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GCSE: Hamlet

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 11
  • Peer Reviewed essays 9
  1. Hamlet Coursework: Is Hamlet alone responsible for Ophelias death? - WJEC English Lit. CW

    When responding to Laertes, Ophelia speaks little and questions him a lot. For example where she says 'No more but so?', after Laertes states that Hamlet's love for her is a passing thing, she questions him rather than directly retaliating. By this we can see that she respects his advice, but another reason for her questioning manner, may be due to the politeness she must convey to her brother as she is a woman. Rather than argue, she must hint and suggest through her questions as to what she is truly trying to tell her brother, for example where she says 'do you doubt that?'.

    • Word count: 4645
  2. How does Shakespeare portray changes in Hamlets character in soliloquy one and four

    Here Hamlet blames"God" for not allowing him to die. I think this because Hamlet blames the "Everlasting" for not banishing a sin that which disallows him to commit suicide. This is best seen when he says "not fix'd his canon 'gainst self-slaughter". After his father's death the world through his eyes is bland and boring. This shows us that Hamlet was obviously an admirer of his father and also shows what kind of character his father was, someone who could change someone's life, make it more interesting. I think this because of the following quotation, "How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world!".

    • Word count: 4256
  3. How Does Shakespeare Convey a Sense of Anomie in Hamlet Act 1, and to what end?

    Marcellus asks Bernardo "Has this thing appeared again to-night?" to which Bernardo replies "I have seen nothing." Shakespeare has given us no clues to what this "thing" might be, but he has given us fuel to fire our imaginations. Shakespeare has been deliberately vague in his description to give a sense of mystery to the scene (which is heightened by the lonely night-time setting), but by using the preposition "thing", he has suggested that what Marcellus and Bernardo are talking about is neither "he" nor "she", it is something un-human or otherworldly. This creates emotional anomie in the audience as they are dreaming up terrible monsters and evil demons, trying to fathom what this "thing" is throughout the first part of scene 1.

    • Word count: 4426
  4. Hamlet & Madness

    But at some points in the play, over whelmed by grief I believe that Hamlet is genuinely in an antic disposition. The second act includes two soliloquies; it is in these that the depth of Hamlet's depression is revealed .The soliloquy opens with a reference to disease and decay : "Oh that this sullied flesh would melt / Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew," (1.2.129-130) Here Hamlet is speaking of his own flesh and makes his first reference to suicide.

    • Word count: 3540
  5. In order to show that Act 5 scene ii, is a fitting close to the play Hamlet. I will be looking at how the characters have been brought to a close. I will also be looking at themes and the importance of order being restored in the court

    After the sea voyage to England, Hamlet's character is now tranquil, and his tone is more like a Prince. He speaks in detail now to Horatio, of his sea passage to England; he rarely spoke in detail to anyone, most of his conversations to any of the characters consisted of a few vague sentences. He has also come to the conclusion that providence is guiding him and that everything depends on the will of God, as he says "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will-" Hamlets attitude toward destiny has also changed, he will now wait for his chance to do the right thing, that is kill Claudius.

    • Word count: 3059
  6. Hamlet: How does Shakespeare build up to the climax in the final scene?

    The audience would be shocked by Hamlet hitting Ophelia. They may suspect that he has feelings for her, as he has already taken his feelings out on his mother who he loves. Yet they do know that Ophelia has done nothing wrong, so they may be confused as to why he has hit her. They may become very interested in what Hamlet will do next. When Hamlet is speaking to Polonious and calling him a "fishmonger" (Act 2 Scene 2)

    • Word count: 4101
  7. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet, his moods and motivations, through his soliloquies in Act I Scene II, Act II Scene II, Act III Scene I, and Act IV Scene IV

    Throughout the play, strong impressions of the Shakespearean "hero" are given through his soliloquies: they contain no lies or deceptions and express his own thoughts. Hamlet's first soliloquy occurs early in Act I. Hamlet cannot confide his feelings in anyone around him, so Shakespeare does not use dialogue to show Hamlet's growing burden, he uses soliloquy. Throughout the soliloquy Hamlet's feelings quickly change from one to another. First of all Shakespeare presents a very isolated character in Hamlet; someone who stands in a corner still dressed in black.

    • Word count: 3573
  8. Select two soliloquies from Hamlet and analyse their significance to the play as a whole

    In the very first scene Barnardo (officer of the watch) says "who's there?" to which Marcellus replies "what, has this thing appeared again tonight?" The use of language creates a very anxious atmosphere, which makes the opening moment of the play very gripping and dramatic. Shakespeare creates this anxious atmosphere by using aspects of the supernatural, the guards that are on duty talk to Horatio (a close friend of Hamlet) about a ghost that they have seen. They tell him that the ghost looked like the late King of Denmark (Hamlet's father).

    • Word count: 3171
  9. Compare the opening sections of Kenneth Branagh's and Franco Zeffirelli's film versions of Hamlet.

    I think Branagh has used red because red has connotations with blood, murder and killing, and black with death and misery. Then we see the title 'Hamlet' which all together reads 'William Shakespeare's Hamlet'. This is a clever way to introduce the play and is quite dramatic with good impact, it also suggests his version will stay very true and close to Shakespeare's true text. The camera pans from right to left across the word 'Hamlet'. This is unusual as we read left to right; this gives the beginning an interesting start.

