assume a pleasing shape, yea, and perhaps

      Out of my weakness and my melancholy. . .

      Abuses me to damn me. . .

      . . . The play��s the thing

      Wherein I��ll catch the conscience of the king��  [II.ii.566-91].

     

    SUMMARY:  Act II, scene ii:

     

    Shakespeare��s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: ACT III

    Act III, scene i:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��To be, or not to be—that is the question:

      Whether ��tis nobler in the mind to suffer

      The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

      Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

      And by opposing end them.  To die, to sleep—

      No more—and by a sleep to say we end

      The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

      That flesh is heir to.  ��Tis a consummation

      Devoutly to be wished.  To die, to sleep—

      To sleep-perchance to dream:  ay, there��s the rub,

      For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

      When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

      Must give us pause. . .

      But that the dread of something after death,

      The undiscovered country, from whose bourn

      No traveler returns, puzzles the will,

      And makes us rather bear those ills we have

      Than fly to others that we know not of?

      Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,. . .�� [III.i. 55-83].

    1. ��Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind�� [III.i.103]. 
    1. You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it.  I loved you not��  [III.i.117-119]. 
       
       
    1. ��What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth?  We are arrant knaves all. Believe none of us.  Go thy ways to a nunnery.  Where��s your father?�� [III.i.127]. 
       
       
    1. Madness in great ones must not unwatched go�� [III.i.188]. 
       
       
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act III, scene i:

     
     
     
     
     

    Act III, scene ii:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as ��twere, the mirror up to nature�� [III.ii.18-20].
    1. O heavens!  Die two months ago, and not forgotten yet?  Then there��s hope a great man��s memory may outlive his life half a year�� [III.ii.124-126]. 
       
       
    1. ��The lady doth protest too much, methinks�� [III.ii.222]. 
       
       
    1. ��O good Horatio, I��ll take the ghost��s word for a thousand pound.  Didst perceive?�� [III.ii.276-77] 
       
       
    1. . . . Now could I drink hot blood 
       

      And do such bitter business as the day

      Would quake to look on. . .

      Let me be cruel, not unnatural;

      I will speak daggers to her, but use none�� [III.ii.375-81].

     

    SUMMARY:  Act III, scene ii:

     
     
     

    Act III, scene iii:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven;

      It hath the primal eldest curse upon��t,

      A brother��s murder��  [III.iii.36-38].

    1. ��. . . and am I then revenged, 
       

      To take him in the purging of his soul,

      When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?

      No��     [III.iii.84-87].

     

    SUMMARY:  Act III, scene iii:

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act III, scene iv:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Hamlet, thou has thy father much offended��  [III.iv.10].
    1. ��You are the Queen, your husband��s brother��s wife, 
       
       

       And—would it were not so—you are my mother�� [III.iv.18-19].

    1. O Hamlet, speak no more. 
       
       

      Thou turn��st mine eyes into my very soul��  [III.iv.90-1].

    1. ��O step between her and her fighting soul!��  [III.iv.114] 
       
       
    1. ��O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain��  [III.iv.157]. 
       
       
    1. ��. . . So again, good night. 
       

      I must be cruel only to be kind.

      Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind��  [III.iv.178-180].

    1. ��I essentially am not in madness, 
       
       

       But mad in craft�� [III.iv.189-90].

     
     
     

    8.    ��There��s letters seal��d, and my two schoolfellows,

           Whom I will trust as I will adders fang��d,

           They bear the mandate�� [III.iv.305-7].

     
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act III, scene iv:

     

    Shakespeare��s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: ACT IV

    Act IV, scene i:

    Significant quotes: Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,

      And from his mother��s closet hath he dragged him.

      Go seek him; speak fair, and bring the body

      Into the chapel��  [IV.i. 34-37]

     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene i:

     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act IV, scene ii:

    Significant quotes: Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Take you me for a sponge, my lord?��  [IV.ii.14]
    1. ��The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body.  The king is a thing—��  [IV. ii.26-7]. 
       
       
       
       
     
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene ii:

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act IV, scene iii:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��How dangerous is it that this man goes loose!

      Yet must not we put the strong law on him;

      He��s loved of the distracted multitude,

      Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes,

      And where ��tis so, th�� offender��s scourge is weighted,

      But never the offense��  [IV.iii.2-7].

    1. ��Not where he eats, but where ��a is eaten��  [IV.iii.19]. 
       
    1. ��And, England, if my love thou hold��st at aught— 
       
       

      As my great power thereof may give thee sense,. . .

      . . . which imports at full

      By letters congruing to that effect

      The present death of Hamlet.  Do it, England,

      For like the hectic in my blood he rages,

      And thou must cure me��  [IV.iii.57-67].

     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene iii:

     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act IV, scene iv:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��We go to gain a little patch of ground

      That hath in it no profit but the name��  [IV.iv.18-9].

    1. ��How all occasions do inform against me 
       

      And spur my dull revenge!

