It is necessary that you are aware of the context in which Hamlet was first performed. It is helpful to understand how an Elizabethan audience might have understood the play and its ideas. It will also help you assess the textual integrity of the play. Remember, that in the HSC you will be required to write about your own understanding of the play. Of the resources mentioned below, the “Elsinore” site is the one you should focus on for today’s lesson.
Your task this week is to research several key elements of the play in order to gain an understanding of how Elizabethans would have responded to the play. Write about ½ page for each area.
These areas are:
|Melancholia - |How would this condition have been diagnosed in Shakespeare’s time? | | |Is Shakespeare’s representation of Hamlet as a melancholic man consistent with the | | |thinking of the time? | | |How do his friends and family try to deal with his melancholia? | | |What would the diagnosis be today? | | |What does the modern audience make of Hamlets melancholic behaviour? | |Suicide/Despair – |What was the Elizabethan view on suicide? | | |How is Shakespeare’s treatment of death/burial consistent with this view? | | |What about now? | |Revenge/Vengeance – |Is revenge morally or ethically justified?...
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