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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

    Personal Responce to Hamlet

    5 star(s)

    Here, he again gives the audience the impression that he is aware of his flaw. His wish to commit suicide is expressed clearly, but he knows he can't do so as it goes against the laws of God. "That the Everlasting had not fixed his cannon 'gainst self-slaughter." Life has become a very futile exercise for him, where nothing seems to be holding his interest anymore. It has becomes very colorless and meaningless. We notice all this when he says, "How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of the world!"

    • Word count: 1062
  2. Marked by a teacher

    What are your first impressions on Hamlet in Act I scene II?

    4 star(s)

    His mood shows how misanthropic he can be, but also can be seen as sensitive by other people, as he has taken the 'forms, moods, shapes of grief' which are true for him. Though his emotions may seem to be those of an actor due to Gertrude's viewpoint, he is not acting at all, unlike Claudius or even Gertrude to some extent. Everything in this scene tries to discriminate appearance from reality, but this becomes more definite when Horatio tells Hamlet about the appearance of the Ghost.

    • Word count: 1198
  3. Marked by a teacher

    'The ghost is a useful dramatic device but for a modern audience its effect is to diminish rather than enhance the play's impact'

    4 star(s)

    He speculates, 'The spirit I have seen may be a devil, and the devil hath power'. Therefore one of the various attributes of the ghost in Hamlet is its ambiguity, which would have certainly engaged and involved a Shakespearian audience, who would be intent on discovering its nature. The ghost, who first appears in Act 1 Scene 1 but does not encounter Hamlet until Act 1 Scene 4, is intent on recalling to Hamlet the details of his murder, and commanding him to avenge his death. Throughout the first three acts Hamlet continually worries whether the apparition he has seen is really his father, or an evil spirit from hell, sent to tempt him into committing heinous deeds.

    • Word count: 1783
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Is Hamlet a coward or someone driven by his conscience?

    4 star(s)

    To seek this revenge he would have to kill Claudius and his mother, for they are both guilty of having impure souls. But one of the very first internal conflicts Hamlet has is when the Ghost tells him (Act I scene IV) "nor let thy soul contrive against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven...". This leaves him in great turmoil, as he can justify to himself the killing of Claudius, but not letting his mother live. He is so overcome with a sense of purity and morality, especially with concern to women, it does not seem right to him that something so tainted should be allowed to carry on in the world.

    • Word count: 1685
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Interpretations of Hamlet

    3 star(s)

    Due to Hamlet's situation the external pressures of swift action begin to disallow progress of the character. As the audience is aware Claudius is now an extremely powerful man, being King and any person in the same situation as Hamlet would face immense difficulties in order to scheme against him. Due to this the audience is positioned to feel sympathetic to Hamlet and his situation and therefore create a less interesting character. Due to the different contexts of the play (one being the Elizabethan era whilst the other being the present)

    • Word count: 1429
  6. Free essay

    Hamlet Act 5 scene 2

    3 star(s)

    Their defeat does by their own insinutation grow" The idea that Hamlet would cunningly switch the letters so that they would die would make this scene exciting enough on its own but this is only the beginning and in comparison to the other things that happen this is nothing. Hamlet does, however, ask if he is justified in killing his uncle considering all the things he has done and tried to do. "Is't not perfect conscience to quit him with this arm?"

    • Word count: 1044
  7. Peer reviewed

    Role of women in hamlet

    3 star(s)

    He then becomes disgusted over the fact his mother quickly married off a man instead of being with her son. The fact that this man was her deceased husband brother makes Hamlet disgust his mom even more. He feels his mother is weak in many aspects including emotionally and morally. Emotionally due to the fact that she was able to marry off in just two months after her husband died without a sign of distress or sadness over her King Hamlet.

    • Word count: 1412
  8. Peer reviewed

    Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet

    3 star(s)

    Both of these characters are not complete conventional revenge heroes, as they do not experience the key stages one traditionally went through. For example, an appearance of a Ghost and a significant delay of their actions are lacking. Hamlet however, not only is a complete typical avenger being called upon by the Ghost to settle the murder Claudius committed, but is also presented as being much more; by the end he is an exclusive, heroic individual. Hamlet is completely different to Fortinbras and Laertes because of his character.

    • Word count: 1932
  9. Hamlet's strengths and weaknesses

    go so far to prove Claudius' guilt before attempting to kill him at all (which I don't think most people would do if they found out the way Hamlet did), his bravery considering he is accepting the task of killing the king of Denmark, where the punishment if he is caught would be certain death and the fact that it is not something he would normally do at all, Hamlet is more of a thinker than a person of action but he tries his hardest to follow through with his promise to gain revenge for his father, even at the cost of his own sanity, his life and in fact other peoples lives too!

