On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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What does being alive mean to you? How do you assign value to
life? What makes life challenging? What makes life worth living?
Offer some examples that help illustrate your thinking about
how people should value life.
Create the following chart on your paper
Sentence: Write a sentence
about the meaning of life
Synonyms: existence Contexts: religious
Examples: eternal life Non Examples: after-life
To Be or Not to Be...
What do you think is “the question” Hamlet is asking?
How do you think he might answer it?
Antithesis means opposite
WORK IN YOUR NOTEBOOKS:
List as many words as you can that are opposites of the words below. In other
words, write down as many antonyms as you can using the text and your own
Define the following in your notebook.
Write down words you recognize from the text that relate to the following. Add words of your
own as well. (Now we are looking for synonyms and word families)
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE: Resolution: end (line 5), consummation (line 8), will (line 25),
decision, outcome, result.
At this point in the play, Hamlet feels that he is in crisis. His
father died a few months earlier under mysterious
circumstances, and now he has learned that it was his uncle,
Claudius, who murdered his father. Making matters worse,
Claudius has married his mother. Hamlet is confused and does
not know what to do with this information. He wonders whether
he can trust anyone or if he is going crazy. Read the excerpt and
decide if you think Hamlet is a pessimist or an optimist. What
are your reasons for thinking so?
Do a second reading of the soliloquy and mark on the text places where Hamlet describes what it
means to be alive.
For example, Hamlet describes life as “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” so you could
highlight this as an example of what it means for Hamlet “to be.”
Let’s look at how we reason things out. According to Aristotle,
there are three ways to persuade someone you are right.
You will be taking notes now.
Take notes on the following slides and answer the questions at
the end of each. Use ink and write neatly. Your time is limited.
Ethos is related to the word ethics,or ethical, but a more modern translation might be ‘image.”
Aristotle used ethos to refer to a speaker’s character as it appears to the audience. Aristotle said that if
we believe a speaker to be moral, and have good sense, and be for the good will of all,we are more
likely to believe what he/she says to be true. The image or the character of the speaker is at stake.
Think about ways this plays out in advertising. What about politics? Comedians? Poets? Musicians?
Books? Even your essays and writing use Ethos. Think about the image you want to project in your
writing. What sorts of ideas, words, and style could contribute to your image in writing? By the same
token, what can harm this image?
Most of us think we base our decisions on rational thought.
However, Aristotle points out that emotions powerfully
influence our rational judgments. Pathos then, involves the
manipulation of emotions to persuade.
Can you think of advertisements or politicians who use your
emotions to persuade you to believe something?
Do you think it is unfair or deceptive to use do so?
Have you ever made a decision purely on emotions that you
In our society, logic and rationality are highly valued, and this type of
persuasive strategy is usually privileged over appeals to character and
emotion. Rhetorical arguments are based on probabilities, and because
we can not know all things with absolute certainty, yet we must find a
solution, we must act on these probabilities anyway. Persuasion involves
convincing people to accept your assumptions as probably true.
Similarly, exposing another’s assumptions as probably false is a good
In our society, logic strategy to to prepare an audience to accept your position.
Imagine some arguments that start from faulty assumptions, such as “if
pigs could fly,” or “if money grew on trees.” What would be some logical
Do logical arguments provide better support for a position than
arguments based on emotion or authority? In other words, have you
bought a product only because a celebrity supported it?
Let’s take another look at Hamlet’s soliloquy...
Answer the following 5 questions in your Notebook:
1. Does the soliloquy form seem to favor pathos or logos?
Explain why you think so.
2. Does Hamlet’s soliloquy use pathos to create a specific effect on
the reader? Explain how emotion is used here.
3. Does this speech use logos to create an effect on the audience?
How is logic used here?
4. Hamlet, in this soliloquy is in crisis. How does his situation allow
him to speak with authority (ethos) about the value of life?
5. As students, we realize that Hamlet’s character was created by
Shakespeare . Does Shakespeare seem like someone whose
opinions and attitudes are worth considering? Why?
Add notes to your chart
What do you know about Lance
In your notebook, write down the
following words from this excerpt:
What do you think about the fact that this book was written with
What topic do you think Armstrong will talk about that is related
to the way society views life?
Do you think his views will agree with Hamlet’s? Explain.
As you read the text, pay
attention to the way Armstrong
talks about the value of life.
Is Armstrong optimistic or
pessimistic in this passage?
What do you recall about the
argument Hamlet makes about
the value of death?
Does Armstrong share the same
feelings or not?
Read the text one more time in partners. This
time, read and highlight things Armstrong says
about what it means to be alive.