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Structuralist Criticism

An English project used to analyze Hamlet.

Maddi Stadtmueller

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Structuralist Criticism

STRUCTURALIST CRITICISM : Structuralist criticism is the view of finding words and phrases in a piece of
literature that channel the meaning of the work. In particular, it focuses on the
juxtaposition of these words and phrases, also known as binary opposition. These
oppositions are important to examine because they may allude what the author was
trying to convey. WHAT IS IT? Binary Opposition Claudius Claudius Act 1: all of the main characters and their basic situation are introduced Narrative Structure 1. Repetitions, patterns, and opposing elements (People, places, language, objects, movements, decisions etc.)
2. Discover the implications of these elements by identifying the metaphorical content, the "subtexts", and exploring the relationships of similarities and differences that tie in the story's events and actions.
3. Use these observations to come up with the texts function
4. It is mainly important to interpret accurately by making connections. The ability to make connections improves by reading, studying, and observing. What to look for while reading Works Consulted murderer vs. revenger Shakespeare pits Claudius and Hamlet against each other, with Hamlet as the one seeking justice and Claudius as the lecherous murderer. corruption vs. innocence Claudius is responsible for the deaths of King Hamlet, the Queen, and Hamlet. Besides personally murdering King Hamlet, he can be considered innocent of both the Queen and Hamlet's death because they were not killed by him but by his scheming. criminal vs. contrite Claudius kills his brother. He recognizes his own evil and acknowledges his doomed status. He demonstrates his regret and guilt when praying for forgiveness. Act 2: the conflict, the bulk of the story, begins when the inciting incident sets things into motion, characters go through major changes in their lives as a result of what is happening Act 3: the problem in the story boils over, forcing the characters to confront it, allowing all elements of the story to come together and inevitably leading to the ending. Motifs Incest: He marries his former sister in-law. This serves as additional motivation for Hamlet to avenge his father's death. Ears: He poisons the former king's ear. Also, he manipulates the other characters with his dishonesty. Poison: He poisons King Hamlet, the wine at the duel, and the sword. Dr. Kristi Siegel. Introduction to Modern Literary Theory. Kristi Siegel Professor of English Homepage. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. http://www.kristisiegel.com/theory.htm. SparkNotes Editors. SparkNote on Hamlet. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/hamlet/. John Webster. So What’s all this Stuff About Structuralism and its Effects on Literary Theory?. Faculty at University of Washington. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. http://faculty.washington.edu/cicero/index.htm. Peter Sinclair. Structuralism: Critical Method Toward Literature #2. What A Piece Of Work. Web. Oct. 19 2012. http://whatapieceofwork.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/structuralism-critical-method-toward-literature-2/ Hamlet Act 1 Hamlet Acts 2-4 Hamlet Act 5 Hamlet and Structuralism Significance? Questions Binary opposition (juxtaposition of opposites)? What to isolate? Through the contrast of opposing thoughts and feelings in a characters stream of consciousness, Shakespeare conveys that juxtaposed elements are not only revealed in speech, but are revealed in character action as well. Levels? Through out King Claudius's speech's in act I scene ii, he illustrates his hastiness to move on from the death of King Hamlet and his speech's even seems planned out before hand. King Claudius knows that Hamlet is still mourning his fathers death and does not want Hamlet snooping around. Scene through the lens:
Act I Scene ii King Claudius's Speeches : Quote: Explanation: -"To give these mourning duties to your father." (1.2.92)


-"'Tis unmanly grief." (1.2.98) King Claudius seems to be consulting Hamlet in his grievances, yet goes back and insults him telling him it is "unmanly". This shows the opposites of how Shakespeare structures his plays. Quote: Juxtaposition and Shifts: Explanation: -"So much for him./Now for ourself and for this time of meeting:" (1.2.28-29) King Claudius explains the death of the late King Hamlet, and his marriage to Gertrude swiftly without real consent as we know.He then Quickly jumps to his role as King without looking back on his brothers death. He doesn't want anyone to question him so he quickly moves on. The Building Blocks of Hamlet Hamlet in the Hood:
A overview
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