    • Word count: 1779
  10. Hamlet - plot outline and the soliloquies.

    Claudius sends Hamlet to England, planning to have him murdered. Laertes, Polonius' son, returns to Denmark from France to get revenge for his father's death. Ophelia goes mad by her father's death, rejected love and drowns herself. Hamlet returns from England and confronts Laertes and Claudius at Ophelia's funeral. Claudius plots with Laertes to kill Hamlet in a fencing match in which Laertes will have a poisoned sword. The plot goes wrong and Laertes dies. Gertrude drinks from a poisoned cup which was made for Hamlet and dies. Hamlet, wounded by the poisoned sword, kills Claudius before he too dies.

    • Word count: 1673
  11. Hamlet. Throughout the play we see Hamlets state of mind through the presentation of his many soliloquies. The language Shakespeare uses such as metaphors, repetition and rhetorical questions shows the development of Hamlets character.

    'But no more like my father' is not in iambic pentameter, this makes the word 'father' stand out in the verse and draws attention to the grief Hamlet is feeling. Another use of iambic pentameter to show Hamlet's thoughts is 'married with my uncle'. This also does not fit and with 'uncle' being the word that stands out it shows anger and disgust towards his uncle's hasty relationship with his mother. This could also be anger as he has been usurped as he is the Prince of Denmark.

    • Word count: 1572
  12. How does SHakespeare make Act Four, Scene Three dramatic?

    So when Hamlet kills Polonius after only 25 lines of this scene, the drama - which always accompanies a murder - is increased tremendously because it's completely unexpected from a character like Hamlet and almost unbelievable. Not only does the sudden action by Hamlet surprise us, it is also the first murder we actually witness in the play and therefore is all the more shocking. Whilst Hamlet hopes that he has killed Claudius, it turns out to be the King's willing accomplice, Polonius and though Hamlet seems to commit the murder with great passion - "How now!

    • Word count: 1397
  13. . If Hamlet Could Tell His Story

    It is natural for Hamlet to be filled with rage and feel deceived at the idea of his rightful position as king being taken away from him, but to make it even worse his own mother is on the usurper's side. Gertrude, the queen, does not consider the feelings for her own son who is rightfully the king after the death of her husband. Moreover, she herself agreed to the marriage with her brother-in-law as soon as "But two months dead!

    • Word count: 1514
  14. Appearances in Hamlet

    Also, the idea of appearances is useful, as Shakespeare intending for it to be used as something to mask your true emotions and feelings. For example, Claudius, the audience could see him as the devil because he deceives everyone and that he doesn't have a "conscience", but when Polonius is advising Ophelia, we see his true emotions, as he believes it is a "heavy burden" to hold all this guilt for killing Old Hamlet, as well as not showing his true side, as he is just pretending to be good, when in fact, he isn't: "How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience".

    • Word count: 1282
  15. Discuss and explore the themes and techniques of the Nunnery scene(TM) in Hamlet(TM)

    Ophelia's first line - "Good my lord, how does your honour for this many a day?" - reeks of incompetence and suspicion. The nature of the greeting and the formal manner with which the line is said would arouse the suspicion of Hamlet instantly. It can also be interpreted as Ophelia's way of sending a subtle warning to Hamlet or simply an example or Ophelia 'following Daddy's instructions'. Hamlet's reply on Line 92 is equally formal - perhaps he is mocking her and has already detected the unnatural atmosphere filling the room? Line 93 moves away from the formal tone as Ophelia brings up the subject of returning Hamlet's love gifts.

    • Word count: 1907
  16. Hamlets Doubts - helpful or harmful.modified.

    Hamlet's dilemmas start towards the end of Act 1, when the ghost of Hamlet's father comes to tell Hamlet to "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder". Hamlet asks who he is supposed to seek revenge upon, and the Ghost tells him "The serpent that did sting thy father's life/Now wears his crown". As Hamlet immediately realizes that the murderer cannot be anyone other than his uncle Claudius, the Ghost recalls his brother's method, revealing that "Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,/With juice of curs�d hebona in a vial,/And in the porches of my ear did pour".

    • Word count: 1286
  17. siginificance of ghost in hamlet

    Shakespeare uses the connotations of the Ghost to create a threatening opening to the play. The audience establishes the setting of Scene One when Francisco says "'Tis bitter cold" and Bernado exclaims "Tis now struck twelve". At the time, the audience would have known these to be conventional features of a witching hour. This adds to the suspense of the first scene as the audience now realizes that something foreboding is about to occur. Tension is also added to Scene One through the short and interrogative sentences exchanged by Bernado, Marcellus and Francisco. Although the initial Scene has a significant and dramatic impact on the viewers, not a lot is revealed.

