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GCSE: Hamlet

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 11
  • Peer Reviewed essays 9
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Hamlet Film and Play Comparison. Zeffirelli made some changes in Hamlet that do not take away from the overall meaning of the story, but rather, they change the viewers perception of Hamlet.

    3 star(s)

    He would drown the stage with tears... Yet I, ... unpregnant of my cause, can say nothing" (2.2.557-565). Hamlet even goes as far as to call himself "a scullion" (2.2.585), which could not be more untrue considering Hamlet's position as the prince. Not only does Hamlet realize his own pettiness, his soliloquy also serves to make the viewers aware of the fact that Hamlet is "pigeon-liver'd and lack[s] gall" (2.2.574). In the play, Hamlet's character is both erratic and pensively hesitant, but the movie focuses on Hamlet's erratic qualities.

    • Word count: 979
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Textual Integrity in Hamlet

    3 star(s)

    The idea of duty to God/religion has become mildly ethereal and is not as apparent as it was during the Elizabethan era. One interpretation of "Hamlet" is the play is about suicide. The play heart is an concentrated psychodrama that is about a prince gone mad from external pressures. He longs for the ultimate release of killing himself for several different motives depending on the situation. When Hamlet has the opportunity to kill himself he is seen as a coward, lacking the internal drive to go through with his deed: "O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt,/Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,/Or that the Everlasting had not fixed/His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!"

    • Word count: 849
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Hamlet essay on the theme of 'christian morality' in the play

    3 star(s)

    In Hamlet's first soliloquy, the audience is given a sense of his morals and beliefs. He mentions 'the Everlasting... had fix'd his canon 'gainst self-slaughter', wishing that suicide was not forbidden by God. As the play moves on and Hamlet comes to realise that his father, the King, was brutally murdered his anger leads him to seek revenge. His quest to murder Claudius seems justified to some, as Claudius unlawfully murdered the King. Shakespeare's audiences at the time perhaps disagreed with the saying 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Therefore, audiences of the play follow Hamlet's internal battle as to whether it's the 'right' thing to do, to kill the king.

    • Word count: 823
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Discussing dramatic devices in Hamlet.

    3 star(s)

    This would engage the audience because they would strongly believe. Also the use of the word "thing" in act one, scene one gives the impression that they don't know what the ghost is. For example when Marcellus says "what has this thing appear'd again to-night?" This tells us that he is scared; however he isn't aware of what he is scared of. Marcellus also refers to the "dreaded sight" this is a form of emotive language because the sight he is seeing is dreaded, meaning he didn't want to see it.

    • Word count: 937
  5. Peer reviewed

    Hamlet Essay

    3 star(s)

    Ophelia starts going a bit mad and later on Hamlet finds her dead in a stream. The play ends tragically with the death of Hamlet, the Queen, the King and Laertes. In many ways Hamlet and Claudius are very similar characters. They are both very determined and will go to any lengths to get what they want. We can see this characteristic in Claudius when he says 'I'll have prepared him a chalice for the nonce, where on but sipping, if he by chance escape your behoved stuck, our purpose may hold there.'

    • Word count: 911
  6. Peer reviewed

    Themes in Hamlet

    Revenge is a build up of pressure and can result in either a depressive state or an undomesticated happening. An explosion of anger could result in an action to unfold that may not resolve any of the previous feelings. After taking revenge you may not feel relieved for the deed that we have accomplished. Revenge is not going to change anything as the original deed has already occurred. Suicide: My thoughts on suicide follow: To me suicide doesn't fix anything, however to someone that is suicidal it may appears as though it is the only real answer to all or most of their problems. For example: No money, no job?

    • Word count: 580
  7. Peer reviewed

    Hamlet Today

    Themes such as death are still abundant today. For example, Hamlet's third soliloquy reminds us that death is the only element that will allow us to feel as though we have a purpose. With death comes striving for a life that we will be content with in order to feel as though we have fulfilled a successful life. Hamlet later realizes that death is ethereal and does not fill this void because once we are dead nothing can or will maintain out life. "Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them."

