Hamlet - Study Questions

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3rd year, English Seminar conductor: Lect.dr. Oana-Alis Zaharia Hamlet READING TASKS: Read the entire play focusing on the following moments: 1. Read Hamlet’s soliloquy “ That this too solid/sullied flesh would melt” Act 1, scene 2 2. The Ghost’s narration and request for revenge; Act 1, scene 5 3. ”Oh what a rogue and peasant slave I am” Act 2, scene 2 4. The “To be or not to be” soliloquy; Act 3, scene 1 5. The play within the play – The Murder of Gonzago 6. King Claudius’s prayer (Act 3, scene 3) TOPICS OF REFLECTION: One way of looking at Hamlet is to study the theme of revenge. This will mean concentrating on Hamlet's battle of wits with Claudius. Tragedies about revenge were fairly popular in Shakespeare's time-see Thomas Kyd- The Spanish Tragedy. 1. Consider the causes of Hamlet's desire for revenge, and the manner in which he pursues it. Some things that influence the course of Hamlet's revenge would be: • his attitude to Claudius; • his encounters with the ghost; • the Murder of Gonzago; • his relationship with his mother; • Polonius and his children; • Rosencrantz and Guildernstern. 2. Consider the importance attached to the idea of revenge and the cultural history of revenge that Shakespeare might have drawn upon. 3. Find out the meanings allotted to the murder of a king in the plays of the time. We are helped to understand his actions and motivation by his soliloquies and some things which he tells Horatio. • A SOLILOQUY is an introspective speech, usually in blank verse, delivered when the speaker is alone on the stage. It is used by the playwright to reveal a character's innermost thoughts. (soliloquy means “speaking alone”) Study Questions The causes of Hamlet's desire for revenge At the start of the play, Hamlet's

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