Hamlet Act 1 and 2

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HAMLET
ACT 1, SCENE 2
*
* Truent- to take an authorized leave
* The suggestion would be Laertes came to Denmark because of Hamlet’s death, but when speaking to Claudius he gives a more appropriate response “ I came for your coronation” * Hamlet asks the question to Horatio

* Horatio understands the sensitivity of the situation. “A truent disposition, good my lord” * He very nimbly ducks the question We don’t get a direct response from Horatio. * “do my ear that violence” Hamlet Sr died of poison in his ear as well. This idea of poison in the air- has a number of metaphorical connotations. The literal poisoning of the ear by Claudius. Also all the lies that Claudius is saying is poison to the ear. This ties in with the theme of APPEARANCE VS REALITY. Also as if Claudius has poisoned the nation (Denmark) * Horatio perceives Hamlet’s discontent “My lord” reminding him of his status * There is a somewhat passitivity to Horatio. “I came for your father’s funeral” He is trying to appear loyal and create alliance with Hamlet but Hamlet is suspicious and so he asks “I think it was to see my mother’s wedding” . * Hamlet has to use his wits even to discern with his fellow scholars (Horatio) so that he can know what their motives are” * “My father—“ _Cezura. The passage reflects (by a joke) of his previous fun-loving, quick witted character. * Hamlet is assessing his father in the text. “Take him for all in all” An unromantic view of him. There is no flattery. With Horatio, Hamlet is being more realistic * “He was a man…” Hamlet doesn’t realize his father’s qualities reflects the impersonal relationship between Hamlet JR&SR. There is no flattery; this suggests they were not close. Right now he is not playing his game- with Gertrude, etc, he’s very praising of his father. * At this point we again have ambiguity to the identity of the ghost. Malevolent or benevolent? * Catholic

* His soul has been allowed to return for special purpose- returns from purgatory. There is no purgatory in Protestant faith. The ghost is catholic. * Protestants believe that ghosts are either an angel or demon. The idea being that they are here to work good or evil. Generally it is believed that a ghost is more likely to be evil than to be good. * Third view on ghost- manifestation of the melancholic mind. Possibly the ghost is a manifestation of Hamlet’s mind or the ghost has the power to choose who sees it. * Horatio says “A figure like your father”emphasizes ambiguity of the ghost. The description of the ghost in armor suggests that his purpose for coming is military. This foreshadows the following military tension with the war against Norway. * “ distilled almost to jelly with the act of fear” * The initial description of the ghost at the beginning of the play compared to Horatio’s account to Hamlet is two different. The effect of the ghost on the other people is an instilment of fear.

Why has Horatio altered detail? Horatio says that he looked more sad than angry. In the beginning he initially said that he looked angry and like he was about to go into war. In changing the information, Horatio is changing the outcome of the plot. The ghost is a one dimensional character. The ghost is regal, noble, majestic.

The ghost has now been changed into something that is tender, majestic, gentle Appeals to the audience for sympathy as opposed to usually being scared of ghosts.

ACT 1, SCENE 3

* “For Hamlet and the trifling of his favor” You can see in this playful, healthy, sibling relationship. There is an obvious intimacy, obvious love. Has a genuine concern for his sister. THIS IS OUR FIRST IMPRESSION. What we get here is an innocent appearance of their relationship. * “Do not sleep, let me hear from you” Indication of what time she should be writing from him. Underlying meaning: Instead of spending time with Hamlet at night, she will have be...
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