Good evening my lovely AP Lit-Ninjas. As you are well aware, we have sunk our proverbial literary teeth into William Shakespeare’s arguably best-known play: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The play, which is usually referred to by the truncated moniker “Hamlet”, was the most famous of Shakespeare’s plays during his lifetime, and still resonates with readers, audiences and actors to this day. The story is based on the story of Amleth, a Danish prince whose uncle kills his father and marries his mother. Hmmmmm…. Interesting. Besides its near-perpetual presence in theater, the film is the most-adapted and most-filmed of any of Shakespeare’s works, and the titular role has been played by the likes of Laurence Olivier, Jude Law, Ian McKellen, Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant, Ethan Hawke, and Ralph Fiennes.
Our own study of Hamlet began with a re-introduction to Shakespeare by reading the following article (Why Shakespeare Resonates), and an introduction to the ongoing journal assignment (Hamlet Reading Log Assignment).
If you want to get your own copy of the book that we’re reading (so you can annotate in your own copy), it’s part of the Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism line, and is edited by Susan L. Wofford. (http://books.google.com/books/about/Hamlet.html?id=inJuQgAACAAJ)
We started out with a look at act I, scene I (Act 1 Scene 1), and act I, scene II (Act 1 Scene 2). We lingered in scene II to further analyze the language used by Claudius and Hamlet in their first encounter (1-2 cladius vs hamlet), and took a deeper look at young Hammy’s first rant (read: 1st soliloquy). Our next step was to look at the family dynamic between Polonius, Laertes and Ophelia that emerges in scene III (1-3- family values). On Friday, we’ll be looking at scenes IV and V, which you should all be reading ahead of time.
Please remember to complete and bring in your first four journals (journal 1 – I:I, journal 2 – I:ii, journal 3 – I:iii, journal 4 – I:iv & I:v) on Friday.
Also – as a head’s-up – there will be a test on the content and language of act I on Monday of next week.
And remember, as Polonius says; don’t get in fights, but if you do make sure to win them.