    • Word count: 736
  8. Throughout the play, Hamlet expresses some of his inner most feelings to his best friend Horatio. Horatio functions not only as a confident to Hamlet but also as a contrast to Hamlet's potential insanity.

    There is a deep trust and understanding between the two characters which seems to have developed long before they began studying together at the University of Wittenberg. The depth of their friendship can best be seen in comparison to Hamlets companionship with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who Hamlet feels betray him in their affiliation with his uncle. While Hamlet easily sends these two to die, he prevents Horatio from killing himself in order to tell the story of what happen in Denmark.

    • Word count: 452
  9. Reflection on Hamlet

    This essay will outline what has been learnt throughout the course of "Hamlet" with references to the two main differing contexts. The Elizabethan context conveys a theme of Christian Redemptive message where God's plan always prevails no matter what obstacles were presented. Therefore sin was punished and virtue rewarded. My understanding of this is in "Hamlet" it is that of rationalizing of behavior before impulsive action that affirms the values of the era. This is apparent through a variety of quotes such as "to be or not to be", "Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust."

    • Word count: 685
  10. Comparison of Hamlet Soliloquies

    Shakespeare uses each soliloquy as a philosophical analysis that introduces upcoming themes and happenings. They allow foreshadowing to take place in order for the audience to understand the crucial events that will ultimately follow. For example in the first soliloquy, Hamlet establishes strong thoughts about death, both of his father and suicide. It is also later revealed that Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, has married his mother. Through this soliloquy, Shakespeare incorporates immense depth to the character of Hamlet as well as the other main characters. It enables the audience to understand Hamlet's stance and further insight into his thought patterns in regards to death, suicide and duty to God and family.

    • Word count: 941
  11. Is Hamlet Satisfying?

    In order to create satisfaction one must feel as though they are content with a certain fulfillment of a desire, need or expectation. In regards to this, in the play 'Hamlet' it is essential that one feels as though they are connected to the play in order to create meaning for themselves.

    • Word count: 390
  12. Hamlet eventually kills Polonius in Act 3 Scene 4. He believes hes killed the king but is mistaken.

    He, however, warns him not to harm his mother. Hamlet is bewildered by this, due to the fact his mother was part of the plot to murder his father. Hamlet's attitude changes dramatically. He is less talkative, and more inquisitive. His behaviour towards Ophelia also changes. He doesn't talk to her, and acts strangely towards her. Her father, Polonius, believes this is due to his love for her. Little does he know he is trying to focus on his father's demand, and get Ophelia away from him. All doubts of Hamlet's strange behaviour are cast to one side, when Polonius informs Claudius, that Hamlet's strange behaviour is due to love.

    • Word count: 855
  13. In Act 2 Scene 1, Hamlet says the To be, or not to be: that is the question (III.i.58) soliloquy. This soliloquy in a way sums up the events that have caused this living hell for Hamlet.

    If I were in Hamlet's position I too, would be depressed and thinking negatively, and I don't accuse him of being wrong for doing so. What follows this soliloquy is Ophelia entering the room. Hamlet has just torn his heart out, and just seeing her face gave him a sort of sudden burst of hope. This feeling was short lived when he finds out that Ophelia is there to bring back all the gifts he has ever given her, and to tell Hamlet that she no longer wants his love. She says this with no remorse and with no sympathy.

    • Word count: 779
  14. The daring and brave Hamlet

    Claudius, speaking as one who is incapable of reaching Hamlet's depth of emotion, mentions that Hamlet is taking the mourning of his father's death to extremes: To give these mourning duties to your father; /But you must know, your father lost a father;/ That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound/ in filial obligation for some term to do obsequious sorrow (I.ii.94-98). The King tells Hamlet that death is a part of the natural order of things and he should get over it.

    • Word count: 865
  15. To What extent do other characters in the play betray Hamlet? Discuss.