      . . .How stand I then,

      That have a father killed, a mother stained,

      Excitements of my reason and my blood,

      And let all sleep, while to my shame I see

      The imminent death of twenty thousand men

      That for a fantasy and trick of fame

      Go to their graves like beds,

      . . . O, from this time forth,

      My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing else!��  [IV.iv.32-66]

     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene iv:

     
     
     
     

    Act IV, scene v:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be��  [IV.v.43].
     
     
     
     

    2.��O thou vile king,

        Give me my father��  [IV.v.117-8].

    1. ��Let come what comes; only I��ll be revenged 
       
       
       

       Most thoroughly for my father�� [IV.v.141-2].

     
     
     
     

    4.   ��And where th�� offense is, let the great axe fall��  [IV.v. 217].

     
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene v:

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act IV, scene vi:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��I alone became their prisoner. . . I have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb. . . Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England. Of them I have much to tell thee��  [IV.vi.19-28].
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene vi:

     
     
     
     

    Act IV, scene vii:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��But my revenge will come��  [IV.vii.29].
    1. ��And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe, 
       

      But even his mother shall uncharge the practice

      And call it accident��  [IV.vii. 65-7].

    1. ��Laertes, was your father dear to you?

       Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,

       A face without a heart?�� [IV.vii.112-14].

     
     

    4.   ��Revenge should have no bounds�� [IV.viii.135].

    1. ��. . .her garments, heavy with their drink, 
       

      Puled the poor wretch from her melodious lay

      To muddy death��  [IV.vii.180-2].

     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act IV, scene vii:

     

    Shakespeare��s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: ACT V

    Act V, scene i:

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer?  Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, his tricks?��  [V.i.92-4].
    1. ��Alas, poor Yorick.  I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.  He hath borne me on his back a thousand times.  And now how abhorred in my imagination it is!  My gorge rises at it.  Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.   Where be your gibes now?��  [V.i.172-7]. 
       
    1. ��Lay her i�� the earth, 
       

       And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

       May violets spring.  I tell the, churlish priest,

       A ministering angel shall my sister be

       When thou liest howling�� [V.i.223-227].

     
     

    4.     ��Sweets to the sweet!  Farewell��  [V. i. 229].

    1. ��For, though I am not splenative and rash, 
       
       

      Yet have I in me something dangerous,

      Which let thy wisdom fear.  Hold off thy hand��  [V.i. 248-50].

    1. ��I loved Ophelia.  Forty thousand brothers 
       
       

      Could not with all their quantity of love

      Make up my sum��  [V.i.257-9].

    1. ��The cat will mew, and dog will have his day��  [V.i. 280]. 
       
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act V scene i:

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Act V, scene ii

    Significant quotes:  Please state who has said the following, who the quote is spoken to, and why the quote is important.

    1. ��There��s a divinity that shapes our ends,

      Rough-hew them how we will�� [V.ii.10-11].

    1. ��Wilt thou know 
       

      Th�� effect of what I wrote?. . .

      An ernest conjuration from the king,

      As England was his faithful tributary, . . .

      He should the bearers put to sudden death,

      Not shriving time allowed��  [V.ii.36-47].

    1. ��The king, sir, hath laid, sir that in a dozen passes between yourself and him he shall not exceed you three hits��  [V.ii.148-9]. 
       
       
       
     
     
     

    3.   ��You will lose this wager, my lord��  [V.ii.198].

    1. ��Not a whit.  We defy augury.  There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow.  If it be now, ��tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come.  The readiness is all�� [V.ii.207-10]. 
       
       
       
       
    1. ��Hamlet, thou art slain: 
       
       
       

      No med��cine in the world can do thee good.

      In thee there is not half an hour��s life

      . . .Thy mother��s poisoned.

      I can no more.  The king, the king��s to blame��  [V. ii.302-9].

    1. ��Then venom, to thy work��  [V.ii.311]. 
       
       
    1. ��He is justly served. 
       
       

       It is a poison temper��d by himself.

       Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet.

      Mine and my father��s death come not upon thee,

      Nor thine on me!��  [V.ii.315-19].

    1. ��O, I die, Horatio! 
       
       
       
       

      The potent poison quite o��ercrows my spirit.

      I cannot live to hear the news from England,

      But I do prophesy th�� election lights

      On Fortinbras.  He has my dying voice.

      So tell him, with th�� occurrents, more and less,

      Which have solicited—the rest is silence��  [V.ii.341-47].

    1. ��For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune. 
       
       
       

      I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,

      Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me�� [V.ii.381-3].

    1. ��Let four captains 
       
       
       

      Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage;

      For he was likely, had he been put on,

      To have proved most royal; and, for his passage,

      The soldiers�� music and the rites of war

      Speak loudly for him.

      Take up the bodies.  Such a sight as this

      Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.

      Go, bid the soldiers shoot�� [V.ii.389-97].

