"Hamlet": Important Points Essay

2196 words - 9 pages

ELEMENTS OF TRAGEDY IN HAMLETHe is a nobleman, revered by his countrymen, who strives to alter the world around him. Ultimately, he must forfeit his own life to see justice done. The plot that unfolds in Shakespeare's drama includes politics, murder, and domestic strife.HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF HAMLETStudents will be interested to know that the story of Prince Hamlet was not original with Shakespeare's version. The basic plot was found in ancient stories which eventually made their way to Scandinavia, specifically Denmark. The Signet Classic edition contains more specific background on the origins of this story in "A Note on the Sources of Hamlet " and in Sylvan Barnet's prefatory remarks. Barnet also includes more general information about Shakespeare, the Elizabethantheater, and the various texts of Hamlet. Suggested teaching strategies utilizing this information are included in the activities for use before reading the play.SHAKESPEARE'S LANGUAGEThe enormous contribution which William Shakespeare has made to the English language is evidenced in the volumes of scholarly endeavor devoted to his body of works and in the direct and indirect allusions to his words in contemporary language and culture. A richness in imagery and an ability to tap the depths of meaning in every word make the reading of a Shakespearean play more than memorable.ACTIVITIES FOR DISCOVERING AND APPRECIATING SHAKESPEARE'S LANGUAGEA list of possibilities follows:Absent thee from felicity awhile (V, i)All is not well (I, ii)The bird of dawning singeth all night long (I, i)Brevity is the soul of wit (II, ii)Frailty, thy name is woman! (I, ii)Give me that man/That is not passion's slave (III, ii)Give thy thoughts no tongue (I, iii)How all occasions do inform against me (IV, iv)I am sick at heart (I, i)I could a tale unfold (I, v)In my mind's eye (I, ii)It cannot come to good (I, ii)It started like a guilty thing (I, i)The lady doth protest too much (III, ii)Lay not that flattering unction to your soul. (III, iv)Leave her to heaven (I, v)Like sweet bells jangled, out of tun and harsh (III, i)Man delights not me;/nor woman neither (II, ii)More honoured in the breach than the observance (I, iv)More in sorrow than in anger (I, ii)More matter, with less art (II, ii)Neither a borrower, nor a lender be (I, iii)Not a mouse stirring (I, i)Now cracks a noble heart, Good-night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest? (V, ii)O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven (III, iii)O my prophetic soul! (I, v)The primrose path of dalliance treadsAnd recks not his own rede (I, iii)The rest is silence (V, ii)Rosemary, that's for remembrance IV, v)The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (III, i)Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (I, v)So much for him (I, ii)Sweets to the sweet; farewell! (V, i)That it should come to this! (I, ii)There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. (I, v)There's a divinity that shapes our ends (V,...

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