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Hamlet ELA III
Transcript of Hamlet ELA III
The Hamlet Quest will be a working assignment throughout the entire play.
Now that we have completed reviewed dramatic literary terms and have glimpsed the life of Shakespeare, we will begin exploration of his masterpiece,
. As we progress, return again and again to this Prezi for guidance, follow the steps, being sure to submit assignments, follow links, or create journal entries as directed.
The quest/unit will conclude with a choice of assessments.
Act I: Who's There?
opens with the sentinel's question above, which serves not only as an introduction to the establishment of the mood, but as an indicator of one of the play's key motifs, the question of identity. Hamlet continually struggles to understand himself, and it is arguably this lack of clarity that leads to his downfall.
For anyone, self-awareness is important for success. At this point in your high school career you probably have an idea as to how you learn best, but if not, you will soon find out. Below, you will find a learning style inventory test which will indicate your learning strengths and needs. Take the test, read the additional information, record the results in your journal, and then analyze the results, commenting upon your perception of their accuracy. Conclude your journal entry with a five-item list of ways in which this new knowledge could be adapted to enhance your learning of the play and future assignments.
Act II: Meet It Is I Set It Down
The initiation of Hamlet's attempt at action is developed through the metaphor of a book. His mind is compared to this tome, upon every page of which he will scribble the word, "Revenge." Hamlet's use of this metaphor reveals his conception of the power of "words, words, words." Your understanding of their power will be revealed through your annotation of
Follow the reading assignments, and as you read, research, and process through our class, fill up the margins of your play with observations, paraphrases, literary devices, character and thematic development. Periodically, I will look at your books and give you feedback as to the progress of your annotations. At the conclusion of the unit, you will get a final grade based on annotation and ultimately whether you improved your note-taking and annotating skills.
Act III: Without the Avouch of Mine Eyes
Part I: Horatio, that rationalist and skeptic, reveals, through a Doubting Thomas allusion, that he would not have believed the reports of the Ghost had he not witnessed it ocularly. This might be said of the play itself; we are not witnessing it as it was intended when we read the text. Instead, we must watch it. Several versions of the film are available, but for accuracy of setting, depiction of the titular character, and digestability, I think Franco Zeffirelli's version is paramount. As such, we will watch it in class. If for some reason you are absent on that day or you wish to purchase the film, because it so changed your world, you may access it below. As you watch it, record in your journal the directorial decisions that cause the play to move differently than you imagined as we read and discussed it.
Act IV: Hold The Mirror Up to Nature
Shakespeare, through Hamlet's monologue to the Player, reveals his aesthetic philosophy, the role of drama, to be to "hold the mirror up to nature," or mimesis, to reflect reality. But reflecting reality is a tricky business, as we have discussed. Postmodernity suggests that reality is perception, and as perception is as varied as the individual, so to are the narratives of reality. It is important, then, for us to recognize that reading
and watching a few director's interpretations of it are just the beginnings of understanding the play. For that reason, with journal firmly in hand, follow the different steps of this Act to engage in other perspectives on reality.
Act V: To Thine Own Self Be True
Scene II: Now that you have watched the film, I would like you to do a bit of comparative film analysis. Follow the embedded Prezi below to explore the creation of character through the acting prowess of Olivier, Gibson, Hawke, and Branagh, respectively. In your journal, answer the guiding question for each film.
1. Read the critical essay by Eliot, and in your journal, identify the central message, and critique it.
2. Study Rossetti's painting
Hamlet and Ophelia
, locate its symbols, and in your journal describe and explain them.
3. Watch the two videos of songs inspired by the character of Ophelia. Select one of the songs, and in your journal connect the lyrics to Ophelia from the play.
Natalie Merchant's "Ophelia"
Tori Amos' "Ophelia"
4. Examine the two Rorschach inkblots. In your journal identify the images you perceive, and connect this activity to Hamlet 3.2.406-413. You may also wish to connect this activity to the characters of Hamlet, Ophelia, and/or Gertrude.