    • Word count: 1263
  18. Evaluate the effectiveness of scene 1 in Hamlet, as an opening to the play

    Thus, we must ask the question does Shakespeare make this play good theatre? To begin with, we must look at the very beginning of scene one. The scene starts at midnight with a guard, Francisco, at his post and another guard, Bernardo goes up to him. The dark atmosphere is introduced when Bernardo says "Who's there?" instead of Francisco saying it. Having two professional soldiers acting very twitchy and nervous and getting their lines muddled is a very effective way of beginning the play.

    • Word count: 1755
  19. Elizabethan attitudes to revenge were divided; honour demanded it, religion forbad it. How does Shakespeare create powerful drama from such a division?

    Revenge can enable one to act irrationally through anger or rage, rather than sensibility and reason. It is founded on the principal of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", [Bible, Matthew 5:38] which was ironically first recorded in the bible, however illustrates the purpose of revenge as a tool used to retaliate against another person, so to take back what they took from you. Elizabethan views towards revenge where intricate, as the protestant belief encourage its followers to love and forgive those who acted against you, as long as they where willing to admit there sins (which is a contradiction to what is stated in the bible).

    • Word count: 1475
  20. Direct Actor Playing Macbeth

    He would wonder why he could see the dagger and not feel it - so would check it was not there. During the line "Thy very stones prate of my whereabouts", I think Macbeth should look around him nervously, as if he could hear the stones talking about him. He would do this because he would imagine that the stones were going to give him away and someone will hear him. I think he should also look around nervously during the whole speech, as he would be afraid someone was following him - he would be paranoid because of what he was about to do.

    • Word count: 1553
  21. How effectively does Shakespeare introduce key themes and characters in Act 1 of hamlet?

    The Ghost of Hamlet tells him that Polonius killed him in the orchard whilst he was sleeping and how he pored poison into his ear. The ghost of Hamlet urges his son prince hamlet to take revenge against Claudius through any means and prince Hamlet accepts. The ghost will not rest until revenge is taken. The opening scene of Hamlet is dramatic; this influences the key themes, represented within the act. The drama in the first act introduces the themes effectively as the rest of the act continues with this pattern, and this is obviously one of the most prominent key themes throughout the play.

    • Word count: 1298
  22. Why Does Hamlet Delay?

    Hamlet is by no means a man of action or a man afraid of violent action; he is not a coward at all. He is a studious philosopher, a sensitive artist and an ardent lover enjoying all the joys of life. But the sudden death of his father devastates his sound mentality. A more violent blow is added to consummate his total mental breakdown when his beloved mother marries, with surprising haste, a man who is far inferior to his father in all respects.

    • Word count: 1361
  23. Is Hamlet a misogynist?

    This is the specific instance, which shapes his total attitude towards women for the rest of his life. This is the newly conceived view on the basis of which he shows his unnatural treatment of Ophelia in the play, which accuses Hamlet as a misogynist. I do not think that Hamlet's hatred for the female is extreme; even if he has a grudge against the women, it is very mild, which gets mixed with his complex psychology and produces a bitter effect.

    • Word count: 1171
  24. How does death dominate in Shakespeare's "Hamlet"?

    But they do not communicate with the living. The ghost of Hamlet however, comes with a mission for the murder. It advises Hamlet "Taint not thy mind" which suggests that the ghost does not consider the matter of revenge too difficult a task and is anxious that Hamlet should not become too disturbed about it. To the ghost the challenge is probably like that which as the Danish King he accepted all those years ago when he agreed to face old Fortinbras of Norway in a single combat and had killed him.

    • Word count: 1974
  25. The Opening of Hamlet is, at best, superfluous and little more than a distraction from the play. Alternatively, the opening scenes are masterfully written and central to what are the most important issues in the play. Which of these viewpoints do u agree

    The line "When he th'ambitious Norway combated" spoken by Horatio is the opening of an entirely different story than the story of the play. This can create the idea that this opening is not relevant to the story, as Shakespeare isn't introducing the plot to Hamlet, but instead to an entirely different play. However, some may argue that the introduction of the characters, 'old' Fortinbras and "valiant Hamlet", is central to the theme of usurpation. This can be seen from the use of an epithet before the older Hamlet's name, 'valiant', this is a trait of the typical revenge hero and by including this; Shakespeare is revealing that this role has been usurped by the younger Hamlet.

    • Word count: 1002

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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