Hamlet

Shakespeare was born Stratford upon Avon, England
Hamlet was written 1600-1601
Why was Hamlet written? Shakespeare’s ideas of what are qualities of a good kingElizabeth is monarch and has no heir
History of the Danes, takes place in Denmark 12 Century Historiae Danicae
first appears by Saxo Grammaticus and popularized in French tale in 16th centurywritten by Francois de Belleforrests Histories Tragiques
dramatist known for plagerizing other plays Thomas Kyd
play that is questioned – did Shakespeare take this play and claim it as his own or did Kyd Ur-Hamlet
story that has origins in Norse legend (has same characters as Hamlet in it) Anolothi
6 different possible interpretations of Hamlet’s character victim of external difficultiessentimental dreamervictim of excessive melancholyvictim of an Oedipus complexmotivated by ambitionmislead by the ghost
Victim of external difficulties everything is beyond Hamlet’s control; Claudius is too powerful as his step-father and uncle
Sentimental dreamer Hamlet thinks too much but never takes action
Victim of excessive melancholy “Melancholy Dane”Hamlet is so depressed that he is mentally unstable
Victim of an Oedipus complex Freudian interpretation;Hamlet loves his mother excessively
Motivated by ambition Hamlet will do anything to be king and won’t let anything in his way
Mislead by the ghost Ghost use Hamlet as a pawn for revenge
Seven major themes found in Hamlet Justice and RevengeDestiny and the Purpose of LifeMadness and SanityAppearance vs RealityRole of WomenRights and Duties of KingshipPoison and Corruption (Decay and Disease)
Justice and Revenge Hamlet wants revenge on Claudius for King Hamlet deathLaertes wants revenge on Hamlet for Polonius death
Destiny and the Purpose of Life why are people alive?to be or not to be speech, all humans do is eat and sleep, is it to take action and revenge
Madness and Sanity Hamlet’s first speech on suicidedid the ghost encounter make Hamlet crazy?
Appearance vs Reality seems – in the sense of pretendingplay in a play (the players acting in the play, already pretending to be someone)
Role of Women Gertrude and Ophelia – need a man to guide them, protect them
Rights and Duties of Kingship What kind of king is ClaudiusTake action and do wellWhat do the people want
Poison and Corruption (Decay and Disease) Last scene; Claudius poisoning the cup and the poisoned sword
5 act structure ExpositionRising ActionClimax and Dramatic ReverseFalling ActionCatastrophe
Exposition explanation of major conflict that needs to be resolvedClaudius is now king after the king abruptly dies
Rising Action lead to the climaxHamlet trying to figure out if Claudius is guilty
Climax and Dramatic Reverse the end becomes inevitableClimax – Hamlet is about to kill ClaudiusDramatic Reverse – Hamlet kills Polonius (no going back)
Falling Action* protagonist does something that leads to his own downfall
Catastrophe everyone is deadQueen – by Claudius, blindness, poison cupClaudius – by Hamlet, own poison cup/swordLaertes – by Hamlet, own swordHamlet – by Laertes, unfairly hit but for father’s murder
Six elements of a Shakespearan Tragedy Revenge MotiveInternal and External ConflictsComic ReliefTragic Hero/Flaw/MistakeSupernatural ElementChance Happenings
Revenge Motive Hamlet – king Hamlet’s deathLaertes – Polonius death
Internal and External Conflicts internal: Hamlet – what should i doexternal: Fortinbras’ army (Norwary vs Denmark), Hamlet vs Claudius
Comic Relief grave digger scene
Tragic Hero/Flaw/Mistake Hamlet doesn’t take action
Supernatural Element ghost
Chance Happenings Hamlet hides in the graveyard as Ophelia is being buried
Steps for Perfect Revenge 1. Victim must be tortured mentally and physically2. Victim must be damned after death (no heaven)3. Person who takes revenge must damn her/his own soul (cannot get revenge then get a reconciliation)

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