October 7 – Lit – Hamlet

Today our class took a walk through the second scene of act one, in which the audience is first introduced to Hamlet, Claudius and Gertrude (among others). Here is the powerpoint that was used during the period: Oct 7 – Lit – Act 1 Scene

Things to consider and discuss in I:ii:

  • Why does Caludius need to justify his marriage, remind the court that they’re at war, and send a letter to the “bedridden and impotent” Norway?
  • Why does Claudius choose to address Laertes before his new “son”?
  • Why not allow Hamlet to return to Wittenberg?
  • What various meanings can we glean from Hamlet’s wordplay (“too much in the sun”)?
  • What can we learn from our introduction to each of the characters?
  • What does Hamlet’s first soliloquy show about his mentality and his opinions of his father, mother and uncle?
  • How (and why) does Shakespeare use allusions and juxtaposition in this scene?
  • Why does Hamlet seem to forget Horatio (“Horatio… if I’m not mistaking myself.”)?

Complete a journal entry for Act 1, Scene 3, and be prepared to discuss it in class!