     
     
     
     
     

    SUMMARY:  Act V scene ii:

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    SHAKESPEARE��S HAMLET: VOCABULARY

    LITERARY TERMS USED IN DISCUSSING DRAMA:

    TRAGIC HERO: a person of stature who is neither villainous nor exceptionally virtuous who moves from happiness to misery [this sudden reversal of fortune is called peripedy].

    HAMARTIA: a frailty or error [the tragic flaw of a tragic hero].

    HUBRIS: excessive pride or self-confidence [a type of hamartia—there are many kinds, yet this is one of the most common].

    DRAMATIC FOIL: a character who is another character��s opposite; s/he emphasizes certain personality traits in the other character simply because they are opposites.

    ASIDE: inner thoughts of a character spoken to the audience when other characters are on the stage.

    SOLILOQUY: inner thoughts of a character spoken to the audience when other characters are not on the stage.

    EXUNT: plural for ��exit.��

    PERIPEDY: the sudden reversal of fortune of a tragic hero; when the tragic hero moves from happiness to misery [from fortune to misfortune].

    CATHARSIS: a purging of emotions; the purification or ��draining off�� of repressed/dangerous feelings.

    BLANK VERSE: unrhymed iambic pentameter [IAMBIC: an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable; PENTAMETER: verse with five feet—of two syllables each--in a line]; blank verse was the standard verse for Elizabethan theater.  For example:  Queen Gertrude, in Act II, says that Prince Hamlet has broken her heart.  She says, ����O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain��  [III.iv.157].

     
     
     

    ACT I:

    1. HARBINGER [5]
    2. AUSPICIOUS [7]
    3. FILIAL [9]
    4. SULLIED [10]
    5. FRAILTY [11]
    6. COUNTENANCE [13]
    7. IMMINENT [16]
    8. SEPULCHRE [21]
    9. TAINT [25]
    10. PHILOSOPHY [28]
     
     
     

    ACT II:

    1. DRIFT [30]
    2. TRANSFORMATION [33]
    3. GLEAN [33]
    4. BREVITY [36]
    5. REPULSED [37]   
    6. PREGNANT [39]   
    7. MIRTH [42]
    8. DISPOSITION [42]
    9. PASSIONATE [45]
    10. MALEFACTIONS [50]
     
     

    ACT III:        ACT IV:

    1. CRAFTY [51]       1. EXPLOIT [96]
    2. MORTAL [53]                           2. RAPIER [97]
    3. WAX [54]                  3. ANOINT [98]
    4. ARRANT [55]
    5. KNAVE [55]       ACT V:
    6. COMMENCEMENT [56]      1. WAGER [115]
    7. VIRTUE [57]       2. AUGURY [116]
    8. LIBERTY [66]
    9. ARRAS [69]
    10. REPENTANCE [70]
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Final Projects and Essay Topics:

    1. Present a scene from the play in a modern context, whether in writing or through enactment; use contemporary settings, words, and ideas.  For example, what might Hamlet��s famous ��to be or not to be�� soliloquy [III. i] sound like in modern language? 
    2. Write an alternative ending to the play.  For example, what might have happened if Hamlet had not died?  What sort of a king would he have made?
    3. Determine if the character of Prince Hamlet is a believable one.
    4. Compare and contrast the character of Hamlet to that of Horatio, Laertes, and/or Fortinbras.
    5. Consider the women in the play, and assess Shakespeare��s portrayal of them.
    6. Analyze Shakespeare��s use of subplots in the play.  Discuss the strengths and/or weaknesses of the technique of subplot and determine if it is appropriate in the play.
    7. Of the themes present in Hamlet, decide which is the most important—and justify your selection.
    8. Hamlet has six soliloquies in the play:  Act I. ii; Act II. ii, Act III. i, Act III. ii, Act III. iii, and Act IV. iv.  State why each of these soliloquies is important.
    9. Write a character diary describing significant scenes as if they had just occurred.
    10. Create a timeline for the play where you list the significant events in order.
    11. Create a scene in Heaven or Hell where specific characters defend their lives or tell others what has happened in their lives.  You may want to include King Hamlet along with the other characters in the play.
    12. Suppose you were the psychologist to whom Hamlet has come during the play—how would you help him sort out his feelings of ambiguity toward Gertrude and Claudius?
    13. Sometime between Act III, scene iv [where Hamlet kills Polonius] and Act IV, scene v [Ophelia��s mad scene], someone informs Laertes about his father��s death.  Write the scene where the messenger brings Laertes the news.
    14. People in Elizabethan England did believe in ghosts.  Analyze Shakespeare��s use of the ghost of King Hamlet—what part does he play in the events that occur?  What would the play be like without the ghost?
    15. In an additional scene after the end of the play, Fortinbras appears before the people to let them know that he is the new King of Denmark and that, when he becomes King of Norway, he will join the kingdoms together.  What does he say?
     

    Remember that these topics and ideas are merely suggestions; Hamlet is one of Shakespeare��s most enduring tragedies, and there are a myriad ways to respond to the play.  Use your imagination when considering your final project; do speak to me before starting to work on whatever you select.

     

    Thanks!


     

     

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