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Hamlet

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on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of Hamlet

Hamlet
PLOT
The plot is based on Hamlet whose father, the King of Denmark, was supposedly killed by Claudius, the king's brother. Hamlet embarks on a quest for retribution .
Style/Tone
The tone of the play is dark and doubtful, with supernatural aspects such as ghosts and uncertainty in Hamlet's thoughts.
Symbolism
Exposition
Hamlet is filled with long lasting sorrow after the death of his father and his mother's remarriage with the deceased king's brother.

Rising Action
Hamlet meets the ghost of his father, who tells Hamlet that Claudius poisoned him while asleep, which led to his death.

Hamlet then devises ways to make Claudius confess, and one was letting actors act a play about a king poisoned by his brother.
This was effective against Claudius.
Falling Action
Hamlet engages in a match of fencing against Laertes, who avenges for his father and sister that committed suicide. Claudius prepared a poisonous drink for Hamlet if he needed it.
Resolution
In the end, the fencers died of mortal wounds (Laertes had poison on his blade) while the queen (inadvertently) and king (forced by Hamlet) died of poisoning in the drinks.

This was the end to the Danish royal family.
Author's Intent?
Shakespeare mixed lots of themes and motifs in the play, and one of each includes vengeance and mysogeny, respectively.
Theme:
Vengeance
For most of the play, Hamlet plots to kill and make Claudius suffer for what Claudius has done to his father.

When Hamlet mortally wounds Polonius on accident, which led to Ophelia's insanity and her death, Laertes plots to kill Hamlet to avenge for his father and daughter.

The two avengers' death in the end
elicits the dark consequences
of revenge through murder.
"Dark"
Shakespeare first establishes this ominous and depressing atmosphere in Act 1 through the introduction of the ghost, apparently the recently deceased king of Denmark, and Hamlet's dark clothing and demeanor representing anguish for the loss of his great father.
Yorick's Skull
When Hamlet holds up Yorick's skull, which used to be from the king's jester who also played with Hamlet, Hamlet realizes that those who are glorified will meet their death in the end just like anyone else. The corpse of great people, such as Alexander the Great, is merely dust that show how death detracts a man's glory from his body once he was dead.
Poison
Poison in the play portrays the weakness of man. It has been used to cause deaths of characters in the play such as the King of Denmark (by his brother), Gertrude and Claudius (by drinks) and Hamlet (by Laertes's blade).

Hamlet and Claudius
The poison that killed both Hamlet and Claudius shows that man is not invincible and can't always accomplish their goals. Hamlet gets poisoned before he can avenge his father, portraying his passions diminishing into ashes. Claudius's plot with the poison goes unaccomplished and in the end drinks from his own poison.
King (Play within play)
The poison that the brother used to kill the king in the play-within-play demonstrates that even men with glory are fragile (weak) and are merely mortals. King Hamlet was regarded as a battle master who returned home with victory and lots of conquered land, and even though he was such a powerful leader and warrior, the king is not mortal; he was easily killed by poison.
By:
Ethan
English 10 Accelerated
Why "Hamlet"?
The title is very self-explanatory, as this play is mainly focused on the protagonist's, Hamlet, actions as he delves deeper into the meaning of life and the cause of the death of his father.

Since the title was very specific, it showed what happens in the story to be a personal goal of vengeance. The title emphasizes on the theme of revenge because Hamlet is the one bent toward retribution throughout the play, and the mentioning of "Hamlet" has an association to revenge.
Rhetorical Devices
The play has a good mix of rhetorical devices, with the prominent one being Hamlet's soliloquy "To be, or not to be" and the ironies found in the play.
"To be, or not to be, that is the question"
Soliloquy and Antithesis
Soliloquy - Hamlet gives a reflection of his thoughts on stage alone, despite how Claudius and Polonius are eavesdropping offstage (or hidden). The soliloquy is to inform the audience more clearly of Hamlet's thoughts and to progress the plot of the play.

