<![CDATA[Ms. Sockett's English Courses - Hamlet Blog]]>Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:29:06 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Hamlet:  Act 1 Follow-up activities]]>Fri, 22 Nov 2013 02:19:23 GMThttp://mssockettsenglishcourses.weebly.com/hamlet-blog/hamlet-act-1Picturehttp://theerraticmuse.blogspot.ca/2011/03/hamlet-on-film-and-kenneth-branagh.html

After we have watched
the first act, you do need to go back and re-read it!  These activities are designed to force you to do that.

Each group has a task.

Group #1: Getting to know King Claudius (1.2)
In this first "court scene" we meet the (very) new king of Denmark.  Go back and re-read lines 1-128.  Outline the three main "issues" that Claudius deals with (public, court, personal).  What do we learn about the character of this man through his various dealings with people around him (his ambassadors, his courtiers, his new wife, his nephew/son)?

Group #2:  Hamlet's soliloquy in 1.2 "Oh that this too too sullied flesh ..."
Go back and carefully re-read Hamlet's first soliloquy (he has SEVEN in total in this play).  Identify all of the mythological allusions that Hamlet makes within this speech, and then explain why he would choose these particular allusions at this point.  How do these references reinforce Hamlet's view of his deceased father, his "new" father/uncle and Gertrude and their relationships with one another?

Group #3:  The "other" family: siblings Laertes and Ophelia  (1.3)
Go back and re-read the exchange between Laertes and Ophelia (lines 1-51).  What advice does the brother give the sister?  How does she respond?  What does their exchange teach us about their respective characters and their roles within society?

Group #4:  The "other" family:  Polonius and his children (1.3)
First Polonius bids goodbye to his son, and leaves him with a string of lines of advice (57-81).  Look at those lines carefully - is his advice more about ethics or etiquette?  Once Laertes leaves, Polonius presses his daughter about her relationship with Prince Hamlet.  Why is Polonius so harsh with his daughter?

Group #5:  "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (Marcellus, 1.4.90)
When the Ghost re-appears in 1.4, and beckons Hamlet to follow him, Marcellus utters these famous words.  What indications do we have that Denmark is "rotting"?  Was it rotting under the rule of Old Hamlet?  Or is the rot fairly new (i.e. with the ascension of King Claudius)?  Go back through all of the scenes of Act 1 and find language that evokes the idea of rotting, or something "untoward" happening in this country.

Group #6:  The Ghost's Story (1.5)
Re-read the many lines where the Ghost tells Hamlet his story, and encourages his son to seek revenge.  In particular, what kind of imagery does the Ghost use in telling his tale? Think about where his soul resides at this present time, and how that might inform his language/images. 

Each group must post at least one comment in which you deal with your assigned task.   Please identify yourself by group number.  Comments should include your group members' opinions and quotations from the text to support your findings.