Hamlet act 1 and 2 essay questions

One night, his father's ghost appears to him and tells him that Claudius murdered him in order to usurp the throne, and commands his son to avenge his death. Claudius sends for two of Hamlet's friends from Wittenberg, to find out what is causing Hamlet so much pain. Claudius and his advisor Polonius persuade Ophelia —Polonius' daughter and Hamlet's true love—to speak with Hamlet while they secretly listen.

Hamlet act 1 and 2 essay questions

And there is no traditional Christian comfort or promise of eventual justice or happiness for the good people. But the message is ultimately one of hope.

You can be a hero. Aristotle wrote that in a tragedy, the protagonist by definition learns something. You may not agree with everything they decide.

Scene by Scene "Revenge should know no bounds. The day Hamlet was born, Old Hamlet settled a land dispute by killing the King of Norway in personal combat. How old is Hamlet? We have contradictory information.

The gravedigger mentions that Hamlet is thirty years old, and that the jester with whom Hamlet played as a child has been dead for twenty-three years. A thirty-year-old man might still be a college student. So we might prefer to think that Hamlet is in his late teens or early twenties. I think "thirty" might be a mistake for "twenty".

Richard Burbage, who played Hamlet first, was older than twenty, and perhaps the editor thought "twenty" must be wrong. Hamlet was a college student at Wittenberg when his father died.

Of course the historical Hamlet, who lived aroundcould not have attended Wittenberg, founded in Shakespeare and the other characters just call him "King". Old Hamlet died during his after-lunch nap in his garden.

The public was told that Old Hamlet died of snakebite.

Hamlet act 1 and 2 essay questions

The truth is that Claudius murdered Old Hamlet by pouring poison in his ear. Old Hamlet died fast but gruesomely. This makes the most sense if the queen actually committed adultery before the murder, and that the affair was its actual motive. And everybody at the Danish court must have thought the same thing.

But everybody must have been suspicious. And nobody was saying anything. Young Hamlet is very well-liked.

Hamlet act 1 and 2 essay questions

He is a soldier, a scholar, and a diplomat. Exactly why Claudius rather than Hamlet succeeded Old Hamlet is not explained. By Shakespeare time, it was the Danish royal family that voted.

Interestingly, the Norwegian king is also succeeded by his brother, rather than by his own infant son Fortinbras. Or the royal title may have gone to Claudius simply because he married the royal widow, who he calls "our imperial jointress". Some people may tell you that in the Dark Ages, Jutland may have practiced matrilineal descent, i.

Matrilineal descent is known among some primitive people in our own century, and is attested to by ancient writers on various cultures.

Study Questions

The advantage of this system is that the best men tend to get picked for hereditary positions of power. With male-line succession, the old king is followed by his oldest son, who may be stupid and get himself killed quickly.

Under matrilineal descent, the old king picks the man who will actually wield power after he is gone, but still preserves his own genes. In spite of what anybody else may tell you, we know of no human culture where the men, who are physically stronger and do the fighting, let the women make the laws and the big decisions a matriarchy.

You may decide this is unfortunate.

Shakespeare's Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1 - Hamlet Confronts Ophelia (Get thee to a nunnery)

A real anthropologist, Eric J. Smith [link is now down] at U.Which of Hamlet's lines in scene 2 support the idea that he has lost touch with sanity? Level 3 - Apply Imagine a spectrum with completely honest on . Hamlet ACT 1, Scene 1 and 2 Questions 1.

What happens when Francisco and Bernardo meet at the beginning of ? Where are we, and when? Why is there confusion over which one is supposed to challenge the other by asking "Who's there"?

Hamlet ACT 1, Scene 1 and 2 Questions 1. What happens when Francisco and Bernardo meet at the beginning of ? Where are we, and when?

William Shakespeare

Why is there confusion over which one is supposed to challenge the other by asking "Who's there"? Scene Questions for Review 1. Clearly Claudius knows Hamlet is feigning madness (see line 2) and likely believes the reason is thwarted kaja-net.com then does he bother eavesdropping on Hamlet and Ophelia?

Hamlet Homework Help Questions. Can you explain the presence of simulation and dissimulation in Hamlet?


Simulation and dissimulation are two excellent themes within this complex Shakespearean tragedy. Hamlet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About Hamlet Hamlet .

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