Acts 1 & 2 Hamlet

Hamlet Son of Queen Gertrude and late King Hamlet- now present King Claudius. Hamlet is a teenager, he is very depressed because of what is happening in his life. He is the protagonist of the story
Gertrude Mother of Hamlet, Hamlet’s mother, recently married to Claudius. Gertrude loves Hamlet deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status more urgently than moral rectitude or truth.
Claudius Hamlet’s uncle and now father. Married to Gertrude. Claudius is the villain of the play and is the antagonist
King Hamlet Was Hamlet’s father but he is dead now. He once was the King of Denmark
Polonius Father of Laertes and Ophelia. Doesn’t play the role of a father very well
Laertes Son of Polonius, spends much of the play in France. Laertes tries to give advice to his sister Ophelia about Polonius
Ophelia Daughter of Polonius. Hamlet is involve with Ophelia. Ophelia is sweet and innocent and she obeys the rules of her father and brother
Fortinbra The young Prince of Norway, whose father the king (also named Fortinbras) was killed by Hamlet’s father (also named Hamlet). Now Fortinbras wishes to attack Denmark to avenge his father’s honor, making him another foil for Prince Hamlet.
The Ghost The specter of Hamlet’s recently deceased father. The ghost, who claims to have been murdered by Claudius, calls upon Hamlet to avenge him. However, it is not entirely certain whether the ghost is what it appears to be, or whether it is something else. Hamlet speculates that the ghost might be a devil sent to deceive him and tempt him into murder, and the question of what the ghost is or where it comes from is never definitively resolved.
A Tragedy describes a situation in which a person suffers defeat, disaster or death. The protagonist always suffers defeat, disaster and death
Horatio is a stoic character who does not show emotion
Stoic Greek and Roman philosophy: belief that pain of life could be overcome by suppressing all personal desire by remaining equally unmoved by grief and joy.
“Who’s there” This is the opening line of the play. There is confusion right from the opening line as Bernardo and Fransisco were not expecting to see each other
“Long live the king” Irony that King Hamlet did not live very long- a day before king Claudius’ coronation ceremony
” A piece of him” Hamlet is there, but not his spirit (emotionless; stoic)Stoic: Greek and Roman philosophy: belief that pain of life could be overcome by suppressing all personal desire by remaining equally unmoved by grief and joy.
“What has this…again to-night” line 21Ghost appears for the first time”Touching this dreaded…seen of us” line 25Second appearance of ghost” We have two nights seen” line 33Third appearance of ghost The appearance of the ghost is King Hamlet wearing armours showing that he did not die at peace.
” What art thou that usurp this time of night together with that fair and warlike form in which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee speak!” The ghost is in the same armour that King Hamlet woreHaratio, Barnado and Marcellus all see the ghost
His fell to Hamlet; now young Fortinbras of unimproved metal hot and full” Line 95-96 Gathering unlawful to help him get his land back from NorwayPassionate angry guy who is not formally trained
“In the most high and palmy state of Rome, A little ere the mightiest Julius fell” line 112 Allusion: Harmony of nature is broken when the king dies in unjustified ways
“If thou hast any sound…stay and speak!” line 129-139 Haratio says that if Marcellus can do anything to put the ghost’s soul in peace to tell him, If something about the country that be helped ( know something about Denmark) tell him and if he knows the location of buried treasure them tell him. (3 conditions)
The second scene of act 1 is very bright, joyful, and colourful Young Fortinbra might suspect that Denmark is at a weak point because of the lose of their kingCladius is an affective leader, he is smooth and manipulative.he loves Gertrude for the power of the throne ( possible interpretation)
“But now my cousin Hamlet and now my son” line 65 Claudius was once Hamlet’s uncle but now he is his fatherHamlet is embarrassed/disgusted with this
“A little more than kin but less than kind” Hamlet mutters that Claudius is more than “kin” (more than a “cousin” because now a stepfather), but definitely less than “kind.”
