Monday, March 12, 2018

Classwork 3/12: Hamlet Q's

If you were not in class on Monday, 3/12, then here are some questions for you to answer.

If you use the link above, just copy the Q's into a new doc and complete.  Or, feel free to just hand-write your responses using the Q's below:

Hamlet Act IV-V.i                                                                                Name:
Make-up Assignment                                                                          Date: 3/12/2018

1.    Hamlet left for England after declaring that he was going to think only “bloody” thoughts from this point onward.  It was going to be pretty difficult to do anything about Claudius from England, though.  What odd, offstage plot device sends Hamlet back to Denmark (

2.            How are the tone and content of Hamlet’s two letters (to Horatio and Claudius) different?  In particular, what is does Hamlet’s diction imply in his letter to Claudius (IV.vii)?

3.            Claudius thinks perhaps that Laertes could kill Hamlet “accidentally” in a fencing match.  Claudius suggests that Laertes could just sort of happen to choose a sword “unbated,” or sharp, as opposed to the blunted weapon Hamlet would be using.  Pretty crafty, Claudius.  What does Laertes add to this plan in IV.vii.152-161?

4.            OK, so Laertes is crafty too.  But Claudius suggests they should have a “second” option, which is … (162-176)?

5.            Ophelia’s death, described in a hauntingly sad, sweet monologue by the Queen (IV.vii.181-198) dominates the ending of Act IV.  Does is come across as swift karma for Laertes’s evil plotting?  Does it seem like a logical or inevitable extension of her descent into madness?  Does she, perhaps, take her own life?

6.            Water is sometimes a symbol of purification, sometimes destruction, sometimes cognition or deep intellect -- sometimes simply a natural, elemental symbol.  Which is it here … or is it all of the above???  Use specific text details (w/line#’s) to support your thinking.

7.            Feeling bold?  Sketch a little image of Ophelia’s death and label some of the key details. (Not feeling bold?  Do a google search of Ophelia or Ophelia’s death and annotate a classic rendition of this scene … or several of them if this is intriguing to you.  Which parts are right out of the text, and which parts does the artist embellish?)

8.            Note: this next sentence completion question is an attempt to get you to consider the significance of the juxtaposition of the death of Ophelia with the Gravedigger scene (V.i.).  We no sooner have processed the tragic death of Ophelia, then we have the “Clown” gravediggers debating whether or not Ophelia … (V.i.1-10)!

Friday, March 9, 2018

HW 3/9: Hamlet Act IV (finish)

Please finish ACT IV in Hamlet:

Here's a link to ... where Horatio receives a letter from Hamlet saying his ship to England was attacked by pirates (!) and they are bringing him back to Denmark.  Pirates!? 

And here's a link to IV.vii. ... where Claudius and Laertes develop a wicked plan, and Gertrude delivers haunting an terrible news about poor Ophelia ... :(

Kahoot for IV.iii.-iv.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

HW 2/23: No HW Over Vacation

Please have a safe and restful February Vacation.  We will finish Hamlet together when we return.  Rest, relax, recharge.  See you in March!  --Mr. G.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

HW 2/13: I.iv. and Prove It (!) statements

Assignment: Using your books, find textual support for each of the following “true” statements.  There are no false statements.  Defend them all!  Carefully use line numbers for quotes and details, please.  If you are feeling brave, you might try using . . .  [ ]  and  / .

  1. Laertes cautions Ophelia against falling in love with Hamlet.
  1. Polonius gives Laertes advice on how to act while he is in France.
  1. Polonius is opposed to Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet.
  1. Hamlet is opposed to the “custom” of all-night drinking practiced by Claudius.
  1. At first, Hamlet thinks the ghost might be evil.
  1. Horatio is worried that the ghost might lead Hamlet to his death.
  1. Marcellus and Horatio suggested earlier in the play that the ghost was a harbinger of war (I.ii.); however, they now think that the ghost might be trying to tell them that something is terribly wrong. (Note: just “prove” the last part … that there seems to be an indication of, as Hamlet says at the end of I.ii., “foul play”).    

Monday, February 12, 2018

HW 2/12: Hamlet I.iii.

Please keep track of the advice given to Ophelia by Laertes (and vise-versa), from Polonius to Laertes, and from Polonius to Ophelia.