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Hamlet (learning chain)

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Didactic presentation of the famous tragedy by William Shakespeare (english version).
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  William Shakespeare: Hamlet (learning chain) KING CLAUDIUS  What do you call the play? HAMLET  The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: but what o' that? your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not: let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.  a) Shakespeare was a playwright, poet and owner of a theatre. TRUE FALSE b) In the Renaissance, women also played male roles. TRUE FALSE c) In Shakespeare’s tragedies, characters speak in verse and in prose.  TRUE FALSE č) Hamlet’s subject matter is reminiscent of the ancient myth of a) Orestes, b) Theseus, c) Sisyphus. d) Till his death, Hamlet’s father was the king of a) England, b) Norway, c) Denmark.   e) Hamlet’s father was poisoned with mushrooms by his wife Gertrude.  TRUE FALSE f) The tragedy starts with Gertrude’s wedding to her brother -in-law, Claudius. TRUE FALSE 1st excerpt:  Act 1, Scene 2  KING CLAUDIUS  Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death The memory be green, and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe, Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature That we with wisest sorrow think on him, Together with remembrance of ourselves. Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, The imperial jointress to this warlike state,  Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,-- With an auspicious and a dropping eye, With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,  In equal scale weighing delight and dole,-- Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone With this affair along. For all, our thanks.  Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,  Holding a weak supposal of our worth, Or thinking by our late dear brother's death Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,  He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,  Importing the surrender of those lands  Lost by his father, with all bonds of law, To our most valiant brother. So much for him.  Now for ourself and for this time of meeting: Thus much the business is: we have here writ To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,-- 1. At the beginning of the excerpt, underline the words that may be distinctly hypocritical. 2. How do you explain Claudius’ s justification that "hath discretion fought with nature"? 3. Underline the verse that indicates a too close proximity of the funeral and the marriage, and explain it. 4. Does Claudius use the first person plural because he does not know how to use the singular?  5. With what intention has the king summoned those present? At the moment, who threatens the state of Denmark? What does he want to take possession of? Which favourable moment does he want to take advantage of? 6. What does the end of the excerpt tell us about the merits and abilities of Hamlet’s father? a) Further on, King Claudius allows Laert to go to Paris. TRUE FALSE b) His uncle does not allow Hamlet to return to Germany, because he loves him too much. TRUE FALSE 2nd excerpt:    Act 1, Scene 5   GHOST  But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;  Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,  My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,  And in the porches of my ears did pour The leperous distilment; whose effect  Holds such an enmity with blood of man That swift as quicksilver it courses through The natural gates and alleys of the body,  And with a sudden vigour doth posset  And curd, like eager droppings into milk, The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;  And a most instant tetter bark'd about,  Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,  All my smooth body. Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd: Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd,  No reckoning made, but sent to my account With all my imperfections on my head: O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!  If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;  Let not the royal bed of Denmark be  A couch for luxury and damned incest.  1. Does the fact that the ghost already appeared in the first scene confirm these developments to be the exposition of the drama? Why is this exposition similar to that in Oedipus Rex? 2. At the beginning of the excerpt, underline the words that show it is the ghost speaking. 3. Think about the intention of the ghost to describe the effects of the poison in such detail. 4. What has Claudius taken away from his brother? And what is most important for Hamlet the father? 5. Underline the words showing that the father’s soul has not been reconciled with God.    6. The ghost objects to incest. Is it really incest in the modern meaning of the word? 7. What are the thematic similarities in the life paths of Hamlet’s father and Agamemnon in the Iliad? In this case, whom does Hamlet the younger resemble? 3rd excerpt:    Act 2, Scene 1    LORD POLONIUS  Come, go with me: I will go seek the king. This is the very ecstasy of love, Whose violent property fordoes itself  And leads the will to desperate undertakings  As oft as any passion under heaven That does afflict our natures. I am sorry. What, have you given him any hard words of late? OPHELIA   No, my good lord, but, as you did command,  I did repel his fetters and denied  His access to me.  LORD POLONIUS  That hath made him mad.  I am sorry that with better heed and judgment  I had not quoted him: I fear'd he did but trifle,  And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!  By heaven, it is as proper to our age To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions  As it is common for the younger sort To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king …   a) Before this, Polonius sent Reynaldo to spy on Laertes. TRUE FALSE 1. How did Hamlet behave in front of Ophelia before this? For what reason? 2. Polonius advised Ophelia against keeping company with Hamlet. What was he afraid of? Why? 3. How does Polonius explain H amlet’s behaviour? Why is he going to report to the king?  4. Underline the words that express the difference between old age and youth. What do they convey? a) After this two of Hamlet's schoolfellows come in order to keep an eye on the prince. TRUE FALSE b) Later on, merchants come from the town selling mouse traps. TRUE FALSE 4th excerpt:    Act 3, Scene 1  HAMLET   To be, or not to be, that is the question, Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,  And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;  No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks  That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation  Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,  Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life,  But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn  No traveller returns, puzzles the will  And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? 1 . Which dilemma is presented at the beginning of the excerpt? Compare Hamlet’s problem with the actions of Antigone and Ismene in Sophocles’ s ancient tragedy. 2. How does Hamlet imagine death? What does he see as its positive dimension? 3. Underline the words that express life hardships. Which of these hardships do you find the worst? Could these words be considered the author's personal confession? 4. Why does Hamlet reject suicide as a solution? Comment on his reflections. a) Later on, Hamlet successfully feigns madness. TRUE FALSE 5th excerpt:    Act 3, Scene 1  HAMLET   Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very  proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father? OPHELIA   At home, my lord.  HAMLET    Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the  fool no where but in's own house. Farewell. OPHELIA  O, help him, you sweet heavens!
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