Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1

Where does the play take place? What is happening as the play opens? -play takes place in Elisnore-as play opens Bernardo is switching duties with Francisco on the guards platform(anxious, tense atmosphere, night time on Hamlet’s castle, dark, cold) -ghost has been appearing
Who are Marcellus and Bernardo? two guards at the castle
Why has Marcellus brought Horatio for night watch? to see the ghost that has been spotted for the last two nights
Who does the ghost appear to be? How is he dressed? -The ghost looks like King Hamlet (hamlet’s dad)-He is dressed in armor and prepared for battle (wore that armor when he beat Norway)*signs that bad things could happen (unease)
What is the source of tension between Norway and Denmark? Why is the castle being guarded? -King Hamlet (of Denmark) killed King Fortinbras (of Norway) and inherited land-son of Fortinbras wants revenge and has gathered a gang of rebels to potentially attack
What do Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo decide to do as the scene ends? tell Hamlet about the ghost and have him try to talk to it
Describe the familial ties now existing in Claudius’s court -Claudius, the brother of King Hamlet, married Gertrude, his brother’s wife-Prince Hamlet’s uncle is now his step dad
CLAUDIUS’S SPEECHWhat does he say it is time to do? He says it’s time to move forward because while they’re sad there are still things to do
CLAUDIUS’S SPEECHWhy is he writing to the King of Norway? Who will deliver the message? He is writing to the Uncle of Young Fortinbras to get the boy to stop his pursuit of revenge**Cornelius and Voltemand will deliver the message
Who is Laertes and what does he ask of the Kings? Is permission granted? Laertes, the son of Polonius (counselor to the King) wants to return to France and is given permission from the King
Describe Hamlet’s present mood sad/depressed-under cloud-doesn’t just seem upset, he truly is (Appearance Vs. Reality)
What is Claudius’s reaction to Hamlet? The queen’s? What do they ask of him? Claudius-unmanly, get over itQueen-don’t be so upset, stay in Denmark and don’t return to school
In his first soliloquy, what are Hamlet’s feelings about his mother’s marriage to Claudius? -His father was an exceptional King and husband-says his parents had a fantastic marriage-is angry at his mother and thinks she is weak since she remarried just two months after his father’s death
When Bernardo, Marcellus, and Horatio find Hamlet what does he plan to do as a result of what they tell him? He plans to go try and speak to it and asks the others not to tell of what they’ve seen
As the scene ends, why does Hamlet think the ghost of father may be appearing? He suspects that there was foul play; was his dad murdered?
Who is Ophelia and what brotherly advice does Laertes give her? -daughter of Polonius and the sister of Laertes-Laertes says Hamlet may just be flirting and she shouldn’t get invested (Hamlet does not necessarily get to choose his fate)-don’t lose your honor/reputation/virginity
What advice does Polonius give Laertes before he departs for France? -think before you act-be friendly but only trust few who have proven themselves-listen to others opinions but be careful about voicing your own-dress well-don’t borrow or lend money-consistent-to thine own self be true
What does Polonius order Ophelia to do? What is Ophelia’s response? -don’t believe everything he says; Hamlet may just be using you-Hamlet is all talk-orders Ophelia to stop talking to Hamlet and Ophelia says she will obey
Where and when does Scene IV take place? What is everyone waiting for? -it’s on the platform-night time-the return of the ghost
What is happening during the King and Queen’s celebration that involves a cannon? What does Hamlet think of the custom and what affect does he think it will have on Denmark/ -they’re drinking-Hamlet thinks their drinking makes the Danish people look bad-“Dram of evil doth all noble substance of a doubt to his own scandal” : one drop of something bad can ruin something that is largely good
When the ghost appears what does Hamlet do? How do the others react to what is happening? -Hamlet tries to speak to it and it beckons him-the others tell Hamlet not to go with the ghost because it may cause him harm
What is the significance of the following remark by Marcellus: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” ? there is something bad going on; all is not well
What is the “life span” of the ghost? When will he stop appearing? he is doomed to walk the night and spend days in the fires until all of his sins are gone
What is the nature of Hamlet’s father’s death? What has everyone been told? -murder by Claudius: poured poison into the king’s ear while he was napping-everyone in the country was told that he was bitten by a snake while sleeping in the garden
Why must Hamlet spare his mother in seeking revenge on Claudius? What will her punishment be? the ghost gives Hamlet 2 directions:1. Don’t let getting revenge mess with your mind2. Don’t harm Gertrude-she will have to answer to her actions in heaven
What promise does Hamlet ask Horatio to make? What does he warn them not to worry about? 1. Don’t tell anyone what you’ve seen2. Don’t be alarmed if Hamlet starts acting oddly/insane”Antic Disposition” = Crazy
Elizabethan Age Queen Elizabeth ruled England from 1558-1603*known as the Golden Age because of the great literature produced during this period
William Shakespeare (1564-1623)-wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, 3 longer plays-wrote tragedies, comedies and about history-5 greatest tragedies: Macbeth, King Lear, Othello, Hamlet and Anthony and Cleopatra
Shakespeare’s plays: Made up of 5 acts I. Exposition-introduction, setting, problems, charactersII. Rising Action-complication, plot thickensIII. Climax-two opposing forces meet and one winsIV. Falling Action-play comes to a close, hero diesV. Denouement-wrap up of play
Themes that are common in Shakespeare’s plays 1. Appearance Vs. Reality2. Fate3. Revenge4. Chaos leading to order5. Unnatural/natural
The Theatre 1st permanent public theatre, was built by James Burbage (1576)
The Globe Theatre built by company in which Shakespeare along with Burbage had a stake in 1599-could fit 2,000 to 3,000 people-all acting done by men, elaborate costumes
Lord Chamberlain’s Men London’s premier acting group
Tragedy a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist (hero) and a superior force (destiny) that ends with a disastrous conclusion
Classical Tragic Hero -must be of noble birth-general, king-must have a tragic flaw=pride, ambition-tragic flaw causes one to fall from heights to depths in stature in the way others look at him-recognizes what he has done and what happened to him too late-dies or is killed
Tragic Flaw good personality trait that grows out of proportion, then becomes destructive
Aside direct address to audience
Soliloquy a character alone on stage gives voices to his/her inner most thoughts
Iambic Pentameter Shakespeare wrote his plays in this unstressed followed by stressed syllable-10 syllables (5 feet) long
Blank Verse unrhymed poetry, sounds normal, used in longer poems, usually 10 syllables in length
Rhyming Couplet 2 lines of verse that are the same length and rhyme: last word of first line and last line rhyme
Sonnet highly structured poem of 14 lines

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