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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

    What is the importance of the Soliloquies in Hamlet? Do they show any development of his character?

    4 star(s)

    This is how dreadful Hamlet's psychological state is in the beginning of the play. Hamlet finds the vision of suicide tempting: 'Or that the Everlasting had not fixed his Canon 'gainst self-slaughter' Act 1-2-131/132 Here Hamlet wishes God had not disallowed suicide as he desires to commit it. I believe the audience at this stage would truly believe Hamlet is a feeble character as he is supposed to be a Prince, who are traditionally seen as brave. This could prove that Hamlet is frail but we must view Hamlet under ethical light; he is held up by Christian conscience which is why he decides against suicide as a cure for his desolation.

    • Word count: 2366
  4. 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 h**l, sent to tempt him into committing heinous deeds.

    • Word count: 1783
  5. 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
  6. Marked by a teacher

    How do Hamlet's Soliloquies reveal his Changing thoughts and Moods throughout the play?

    4 star(s)

    "O, this too too solid flesh would melt........his canon 'gainst self-slaughter." Hamlet continues to tell 'us', the audience, about how he is irritated (or you could even say maddened) with life and how purposeless everything in this world seems to be. "...weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seems to me all the uses of this world!" As well as how the world is corrupt. He expresses this by comparing his immediate world to a garden overrun, polluted by foul-smelling weeds. "....'tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature posses it merely."

    • Word count: 2737
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Peer reviewed

    The way in which Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Laertes enact their revenge shows the readers how each characters personality differs although they all have shared love for their fathers.

    The play opens with Hamlet listening to his father's speech as a ghost. After Hamlet Sr.'s speech, Hamlet tells the audience about his plan to avenge his father. From this statement, the readers are able to realize the genuine love Hamlet Jr. has for his father. I found it interesting that Shakespeare included certain details about Hamlet that would lead the readers to make certain judgments about his character and personality. What sets Hamlet apart from the other characters is his approach to finding his father's murderer. Instead of going on a witch-hunt for the murderer, Hamlet rationalizes everything his father has told him and has the desire to find more evidence before jumping to conclusions.

    • Word count: 545
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Peer reviewed

    The Play within the Play of Hamlet. To try and reveal his Uncle Claudiuss wrongdoing, he puts on a play that depicts the exact seen of the murder but it is unclear if this trick really displayed Claudiuss guilt.

    When speaking with Polonius before the play, this dialogue foreshadows Hamlet's eventual killing of Polonius. Hamlet inquires about Polonius's acting background and Polonius explains that he used to be a good actor. Polonius even shared that he played Julius Caesar when Brutus killed him. In that story, Julius Caesar considers Brutus a close friend but is betrayed by him. This betrayal is similar to Polonius's of Hamlet. Polonius's duty is to serve the royal family, which includes Hamlet, but instead, Polonius spies on Hamlet and creates a crazy reasoning on why Hamlet has gone crazy.

    • Word count: 1442
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Analyse the ways in which Shakespeare uses the dramatic monologue to trace the development of Hamlets character

    This use of an extended metaphor by Shakespeare could also mean that Hamlet wishes his body was made of snow or ice and so he could physically disappear. Hamlet appears to be feeling in a manic, desperate, despondent state of mind in this soliloquy, as is shown when Hamlet says, 'Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!' The fact that suicide was even being considered as an option by Hamlet signifies the dark place that he is in following the recent events of the play, as suicide was considered a sin in the late Elizabethan era when the play is set.

    • Word count: 2096
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

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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