Hamlet is so depressed at this point during the play and he wants to leave and go to school somewhere else. However, Gertrude and Claudius do not want him to leave because they are concerned about his depression
“Ay madam it is common” line 74 Hamlet is disgusted by his mother ” You should behave better than you are especially being the Queen and my mom”Low class should be above it -your behaving low class commoner, her quick marriage
“O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew” line 131 Hamlet is so depressed he is suicidal and wishes his skin will burn
“His canon’ gainst self-slaughter! Oh God, God” line 132 God is against suicide because he see’s you as unique and he gives you the gift of life.We are also his children and his own creation
“Tis an unweeded garden” line 135 Reference to a weeded ugly gardenHamlet is comparing his situation to a garden. Once a beautiful garden is growing weeds. In Denmark when King Hamlet was king of Denmark it was beautiful now that his uncle is king it is growing weeds (becoming ugly)
“Frailty, thy name is woman” lin 146 Very disappointed with his motherHamlet’s attitude towards all womanHamlet describes all women being weak
In Hamlet’s first soliloquy he feels angry, sad, disgusted, defeated. Affects plot: Hamlet will disagree with Claudius→ they will be in conflict Character Revelation in Hamlet’s first soliloquy AngryFrustratedDepressedDefeatedLow Self EsteemDisgustPassionate about his ideasPlot Development in 1st soliloquy ‘Defeated before he has even been giving a challengeAtmosphere in 1st soliloquyDarkSadGloomyDepressing
“But what is your affair in…hard upon” line 174-179 When Haratio said that he came to Elisnore to see the funeral, Hamlet said that he came here only for the weddingThe food was supposed to be used for the funeral but it is used for King/Queen’s wedding now (line 180)
” I shall not look upon his like again” Hamlet’s father was like no one else
“I’ll speak to it though…you all” Line 243 If it’s looking like my father’s spirit I will speak to it even if hell opens up to me. He just wants to speak to his father
What can Gertrude be compare to Niobe- Niobe had 14 kids who she loved to brag about to Apollo and Artemis who only had 2 kids. Apollo and Artemis were annoyed with her so they killed all of her 14 kids. Gertrude can be compared to Niobe because Gertrude did not stop crying after her husband died but she moved on so quickly
Hyperion (classical allusion) Hyperion is a Titan- father of Helios- King Hamlet
Hercules (classical allusion) Claudius is nothing like Hercules- has no power. Hamlet is nothing like Hercules- he is depressed
“For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour” line 5 Laertes thinks that his love for Hamlet is only temporaryLaertes thinks that Ophelia and Hamlet will not last, he believes it just a phaseHamlet’s interest in Ophelia is only momentary
” Do not as some ungracious…mot his own rede” line 47-51 Ophelia’s response to her brothers advice is to not be a hypocrite She also says to listen to his own advice
“To thins own self be true” be truthful to yourself
Describe the relationship between Ophelia and Polonius The relationship between Ophelia and Polonius is very controlling, dominant and unhealthy. Polonius does not trust his daughter, implies that it is her duty to be true to her father. Polonius tell her not to be with Hamlet she must obey “green-girl”- inexperienced
“I do not set my life at a pin’s fee” line 65Hamlets life is worth anythingLike a bowling pin it can just be knocked down really easilyThis shows that Hamlet is depressed saying his life is worth nothing Speaker: HamletCircumstance: He has just seen the ghostLiterary Significance: Plot developement- his life means nothing so he will do anything that the ghost requestCharacter development- he does not reveal himself- he is depressed
“My fate cries out…lion’s nerve” Line 81Character development his job to resolve instability in DenmarksThis is an allusion that heaven will sort his life out but Hamlet has already followed the ghost Speaker: HamletCircumstance: seeing the ghostLiteracy Significance:Allusion to Hercules because the lion was the first of the 12 that was destroyed Simile: Comparing himself to this lion’s determinationHamlet is impulsive- He see’s the ghost and he will act
“Something is rotten…of Denmark” Line 90-91 Speaker: Marcellus and HaratioCircumstance: Hamlet just left to follow the ghost. Haratio and Marcellus are talking about how unseattle things wil be Literary Significance: The chain of being has been broken Heaven will direct it. God will sort out the planHamlet wants to take action
“Now Hamlet hear…wears his crown” line 36 Refernces to Garden’s Biblical allusion “Garden of Eden” meaning snakes/serpents→ Line 36 The Serpent is Cladious / this is a refernece to garden of eden because the marriage of Hamlet’s mother and uncle are similar to the relationship of Adam and Eve
“My lord I was sewing…he comes before me” line 76-83 Ophelia reporting Hamlet’s craziness to PoloniusPolonius understands Hamlet’s behaviour as a “Madness”
“He took me by the wrist…” Line 86-99 Ophelia explaining to her father what happened in her closet with HamletHamlet was under a lot stress (death…etc) and Ophelia is the only one who he can trustThis can be used as an example of if Hamlet loves Ophelia Hamlet nods head up and down and this action can translate to I love youHamlet is very passionate about Ophelia
Growing up without a mother makes Ophelia: dependent, lack confidence, weak, not able to stand up for herself, obedient Ophelia will not be a leader, strong she will think everything is her fault

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