    • Word count: 3357
  10. An analysis of the soliloquy in Hamlet

    The origin of tragedy can be attributed to the 4th Century BC Greek philosopher Aristotle, author of The Poetics. Shakespeare's tragedy follows the pattern of Arisotle who identified four stages of tragedy. The first stage is 'harmatia' which refers to a tragic flaw, the second stage is 'peripeteia' involving change of fortune, the third stage 'aragnorisis' occurs when the hero recognises his own flaw, and finally 'catastrophe' happens with the collapse of the hero's world. (Class notes, Anne-Marie, 2002). Hamlet's flaw is his indeciseiveness and self-doubt. It could be argued that he is depressed, and it is his melancholic nature and prevarication that brings about such tragic events.

    • Word count: 3162
  11. Mighty opposites; Hamlet and Claudius.

    Hamlet even questions the ghost, although he believes in it. ''Angels and ministers defend us .....Thou coms't in such a questionable shape...''and although old Hamlet instructed Hamlet to get revenge by killing Claudius, Hamlet still thinks thoroughly before taking any action. In the prayer scene where Claudius was arguably seeking forgiveness, Hamlet had the perfect opportunity to kill Claudius but he still thought about its consequences and that it might lead Claudius to heaven rather than hell. ''Now might I do it pat....And so a goes to heaven...A villain kills my father and for that I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven!''.

    • Word count: 3520
  12. How effectively does Shakespeare use the language of Hamlets soliloquies to help the reader to get an insight into his character?

    According to Elizabethan philosophy there was a natural order in the universe ordained by God. Everyone had an appointed place on earth headed by the King. God could raise individuals or lower them. But if an individual himself controlled or changed the natural order through evil or devious means, there would be confusion, conflict and chaos. The associated imagery would be of fear, sickness, decay, blood and evil. Contemporary audiences were impressed by frightening figures or supernatural creatures like witches and ghosts. In Hamlet the ghost of his father adds to the supernatural element in the play.

    • Word count: 3270
  13. Hamlet is a well-known tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the year 1600.

    "Hamlet" is a particular type of tragedy, aptly named a revenge tragedy, wherein the revenger (Hamlet) starts with just and good intentions, but becomes influenced by the evil that they must perform, and the revenge in the end revenge always destroys the revenger. In Hamlet's case, this is done and fulfilled by another character named Laertes, who avenging his own father's death (who Hamlet killed by accident [which is a common cause of murder in revenge tragedies] mistaking him for Claudius) kills hamlet with a poisoned sword. Revenge Tragedies were quite popular in the 1600s. This was a time of change and instability with Queen Elizabeth the first dying and without a rightful heir to the throne, there was a lot of doubt over who was to be the next king of England.

    • Word count: 3051
  14. Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, used Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, in a letter written to Wilhelm Fliess in 1897, as a means to theoretically explain and engage in what he regarded as one of the deepest conflicts experienced by men.

    We discover that directors such as Laurence Olivier, Celestino Coronado and Franco Zeffirelli inextricably link "Freud's Hamlet" to their own filmic representations and appropriations of Shakespeare's Hamlet. For the purposes of this exploration, a comparative analysis of these filmic representations is thus used in order to determine the degree of Freudian presence and influence by the way in which Shakespeare's tragedy has been appropriated and portrayed individually by the above-mentioned directors. By contrasting the portrayal of Hamlet and other characters, in terms of gestures, speech, spacing and framing, and visually representing the analogy that "the eyes are the window to

    • Word count: 4446
  15. How does Shakespeare use language in Hamlet to teach the reader valuable lessons in life ?

    Shakespeare has cleverly used soliloquies in his plays to express the characters feelings in that situation. Using soliloquy was a literary tradition used in the olden plays to make all the readers be engrossed in the play and so that they can get in to the most possible depth and understand the hidden meaning . A kind of inner debate is portrayed through the use of soliloquies. The reader is able to gain direct experience of Hamlet's inner world. " to be or not to be" The complexity of his thoughts and ambiguity of his actions appear "life like" .

    • Word count: 3690
  16. Comment on the dramatic significance of any three scenes in Hamlet.

    Hamlet was produced at a time of intellectual religious and political controversy. The rice of capitalism tested the absolute power of the monarchy. Hamlet dramatizes the struggles of the Elizabethan period. During the Elizabethan times, evocative passages reflected philosophical thoughts, these thoughts were often spoken in verse and rhyme also was used to convey excitement and passion. There was no real scenery and so setting was created through the magic of words. In Elizabethan theatre tragedy occurred when the essential good in a person is wasted when evil or tragic flaw overcomes the person.

    • Word count: 3556
  17. Consider Kenneth Branagh’s Screen Version Of “Hamlet”. How Successful Is His Presentation Of Act Five Scene One? Consider The Scene In Detail, In Order To Show Your Understanding Of The Original Text.

    In this fall other people are brought down in a fatal flaw, this flaw causes a reverse in fortune. 'Tragedy's' have the biggest effect on the audience than any other literary genre. There is identification, where the member of the audience 'identifies' with the protagonist; there is always suspension of belief; it is also a vicarious experience - this is where we go through something at second hand, this allows us to encounter danger and death without actually going through it; lastly, the audience goes through such catharsis as pity and fear. Because it is a 'revenge tragedy' it means that something has happened to the protagonist to make him want revenge, and it is whilst taking their revenge when the tragedy aspect happens.

    • Word count: 3579

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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