Antithesis - In the soliloquy, Hamlet takes two ideas in each sentence and makes a comparison between them (to live and face obstacles or end it with death instantly). The contrast of ideas elicit Hamlet's perturbed state of mind, since the prince did not know how to cope and deal with his anguish.
Irony
There were a few notable ironies throughout the play:

Situational Irony: When Claudius prepares a goblet of poisonous drink to kill Hamlet, Claudius in the end was the victim of his own drink instead of Hamlet, contrary to what Claudius intended at the beginning.

Dramatic Irony: When Hamlet lets the actors act a scene of the king's brother poisoning the king, Hamlet has a purpose for this play, while the actors are acting it to entertain their audience (which turns out to be the opposite for Claudius)

Irony is used to create a sense of entertainment and catharsis at the same time. In the end, Hamlet IS a tragedy.
Swag
yolo

Personal Response
Hamlet is an intricately written play that embodies the audience into a realm of darkness with no one to trust. Deep in anguish, Hamlet ventures to figure out the meaning of life when his father died. Hamlet does not trust his mother, Claudius, taking the throne as the new king and Hamlet's stepfather, and his friends who secretly works under Claudius and Gertrude to get information out of Hamlet. Only with Horatio on his side, Hamlet has trouble finding the right solution and seeks the correct approach to his problems. The play truly displays obstacles faced by young adults today when the right approach to a problem is not apparent and portrays the darkness of people's inability to deal with dilemma that leads to demise (e.g. suicide) symbolized by Hamlet's death in the end. It is a dark play that reflects the harsh reality of life of the evil and the uncertainty surrounding what people do every day.
Blank Verse vs. Prose
The characters in the royal family speak in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter) and lower-class (e.g. gravedigger) speaks in prose.

However, Hamlet speaks in both prose and blank verse. Blank verse represents his nobility, while prose is part of his plan of acting crazy, part of getting others to think that there was something wrong with him.
Mysogeny -- Hatred towards Women
Hamlet's abhorrence of his mother's quick marriage with Claudius portrays Shakespeare's view of women as greedy yet weak.

Gertrude's marriage was seen as a way to keep her position as the queen of Denmark and to satisfy her needs of getting affections from someone to replace the deceased king. This makes Gertrude a woman who does not think critically to her actions and makes actions based on her desires and dependence of others.
Hamlet also tells Ophelia to move into a nunnery, where it is free of the vice seen in women (i.e. Gertrude) by Hamlet.


The play happened during the medieval era;

The events took place in the kingdom of DEMARK, mainly around or outside the Elsinore Castle.
Setting
Hamlet confronts his mother, who questions his behavior, and killed a man behind the curtains who was eavesdropping for the king.

The man was Polonius, the father of Ophelia, whom Hamlet loves, and Laertes.
CLIMAX
Uncertainty
Throughout the play, doubt is present in dialogues between characters. Even at the beginning of the play, one character asks "Who's there?", giving a sense of suspicion that will follow as the plot progresses.
Hamlet also engages in a battle of truth. He was in doubt what the real cause of his father's death was, and doubt the ghost was his father soul. Hamlet's soliloquies reveal his dilemma between coping with his troubles or instant death, as if it was a blissful slumber.
Hamlet (Character)
Prince Hamlet is a very loyal son who seeks vengeance from Claudius who killed King Hamlet. Although troubled and unable to figure out solutions to his anguish and uncertainty of events happening around him, he acts impulsively while assuming the role of a madman, and actions include stabbing Polonius behind the curtains and directly insulting his mother. As the plot progresses, he loses trust in mostly every character except for Horatio, shrouding him deeper into the darkness of melancholy and uncertainty.
Claudius
As the main antagonist of the play, Claudius has been the target of Hamlet's vengeance, but he is a cunning ruler with the ability of manipulating who he talks to through his persuasive language. He is a selfish man who seems to take the throne of King Hamlet to satisfy both his cravings for power and lust, and becomes more self-centered as the plot progresses. When he heard about Polonius getting stabbed, he thought about how dangerous it would be if he was there instead of considering about the safety of Gertrude.
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