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Discussion Questions And Review

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1 Discussion Questions And Review
Hamlet Discussion Questions And Review

2 Motivation Actors ask themselves, “What is motivating my character?”
MOTIVATION is the reason for doing something. Actors want to find out what reasons a character may have for behaving as they do. This helps them to act as they should.

3 Claudius Gertrude Hamlet Ophelia Polonius Ghost Character
So far this character has acted and behaved like… I believe this character is MOTIVATED by… Claudius From what we’ve seen, he’s friendly, passionate, generous, and concerned. If he’s not guilty, then he’s motivated by genuine kindness. If guilty, he’s hiding his true intentions. Gertrude She loves passionately. Both her husbands, she seems to love deeply. She’s a loving woman who doesn’t know how to NOT be in love. Hamlet He’s melancholy, angry, frightened, and pretends to be crazy. The desire for revenge, but the need to do it right and for the right reasons. Ophelia She’s sings, tries to please, and does her work happily. She’s innocent, naïve, and simple. She wants to please. Polonius He gossips, sticks his nose in other’s business, offers his opinions constantly. Maybe love for his family. He also may want to be looked upon favorably by the king. Ghost He tells his own son to kill the king and get revenge. ?

4 And Now…. Some Deep Thought about Hamlet

5 Was the Ghost from Heaven, from Hell, or something else?
If the Ghost is from Heaven, he must be a messenger sent to make sure that everything turns out as it should, and the events of the play are just and right. If the Ghost is from Hell, he is tempting Hamlet so as to destroy him and others. If he serves himself, my question would be , “What does he hope to gain by sharing info with Hamlet? Does he want his son in a dangerous position?”

6 Does Polonius deserve to die? Would killing Claudius be just?
Yes, he was following immoral orders from an immoral king to spy on Hamlet. He must know this is not right. No, he’s only looking out for his daughter and spying isn’t a reason to kill someone, is it? Killing Claudius may depend on your view of capital punishment for murderers.

7 Is there any other way to deal with Claudius than the path that Hamlet has chosen?
There seems to be no way to expose Claudius. Hamlet’s only proof is the word of a Ghost. If he simply kills Claudius, who will believe his story? The only way to de-throne Claudius is to expose him. How is that possible?

8 Can Claudius be forgiven? What are the limits of forgiveness?
Hamlet is stuck in a problem that there seems to be no good solution to. If Claudius is forgiven, he gets away with a murder he feels unrepentant about, but then again, nobody else dies. If he’s unforgiven, events get bloody, as we see. Shakespeare is testing the limits of forgiveness by giving us an unrepentant Claudius. If he felt badly about it, we may be able to forgive him.

9 What is wrong with Laertes plan to kill Hamlet?
Laertes is a victim of unforeseen events. Hamlet is a MUCH better fighter than Laertes assumed. Hamlet is winning their honor match. Hamlet gets possession of the poisoned sword. Laertes has a plan for the fight, but fights are fluid and can change unexpectedly.

10 Does Hamlet act in a morally acceptable manner toward the other characters?
Claudius – He kills. Is that moral and just? Gertrude – Simulates rape. All is forgiven. Polonius – He kills. Did he deserve to die? Ophelia – Loves her. Allows her to think he’s going mad. Kills her father. Abandons her to deal with lost love and lost father. Laertes – Kills his father, sister (indirectly), and him. Rosencrantz and Gildenstern – They were following the King’s orders and Hamlet springs a trap on them.

11 Let’s go to the Jedijames blog…
Your job was to examine : The Law of Unintended Consequences, or Hamlet’s Oedipus Complex, or Character Motivation, or The play’s resolution.

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