Hamlet Task

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet

Read Hamlet’s speech at the end of Act 2, Scene 2. Consider its importance and write a short analysis of this speech. Post it as a comment.

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Critical Essay Practice – Introductions

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet, Poetry

Prior to class tomorrow, write an introduction to all 3 of these questions. Post your answers onto Glow.

Drama

Choose from a play a scene in which manipulation, temptation or humiliation is an
important feature.
Explain what happens in the scene and go on to show how the outcome of the
manipulation, temptation or humiliation adds to your appreciation of the play as a
whole.

Prose

Choose a novel in which the writer explores feelings of rejection or
isolation or alienation.
Explain how the writer makes you aware of these feelings and go on to show how this
exploration enhances your appreciation of the text as a whole.

Poetry

Choose a poem which seems to you to be critical of a person or a point of view.
Discuss how effectively this criticism is presented by the poet.


 

Critical Essay Development

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet

Prior to school tomorrow, compile one further evaluation and a conclusion to your critical essay. Make sure that you post these onto Glow. I will then review them over the weekend and will provide you with written feedback.

Prior to close of school tomorrow, a small homework task will be posted for you to complete over the weekend.

Hamlet – Critical Essay Preparation

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet

Consider the following question and write an introduction and evaluation plan. Post this onto Glow prior to class on Monday.

Choose a play in which a character feels insecure about his or her position within the society or social group to which he or she belongs.

Show how the dramatist makes you aware of the character’s insecurity and discuss how it influences your appreciation of character and/or theme in the play as a whole.

Critical Essay Homework – Friday

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet

Complete the following critical essay and bring to class on Friday:

Consider one of the power struggles that exist within Hamlet.

Explain briefly the circumstances of the power struggle and discuss the extent to which it contributes to your appreciation of the themes of the play as a whole. You should refer to appropriate dramatic techniques such as: characterisation, key scene, climax, structure, plot, setting, soliloquy, or monologue .

Critical Essay Question

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet

Consider one of the power struggles that exist within Hamlet.

Explain briefly the circumstances of the power struggle and discuss the extent to which it contributes to your appreciation of the themes of the play as a whole. You should refer to appropriate dramatic techniques such as: characterisation, key scene, climax, structure, plot, setting, soliloquy, or monologue .

Prior to class tomorrow:

  1. Write an introduction to this essay. Post this onto Glow.
  2. Plan 4 MAREs for this essay. Bring these to class.

 

Hamlet – Act 4, Scenes 1 & 2

Critical Essay Writing, Hamlet

At the very start of Scene 1, Gertrude explicitly betrays her son, justifying Hamlet’s misogynistic behaviour by informing the king of his actions, having promised not to. We do not know whether she actually thinks Hamlet is mad, or whether she simply thinks that the king is her best chance of a future. Ultimately, it is Gertrude’s disclosure to Claudius that confirms the king’s decision to have Hamlet executed when he arrives in England. This is very significant – it is the ultimate betrayal of a son by his mother.

Act 4, scene 1 is an example of Shakespeare’s expert characterisation, highlighted by his development of the character of Claudius. Here, Claudius is confirmed as egotistical, ruthless and self serving. When he finds out about the death of Polonius, he is less concerned that his wife might have been harmed, nor that his subject had been killed, than he is about the possibility that he might have been harmed if he had been there. Furthermore, Claudius immediately begins to think of a way to describe Polonius’s death as something other than the crisis that it is.  Ironically, he refers to the need for “majesty and skill,” (IV.i.30) to achieve this. In eschewing honour, Claudius is a fulsome contrast to the other male characters in the play.

Having killed Polonius, Hamlet is no longer morally better than Claudius. The difference is that Polonius’s murder wasn’t premeditated and Polonius was spying on Hamlet when he was killed. Nevertheless, Laertes and Ophelia have lost their father, just as Hamlet lost his.

In Act 4, Scene 2, Hamlet’s madness appears to be very close to the real thing. Hamlet is no longer a complete hero. His flaws and misdemeanors are discolouring his character.