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Hamlet Act 1
Transcript of Hamlet Act 1
Notes will be subject to random checks at any point.
All reading notes must be included on your ePortfolio.
Reading notes must include act/scene/line numbers.
Your notes should be clear, concise and specific.
Good notes explain why they matter.
Notes & Analysis * Reading Notes will be taken into consideration during your final evaluation.
* Strong notes and analysis could improve your final mark if done consistently well for the full unit.
* Notes don't need to be done on a computer, but an image/copy of them must make it into your ePortfolio. Trustworthy? Why revenge? Was Hamlet Sr. a good man? How is questionable 'incest' its biggest concern? You are expected to use class time effectively to ensure daily reading notes are posted to iDentity sites by the end of every Friday's class. You must also be prepared to complete a discusion posting (either online or in-class) or to participate in a tutorial discussion related to the theme of each act's discussion focus at any given point in the course. There will be no prior warning for these activities. All students are expected to be fully prepared to discuss this topic in-depth at any point in time. Which one of these performances of the ghost scene is the most true to the text?
Which actor does the best job of portraying Hamlet in this scene?
Which actor does the best job of portraying the ghost in this scene?
What version uses the most effective production values (set, special effects, lighting effects, sound, camera angles, scenery, etc.)?
What is the worst version and why? MARCELLUS
What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?
I have seen nothing.
Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
Sit down awhile;
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story
What we have two nights seen.
Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Last night of all,
When yond same star that's westward from the pole
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one,--
Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!
In the same figure, like the king that's dead.
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.
Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
It would be spoke to.
Question it, Horatio.
What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
It is offended.
See, it stalks away!
Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
'Tis gone, and will not answer.
How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale:
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on't?
Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
Is it not like the king?
As thou art to thyself:
Such was the very armour he had on
When he the ambitious Norway combated;
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
In what particular thought to work I know not;
But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land,
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
And foreign mart for implements of war;
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week;
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:
Who is't that can inform me?
That can I;
At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet--
For so this side of our known world esteem'd him--
Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
And carriage of the article design'd,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
For food and diet, to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in't; which is no other--
As it doth well appear unto our state--
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch and the chief head
Of this post-haste and romage in the land.
I think it be no other but e'en so:
Well may it sort that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
That was and is the question of these wars.
A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.--
But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
Speak to me:
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
Speak to me:
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak!
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.
Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
Do, if it will not stand.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.
It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill:
Break we our watch up; and by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
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?
Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most conveniently.
Exeunt The Ghostly Evidence: Fact or 'Fantasy'? Hamlet 1.1 Enter the 'Ghost' HAMLET
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? 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!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue. Shakespeare is 'too much in the pun': Metaphor:
Shakespeare has Hamlet use the vehicle of his flesh melting away into dew to convey his tenor (the fact that he no longer wants to live because his father died and his mother immediately shacked up with his uncle - this was not viewed as a positive thing in Danish or Renaissance culture). The Problem:
Hamlet suggests he wants to end his life, but because he is a Christian, he does not want to commit the sinful act of suicide.
Note: 'canon' here doesn't mean a big metal ball-firing gun, it means the 'law' of God.
'self-slaughter' refers to suicide. Repetition:
Shakespeare is using repetition here to emphasize Hamlet's emotional response. The repetition of "too too" makes it seem as if his flesh really is "too solid" to be killed (this is really just a metaphor that uses the strength of the human body as a vehicle to describe how impossible his beliefs, fears, and rational mind make it for him to commit suicide.
The first seven sentences are ended with exclamation points. When coupled with the distressing content of Hamlet's soliloqui, Shakespeare's extensive use of exclamation points subtly (in print, not when expressed emphatically and forcefully on stage as they were meant to be) emphasizes the depth of his sorrow and the sheer frustration that he feels as a result of his limbo-like state. Hamlet sees life as meaningless, pointless and unsatisfying. Why is only Hamlet able to speak to it? Is it a bad sign if this spirit disappears as soon as the rooster crows? Why is the ghost wearing his armour, and what does it mean? If you were Hamlet, would you follow its advice to seek revenge? Hamlet Act 1
Emphasis: This act will be studied mainly through research, annotations, and discussion (written and oral).
Step 1 - Consider the nature of the ghost in Hamlet. What is it? Is it good or evil? Is it really Hamlet Sr., and if so, should it be trusted? Should Hamlet follow its advice to seek revenge by killing his uncle (now King) Claudius?
- Keep daily reading, research, discussion, and lecture notes and make sure to cite all of your information. For Shakespearean plays, you must include the author's last name (on the first reference only), a space, and then the act/scene/line information (Shakespeare 1.5.56-123).
Step 2 - Use your notes and an in-depth understanding of the text (along with an understanding of what ghosts meant to people in Shakespeare's time) to write a well-argued, properly-cited, and persuasive discussion post (like a mini persuasive essay that is meant to share with others) that is between 250 and 350 words. Load the discussion post to your prezi by the start of Thursday's class at the latest.
Step 3 - Use the knowledge you have gained from your reading, analysis, notes, and discussion post to participate (on your own, without prompting or waiting for hands to be acknowledged) in a meaningful discussion of the role of the ghost in the play. There are countless ways to interpret this ghost, and even more ways to discuss it (the plot of the play, symbolism, historical context, the various video clips of performances of the ghost scene, additional research, etc.). You will be evaluated for the strength of your argument (so bring your notes and discussion post for reference), the clarity of your argument, your professionalism in relation to voice, tone, content, and accepting the ideas of others, and the level of involvement you have in the session.
Please be prepared for this session. This is the main evaluation piece for Act 1, so there is no room for mistakes on this one. You could be called for a tutorial session on Thursday, Friday, or Monday and times are randomly selected, so be ready for the start of class on the first day of tutorials. Ghostbusters! Hamlet 1 4 Acting Out: I Before you can understand the role of the ghost you need to decide whether it is really the spirit of Hamlet's father, if it's an evil spirit in disguise, or if the conversation depicted in the play is only a figment of Hamlet's imagination (his dad did just die and his uncle did just marry his mom).
Each of the following video clips shows how the ghost has been portrayed by different actors in different productions of this tragic tale. Watch each video to figure out what each actor (or his director) was trying to tell their audience about the ghost. As you watch the videos, please make sure that you take notes that will help you answer the following questions:
Which one of these performances of the ghost scene is the most true to the text?
Which actor does the best job of portraying Hamlet?
Which actor does the best job of portraying the ghost?
What version has the best production values (special effects, lighting effects, sound, camera angles, scenery, etc.)?
What is the worst version of the ghost and why?
Knowing your opinion about each of these questions will help you better understand the meaning of the play. Kenneth Branagh's Adaptation Branagh explains why they portrayed this ghost this way: David Tennant's Adaptation Patrick Alparone's Adaptation The BBC's Television Adaptation An adaptation I don't know
know if you find out) Mel Gibson's Adaptation Key Symbols: Things you can consider: http://a.nnotate.com/php/pdfnotate.php?d=2013-05-10&c=pRjAxsJi http://a.nnotate.com/php/pdfnotate.php?d=2013-05-10&c=pRjAxsJi The Class Version of Hamlet on a.nnotate.com