Shakespeare - Hamlet


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Shakespeare - Hamlet

  1. 1. by William Shakespeare
  3. 3. • Thus begins William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet. • A story of unrelenting revenge, Hamlet is considered the greatest play ever written. • Filled with drama, humor, action and a hint of the supernatural, Hamlet has the ability to make audiences laugh, cry, and shudder. • It is performed all around the world, in almost every language.
  4. 4. THE SETTING • Hamlet takes place in eastern Denmark, at Elsinore Castle, sometime in the late 1500s. • It is winter when the play begins, but several years pass during the course of the play. • Shakespeare probably based this castle on a real place: Kronborg Castle, which was built during his lifetime.
  5. 5. THE CHARACTERS • Hamlet: Son of a murdered Danish king (who was also named Hamlet) and nephew of the present king, Claudius. Hamlet is highly intelligent and well liked by the citizens, although at times he can be petty and cruel. • Claudius: The new King of Denmark, Hamlet's uncle. He becomes king after Hamlet's father, the previous king, is found dead in his orchard. • Gertrude: Queen of Denmark, Hamlet's mother, and widow of the murdered king. Her marriage to Claudius within two months after the late king's funeral deeply disturbs Hamlet.
  6. 6. THE CHARACTERS • Ghost of Hamlet's Father, old King Hamlet. • Polonius: Bootlicking Lord Chamberlain of King Claudius. • Ophelia: Daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes. She loves Hamlet. • Horatio: Hamlet's best friend. • Laertes: Son of Polonius, brother of Ophelia. • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern: two old schoolmates of Hamlet’s (and spies of Claudius) whom Hamlet sends in his place to die.
  7. 7. THE PLOT • The story begins with Hamlet brooding after his mother and uncle’s wedding. Coming so soon after his father’s death, he is still mourning. • Two sentries come to Hamlet and tell him that over the past two nights, a ghostly figure, who looks like Hamlet’s father, has been seen walking on the battlements. • Hamlet goes to see, and meets the spectre, who tells him that he is indeed his father’s ghost and that he was murdered by Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, who has just married Hamlet’s mother and crowned king. • Here’s the scene from the 1964 Russian version.
  8. 8. THE PLOT • This sets in action a chain of events where Hamlet begins to plot revenge for his father’s murder, and pretends to be mad in order to hide his motives. • He hires some travelling actors (players) to set a trap for King Claudius, in order to prove to Hamlet that Claudius did indeed murder his father. • But Claudius begins to suspect Hamlet, and sets in motion his own plot to murder his nephew. • And Hamlet, in his single-minded quest for revenge, casts off everyone else, including his mother, his love Ophelia, and his truest friends.
  9. 9. HISTORY • Hamlet was probably first performed between 1600-1601 • Shakespeare based Hamlet on the legend of Amleth, a story of a young Viking hero who returns home to find his father murdered, and their mother wed to their father’s killer. • Three different early versions of the play have been found, the First Quarto (Q1, 1603), the Second Quarto (Q2, 1604), and the First Folio (F1, 1623). Each version includes lines, and even entire scenes, missing from the others. • This is Shakespeare’s longest play – at full length, it runs over four hours.
  10. 10. THEMES • The play vividly portrays both actual and faked madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes of treachery, revenge, and moral corruption. • Hamlet is sometimes called a play of thought, since much of the inner character of Hamlet is revealed to the audience through soliloquies: inner dialogues spoken to the audience. • Here’s the scene were Hamlet (played by actor Jude Law) is presented with the skull of an old friend: his boyhood court jester Yorick, and aloud ponders on the finality of death.
  11. 11. FAMOUS QUOTES O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew. Hamlet, scene ii There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet, scene v Neither a borrower nor a lender be: For loan oft loses both itself and friend. Polonius, scene iii This above all — to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Polonius, scene iii Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Marcellus, scene iv That he is mad, 'tis true; 'tis true 'tis pity; And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure; But farewell it, for I will use no art. Polonius, scene ii Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love. Hamlet, from a letter read by Polonius, scene ii Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't. — Polonius, scene ii The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king. Hamlet, scene ii
  12. 12. FAMOUS QUOTES To be, or not to be, — that is the question: — Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? — … To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream: — ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, Hamlet, Act III scene 1 What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! Hamlet Act 2, scene 2 The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Gertrude, scene ii But that the dread of something after death, — The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn No traveller returns Hamlet, Act III scene 1 Let me be cruel, not unnatural; I will speak daggers to her, but use none. Hamlet, scene ii I must be cruel, only to be kind: Thus bad begins and worse remains behind. Hamlet, scene iv Alas! poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, Hamlet, scene I Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Horatio, scene ii
  13. 13. WHY HAMLET? • In his actions and words Hamlet embodies every facet of what it means to be a human. • …He’s at times innocent and corrupt, loving and hateful, affectionate yet filled with contempt, thoughtful but rude, humorous, self- hating, vengeful, hesitant and ultimately, pitiful, endearing and despicable. • Scholars have called Hamlet the first modern character— who, unbound from traditional notions of right and wrong, battles fear while trying to complete a task thrust upon him that he
  14. 14. HAMLET ON FILM • Hamlet is highly regarded as both a drama and a supreme challenge for any actor – over 75 Television and Film versions have been made! • The first film of Hamlet was made in 1907. • Since then, many actors have played Hamlet on film, including: • David Tennant (2009) • Ethan Hawke (2000) • Kenneth Brannaugh (1996) • Mel Gibson (1990) • There’s even been a ―Zombie Hamlet!‖
  15. 15. A Nutsy the Squirrel Production Copyright 2013 Oak Hills Media Center All Rights Reserved.