Find 2 examples of direct characterization and 2 examples of indirect characterization for Hamlet Ophelia and Gertrude.
5. Imagine that you have just signed a contract to serve as director for a new Hamlet film. You must choose actors for each of the lead roles. In your journal, connect the actor to the role and then defend your choice.
Prince Hamlet Ophelia
King Hamlet Polonius
6. Speed trivia: Give yourself twelve minutes to answer as many of the questions as you can without the aid of other sources. Record the answers in your journal.
These lines comprise one of the few truly wise maxim (words of wisdom) offered by Polonius and reveal a surprisingly postmodern message. We have reached the assessment stage of our journey, and in it, I ask you to be true to yourself. Review your learning profile, think about your strengths, needs, and interests as as student, and select one option from each of the three skill sets accordingly.
Select one of the following passages to memorize. Refer to your calendar for the final deadline, and then schedule a time to recite the passage to me. Remember to consider your tone as your recite. Those who wish to may recite in front of the entire class.
B. 1.5.99-119 + 2.2.318-332
C. 2.2.576-634 (Extra Credit)
A. 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.
B. O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables,--meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:
C. I have of late--but
wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! 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?
D. Now I am alone.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?
'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! I have heard
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;
I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play 's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
E. 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 heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
F. How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward, I do not know
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;'
Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me:
Witness this army of such mass and charge
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
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, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
All quotes taken from http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/full.html
Select one of the following questions, and develop a 5-paragraph essay response. Be sure to use specific quotations/evidence (and paraphrase, where appropriate) from the text to support your statements.
A. Hamlet has often been charged with indecisiveness in fulfilling his ghostly father's demands. Often that charge has been connected to his propensity to analyze excessively himself, situations, and other characters. How do you respond to this charge? What impact does your response have on the question of Hamlet as a tragic figure? On the play as a tragedy?
B. Hamlet has been called a revenge tragedy. To what degree is this label accurate?
C. Evidence of masks, madness, appearances, deceit, and hypocrisy floods this play. Detail the major examples of these patterns, and comment upon the relationship to the tragic impact of the play.
D. Acting and play-acting form a motif in the play. Detail this factor and discuss its thematic suggestion.
E. Choose one of the major characters in the play other than Hamlet or Claudius (Polonius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Laertes, Horatio, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern) and discuss the role he or she plays in the development of Hamlet's "tragedy."
F. Outline one or two of the dominant motifs in the play (poison, for example, or any other you can demonstrate, and comment on its/their relationship to the tragic theme that unfolds in the play.
G. Filial relationships inform the play. Identify the relationships and comment on their inter-relationships as well as the overall relationship to the thematic thrust of the play.
Select one of the following options, approve it with me, and complete the project by the deadline.
A. Design and create a movie poster for one of the
movies with major symbols depicted from the play. You must explain them in your presentation.
B. Act out any short scene from the play with classmates (No reading).
C. Design a website providing information about the play include character traits, symbols and other important information
D. Write a detailed film/television review which gives detailed character development (Direct/Indirect characterization) and discusses motifs.
E. Create a board game based on
. Board must be full of symbolism and characters all while following the plot.
F. Paint/draw a picture of a character or scene from the play (also identify at least 5 indirect characteristics you inferred from reading - you can read these when you present).
G. Create a social media profile for at least three characters. Create an "About me" part, and at least 5 posts/comments/tweets he or she would make. Include photo.
H. Create a talk show-like video that brings in our characters for a dysfunctional family episode.
I. Propose an alternative project.
"...Hercules, and his load, too."
A postmodern existential crisis in an Elizabethan mind
Gibson's Hamlet, 1990
Who Am I?
Hawke's Hamlet, 2000
Hamlet's contemplation of existence through the "To be or not to be" soliloquy is perhaps the most widely recognized speech in English literature. After annotating and looking for rhetorical devices in class, review each clip and answer the following question:
How do the varying interpretations of this speech reflect the nuances of its content? Respond to each in your journal.
Olivier's Hamlet, 1948
Branagh's Hamlet, 1996