    Hamlet was first betrayed by his uncle Claudius, who out of his greed and lust for power killed the king of Denmark so that he himself could take control of the thrown. This is seen as betrayal, as Claudius is killing someone who trusted him to the fullest, which reveals his backstabbing nature. The fact that Claudius betrayed Hamlet senior means that he also betrayed Hamlet junior as he killed his father. Claudius's betrayal continues later on in the play, when he manages to convince Laertes to murder Hamlet in treacherous ways.

    • Word count: 744
  16. Hamlet and his character

    Hamlet is also heartbroken by his mother's hasty re-marriage to his uncle, as is evident in his soliloquy in Act One, once everyone else has left. He reveals that he is depressed and has contemplated suicide, claiming: "How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses in the world!" The audience learns that Hamlet feels very strongly about his mother's recent marriage, and how he cannot believe how quickly she got over her previous husband's death: "A beast that wants discourse of reason Would have mourn'd longer."

    • Word count: 688
  17. Hamlet is a good example of how vengeance ultimately ends up taking more lives then was originally lost.

    Hamlet is a good example of how vengeance ultimately ends up taking more lives then was originally lost. The murder of his father in the beginning of the book drives Hamlet to get revenge. Overwhelmed with feeling due to his loss and anger at his new uncle turned step-father, Hamlet starts to turn-off his friends. Ophelia, who once was his secret girl-friend, is now disgusted at the way Hamlet acts towards her "I have heard of your paintings well enough. God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another. You jig, you amble, and you lisp, you nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance.

    • Word count: 630
  18. Essay on Shakespears language in Hamlet

    Readers will automatically label Hamlet as a scheming character for his unneeded observation. Hamlet's insanity act backfires unintentionally when Hamlet had planned to act preposterous in order for Claudius to believe he is insane. However everyone apart from Claudius falls for it. Eventually Hamlet plays the insanity role so well that he unexpectedly convinces himself that he is insane! "Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting With forms to his conceit?

    • Word count: 773
  19. Discussing Hamlet.

    Hamlet has a very strange state of mind. This is shown throughout the play. For example in soliloquy 1 he is in a very depressive mood, "Oh that this too solid flesh, would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into dew" as well as in soliloquy 4, "To be, or not to be, that is the question" which shows he is suicidal. However in soliloquy 5 he is very different. He has changed from being suicidal to being confident in himself.

    • Word count: 712
  20. Hamlet is a pathetic character whose inability to act brings about a well deserved downfall. However, others may argue that Hamlet is a noble hero with whom we must sympathise. Which of these viewpoints do you agree with? Discuss both in detail, suggestin

    He carries a sarcastic tone "Not so my lord" which enforces the idea that he is unable to process the drastic changes in his life. This can be seen from when he says "A little more than kin, and less than kind" as his tone reflects his feeling toward his uncle taking on the role as his Father, and his Mother's hasty acceptance to this. The fact that Shakespeare makes it so clear that Hamlet is in this mindset, brings forward the argument that he has the inability to act and to hide his true intentions from people surrounding him, inclusive of the audience.

    • Word count: 892
  21. Asses the views of Tacitus and Suetonius on the reign of Claudius

    He showed real scorn for Claudius and his writings are full of belittlement and snide remarks. They contain many tales of corruption, government scandal and innocent people being destroyed or having their goof names ruined because of the emperor's lust for power. It was Tacitus' belief that the emperor had so much power in his hands that no man could occupy the throne without being corrupted by that power. Tacitus view on Claudius' reign is hard to conclude on as the accession and early years of the reign of Claudius have been lost.

    • Word count: 541
  22. Hamlet Soliloquy Act 3 Scene 3 Hamlet has just watched Claudius praying for forgiveness in the church and has been hiding

    his uncle is praying then he will go to heaven instead of hell and all of hamlets troubles will be in vain. "O, this is hire and salary, not revenge. He took my father grossly, full of bread; With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;" Hamlet tells of how his uncle killed his father by killing him when he was sleeping and full of bread this could also be interpreted as a shamanic tradition, a sin eater would be employed by the family of a deceased person, or sometimes by the Church, to eat a last meal of bread and salt from the belly of the corpse as it lay in state.

