3Act I, Scene 1 Note Horatio’s character Why all of the military preparations?Renaissance beliefs about ghosts and how man’s actions affect natureShakespeare’s poetry
4Act I, Scene 2 What is your first impression of Claudius as a ruler? How does he explain his hasty marriage to Gertrude?How does he deal with the impending attack by Fortinbras?What are his first words to Hamlet?
5Hamlet’s first appearance Hamlet alternates between two moods: destructive satire and inward melancholyOutwardly destructive: uses puns and insultsHow do the king and queen try to cheer him?First soliloquy: inward melancholy. How does he differentiate between his father’s love for his mother and his mother’s love for his father? Does Hamlet have an Oedipus Complex?More mood swings when Hamlet greets his friends!
6Meet Laertes and his sister, Ophelia What type of relationship do they have?What advice does Laertes give Ophelia before he returns to school?Her reaction?Vocabulary:Prodigallibertine
7Polonius’s Advice What advice does he give to Laertes? Famous Lines?What advice does he give to Ophelia? Her reaction?Optional Assignment from The People, Yes by Carl SandburgContrast Polonius’s advice (lines on page 43) with advice the father in Sandburg’s poem gives. Are they similar? Different? Which is better?
8Hamlet Meets the GhostShakespeare defines “the tragic flaw” (lines 25-40)Corse=corpseWhy do Hamlet’s friends fear Hamlet speaking with the ghost alone?Was Gertrude unfaithful while still married to Hamlet’s father?How did the late king die?What does the ghost want Hamlet to do about his mother?What vow does Hamlet make his friends swear?What is an “antic disposition”?
9Act II, Scene 2 Meet Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Voltemond brings news from NorwayPolonius has found “the very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy” and begins to “expostulate.”“Brevity is the soul of wit”Note Polonius’s strategy for discovering the truth behind Hamlet’s behavior. Pay attention to the connotations of his diction!
10“Words, words, words”Hamlet suspects Polonius’s devious plans and decides to have some fun.Note Hamlet’s word play as he puts on an “antic disposition” and pretends not to recognize Hamlet.Once more Hamlet uses puns and verbal irony as he swings to his outwardly destructive mood.But Polonius will admit, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”
12To Hamlet “Denmark’s a prison” “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so!”Why do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern raise the subject of ambition while talking to Hamlet?“What a piece of work is a man…”Man’s duel nature: “the paragon of animals” and “quintessence of dust.”
13The Players are Here!Why does Hamlet tell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern he is “but mad north-north-west”?“An old man is twice a child.” Who? Meaning?“Buzz, buzz”Jephthah: a Biblical figure who sacrifices his daughter.
14Why does Hamlet want to hear a speech from Virgil’s Aeneid ? What do you know about The Trojan War?Which two countries fought in this war?What started the war?Who were the greatest heroes of this war?How did the war end?Key names to remember: Priam, Paris, Achilles, Hector, Pyrrhus, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Helen, Hecuba, Odysseus
16“A Pyrrhic Victory”Why does Hamlet want to hear the speech about Pyrrus seeking revenge against the father of the man who slew Achilles?
17“Fools and Madmen Speak the Truth.” Act IV, Scene 5 Despite her madness, what truths does Ophelia reveal?Shroud=Burial garmentWhen sorrows come, they come not single spies,/But in battalions.”“That drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me bastard.”Cuckold=a man whose wife is unfaithfulApostrophe: “O heat, dry up my brains!”
18Next in Hamlet: Act IV, Scene 7 Claudius acquaints Laertes with the real story…Claudius gives two reasons why he has not started criminal proceedings against Hamlet.Claudius receives a letter from Hamlet in which Hamlet says he is “set naked upon [Claudius’s] kingdom.”Why does Hamlet send this letter to Claudius?
19Elements of Revenge Tragedy Avenger must prove perpetrator’s guiltAvenger faces perpetrator of the crime and tells him why he seeks revenge.Revenge is “eye for an eye.Avenger must acquaint everyone with the real story
20“The Plan” to kill Hamlet Lamond—the FrenchmanRapier—also called a foilUnbated=unbluntedMounteback=quack doctorUnction=ointmentPeruse=examine carefullyWhat’s wrong with this plan?
21“Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia…” What has happened to Ophelia?What is confusing about the way Gertrude describes what happened?Why might Gertrude embellish the story of Ophelia’s death?
22Act V, Scene 2What happened to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Horatio’s reaction?How does Hamlet regain his heroic stature in the final scene of the play?Purpose of Osric?Letting go of control: “Let be.”Tragedy: At the very moment Hamlet achieves a readiness for a noble life, his life is over.