Topics: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Characters in Hamlet Pages: 3 (704 words) Published: September 29, 2014
Module 3: Activity 1
Hamlet: Act I

Suggested activity duration : 3 hours
William Shakespeare is recognized in much of the world as the greatest dramatist ever known. Shakespeare wrote a total of 37 plays. His plays can be divided into three categories: tragedies, histories and comedies. "The Tragedy of Hamlet is considered to be Shakespeare's finest tragedy. Its characters are very complex, specifically Hamlet. Hamlet can be analyzed on a number of levels because it contains so many themes. Brief Plot Summary: Hamlet's father, the King of Denmark, is dead and has been succeeded by his brother Claudius, who has married the old king's wife, Gertrude. Hamlet is very upset over his mother's hasty marriage to his uncle. The King's ghost appears to Hamlet and tells him that Claudius murdered him, and makes Hamlet promise to avenge his death. The play traces the process by which Hamlet negotiates the conflict between his need to take violent action and his uncertainty about the rightness of doing so. Hamlet pretends to be insane. In the famous "To Be or Not To Be" soliloquy, he contemplates suicide and death. He is greatly troubled and unintentionally murders Polonius, the King's counsellor. He then violently confronts his mother for what he sees as an unfaithful and incestuous marriage to her brother-in-law. Hamlet also verbally abuses Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, whom Hamlet had loved before, contributing to her mental illness and eventual death. After endless deliberation and procrastination, Hamlet finally decides that he must submit to his fate.... (I won't tell you any more!) I encourage you to read literary analysis websites to help you interpret the play and gain insightful ideas and information. Personally speaking, I prefer to read a synopsis of the scene before reading it. I find it helps students recognize key points and pick up the language at a faster rate.     Part A: Knowledge and Understanding

Hamlet by William Shakespeare
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