    • Word count: 780
  23. This paper gives and overview and brife description of the motivations and emotions of Hamlet, the main character in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Poetry is used to fully underand and explore the emotions of anger, grief and guilt

    The exact date of his birth is unknown however we know that he was christened on April 26th, 1564. William was the third child and oldest son of John and Mary Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare's two sisters, Joan and Margaret, died before Shakespeare was born, the other children were Gilbert, a second Joan, Anne, Richard, and Edmund (http://www.allshakespeare.com/hamlet/). William Shakespeare was one of the world's most renowned authors. He is best known for his play Hamlet. It continues to be one of Shakespeare's most popular and frequently staged plays. The play Hamlet is his longest play, consisting of over fourteen hundred lines.

    • Word count: 844
  24. Which Was The Best And Which Was The Worst Roman Emperor? A good emperor is someone who makes the right decisions, doesn't kill people and has a good army

    After this he made his horse a senator, he had to answer everybody's questions. And it still got worse next he decided there was something wrong with bald people so they got fed to the lions. His uncle Claudius came up with a sneaky plan, he pretended to be mad as well so that he wouldn't get fed to the lions. Finally he asked his army to pick up all the shells of the beach, in the end his guards got fed up so they just stabbed him.

    • Word count: 563
  25. Hamlet Act 1 Scene 1

    This sentence is short and snappy which creates a sense of expectation and tension, which continues into the act. On a symbolic level there is a sense that something is not right and w feeling of unease, especially portrayed through the character of Fransisco. We later find out that the 'divine right of kings' has gone adrift as Hamlet should be the king not Claudius and this therefore will confirm Fransisco's bad feelings. The frequent use of punctuation such as exclamation marks and commas are used to suggest jumpiness. "Stand, Ho! Who is there?" The comma is used as a pause to create tension and the exclamation marks shows Fransisco's alarm.

    • Word count: 779

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare the way in which Shakespeare presents Hamlet's 'antic disposition' to the way Ophelia's madness is presented to us in Act IV.

    "Having analysed the way in which Shakespeare presents Hamlets antic disposition and Ophelia's madness, I have been able to reveal some similarities and differences in the presentation. In my opinion, there is a very clear contrast between Hamlet and Ophelia. I have acquired this judgment due to the fact that Hamlet had a reason to feign madness, whereas Ophelia had no reason to be mad in craft, so her insanity was genuine and born involuntarily, while Hamlet intentionally manifested his false lunacy. This contrast allows the audience to have a better understanding of the fact that Hamlet is not really mad, but Ophelia is. Emile Khan - 1 -"

  • With reference to key lines and speeches in the play, discuss interpretations of the character of Gertrude, and the different ways she could be perceived by an audience, then justify your own reading of the character.

    "In conclusion, there are many interpretations of the character of Gertrude, the caring affectionate mother, or the sexual adulteress. Personally I think that Gertrude is one of the most complex and appealing characters in the play. Her unwavering devotion to her son despite his obvious disgust at her is to be greatly admired, and she accepts that his madness is partly due to her marriage to his father's brother. Her intelligence is not remarkable, but she shows an amazing aptitude for almost manipulating those around her to protect herself, and those who she cares deeply about. Gertrude's sexual nature is unmistakable throughout the play, this may be her weakness, but she is an emotionally strong woman, who is not malicious but kind hearted and simply wishes everyone that she loves, to be happy and amiable to each other. Rosie Hill"

  • Discuss the dramatic significance of act one scene one of hamlet.

    "In conclusion Shakespeare uses a range of devices to stress the different themes and the dominance of the ghost. Such as imagery with the contrast of the ghost and nature, characters for exposition and creating mood and the use of language to aid these elements. These factors make the opening of Hamlet very tense and educational for an audience as they become aware of the situation with relative depth and still are aware of the strong sense of foreboding."

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