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Setting in Hamlet
Transcript of Setting in Hamlet
Act 1 Scene 5
Act 5 Scene 1
can often reflect the underlying ideas in a play. In light of this statement, discuss the importance and use of setting in 2 of the plays studied.
In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, setting is used to portray how Hamlet’s thoughts about revenge and his father’s honor evolve throughout the play.
Claudius = King of Denmark
has just recently taken the throne instead of his brother (King Hamlet)
Act 1 Scene 5 (continued...)
ghost of Hamlet’s father, the former king of Denmark
close relationship with his father
ACT 2 Scene 2
Setting: Elsinore Castle
Time of day: Day time
"this majestical roof fretted with golden fire" (2.2.298)
"golden fire" = sun
Daytime and sunlight usually have positive conotations.
- Every man, no matter how great he is, becomes dust
Act 5 Scene 1 (continued...)
- Death and afterlife are real
“a fellow of / infinite jest, of most excellent fancy” (5.1.172-173).
“Why, / may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he / find it stopping a bung-hole” (5.1.189-191).
darkness = evil and death
portrays Hamlet’s plan to kill King Claudius
Time of day
“My hour is almost come / When I to sulph’rous and tormenting flames / Must render up myself” (1.5.4-6)
Act 1 Scene 5 (continued...)
tension, conflict, hatred
“That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain” (1.5.113).
“I have sworn’t” (1.5.117).
mood or atmosphere
eras of historical importance
show, convey, make apparent
Breakdown of Question
not obvious or directly stated; only discoverable by close analysis
themes or symbols
characters’ thoughts, feelings, motivations
Conclusion and Reflection
Act 4 Scene 4
Denmark itself; the country
“Witness this army of such mass and charge, / Led by a delicate and tender prince, / Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed” (4.4.49-51).
Act 4 Scene 4 (continued...)
“O, from this time forth / My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth” (4.4.67-68).
Duty to defend his and his father's honor
Act 2 Scene 2 (continued)
Act 3 Scene 2
“This most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire" (2.2.29).
"firmanent" - the sky or the heavens
"majestical" and "golden" are euphonic.
"Why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours" (2.2.301-302).
"foul" - wicked or immoral
"pestilent" - deadly
Setting incorporates contrast, symbolism, and a reflection of Hamlet’s desire for revenge and regaining his father’s honor
it portrays a builds up until the very end
very end = sudden shift
shift occurs when Hamlet actually faces death -
but why this moment?
loses interest in revenge and his father’s honor
wants to fix his mistakes
The setting of the play “The Mousetrap” is in Vienna but it is a representation of Hamlet’s conflicts involving the king:
“The Mousetrap- marry, how tropically! This play is / the image of a murder done in Vienna; Gonzago is the / Duke’s name, his wife Baptista; you shall see anon. 'Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o' that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung” (3.2.229-234).
Hamlet uses this play to see if he can expose his uncle’s guilt, and have proof for upholding his father’s honor and exacting revenge