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By William Shakespeare

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1 By William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of Hamlet

2 All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, --William Shakespeare “As You Like It,” Act II, Scene 7

3 Explore the ways in which dramatists have made use of monologues and/or soliloquies in at least two plays you have studied.

4 Plays employ various kinds of structural divisions such as prologues and epilogues, act and scene divisions, even carefully placed intermissions. Discuss the dramatic uses made of these divisions in at least two plays you have studied.

5 “A play should make you laugh or should make you cry
“A play should make you laugh or should make you cry.” With reference to at least two plays you have studied, discuss the methods playwrights use to generate emotional response in their audiences.

6 Speeches achieve purposes
What does the dialogue between Hamlet, Gertrude, and Claudius reveal? (I, ii, 65-86) What purpose is achieved with Claudius’ monologue? (I, ii ) Which lines best achieve the purpose? What purpose is achieved with Hamlet’s soliloquy? (I, ii, ) Which lines best achieve the purpose?

7 Speeches achieve Purpose
What does Laertes’ monologue to his sister, Ophelia, reveal about the expectations of sexual relationships? What is Polonius’ message to his son? How does this speech provide a context for life at court? How is Ophelia’s character developed through her responses to her brother and her father?

8 Dramatic Irony Shakespeare’s use of dramatic irony not only creates tension when the audience views Hamlet interact with Claudius, Gertrude, and Polonius, but also it develops the lingering thematic question about whether or not Hamlet is mad for Ophelia’s love.

9 ‘How , Why, The Situation’
Vague specific The soliloquy expresses how he feels about his mother. The dialogue shows Hamlet’s emotions about this situation. Hamlet’s soliloquy reveals his anger toward his mother and his feelings of betrayal. The dialogue reveals that Hamlet is still grieving for his late father while Gertrude and Claudius have moved on and married.

10 ‘How, Why, The Situation’
vague specific The dialogue shows why they argue. The soliloquy persuades readers into believing what he feels about his mother. The dialogue between the queen, king, and Hamlet shows a broken family. The soliloquy achieves the purpose of revealing Hamlet’s desire for suicide and his feelings of contempt for his mother’s hasty marriage.

11 ‘Theater of the Mind’ Why do we allow ourselves to suffer?
If you knew with certainty that when you die you will have peace and go to heaven, why not just seek death? In what ways do our thoughts prolong our suffering? What is the relationship between consciousness, conscience, and death?

12 ‘Theater of the Mind’ Hamlet in many ways is a deconstructive work. There seems to be a distinct incongruity between what “seems” and “nay it is. I know not ‘seems’,” in other words, reality. What assumptions about reality is Shakespeare willing to confront through his characters’ speeches? How does Hamlet’s famous soliloquy ‘to be or not to be’ represent ‘theater of the mind’?

13 Cognitive Theory the play itself is a deliberate cognitive exploration of problems of human consciousness and action, and Shakespeare a kind of cognitive theorist. 

14 “To Be or Not To Be” What is the message of Hamlet’s speech?
How did Shakespeare craft Hamlet’s message? Which choices has he made? Metaphors? Puns? Alliteration? Subordinate clauses? Questions? What purpose is achieved with this speech? How might Hamlet’s speech reveal the dramatic question the play needs answered?

15 Structure-”Play within the play”
Discuss at least two dramatic uses of ‘the play within the play’ (Act III, scene 2) Connections to other scenes, e.g., the analogy of Pyrrhus and Priam Rising action, tension, conflict in the plot Character development Themes related to Hamlet’s speeches Analogy for larger philosophical ideas

16 Fortinbras—foil to Hamlet
Act IV, scene 4 Compare Fortinbras to Hamlet What does Hamlet’s soliloquy reveal his thoughts and feelings about Fortinbras? How is this comparison achieved? What purpose does this comparison serve? Evaluate Shakespeare’s choice to include this scene. Develop an argument that Fortinbras is a necessary external political conflict.

17 Ophelia: The Ophelia Syndrome
What are the causes of Ophelia’s suicide? Ophelia’s suicide is the result of low-self esteem and a domineering patriarchal society, which allows men to determine how women will think and behave.

18 Gertrude: Oedipal Complex
Why is Gertrude so blind to her surroundings? “Have you eyes?” Hamlet asks her. What type of woman is Gertrude? How might a feminist view and evaluate Gertrude? How might a Freudian reading of her complicate her relationship with Hamlet?

19 Hamartia: tragic flaw Hamartia is any error in judgment that brings about the protagonist’s downfall. Tragic flaw refers to a characteristic which brings about the sudden reversal, “peripity”, of the tragic hero’s fortune. Think about the characters who are dead at the end of the play. What was each character’s tragic flaw? Is it accurate to suggest Hamlet’s hamartia was his tragic flaw?

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