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University Degree: Hamlet

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  1. The Effects of Ambiguity in Hamlet

    The conflict between Claudius and Hamlet is also pervaded with ambiguity. One large source of this ambiguity is the question of whether or not Claudius knew of Hamlet's knowledge of his crime before he saw the scene in the play involving the players' re-enactment of his murder of Hamlet's father (3.2.249-254). Claudius originally expresses his desire that Hamlet not be allowed to leave Denmark in saying, For your intent in going back to school in Wittenberg,/it is most retrograde to our desire,/and we beseech you bend you to remain/here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,/our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

    • Word count: 1432
  2. How far do you support the view if god is dead, or if god is clearly known, the tragedy cannot exist in your analysis of Hamlet?

    and his fear of damnation (fear of punishment for killing Claudius, shown best in the scene where Claudius is praying, and also fear of punishment for killing himself: "Or that the Everlasting had not fixed his cannon 'gainst self-slaughter"3) are representative of the relevance of the doubts surrounding the verity (or lack thereof) of God's existence. It is this very uncertainty which provides Hamlet's hamartia - procrastination. His doubts concerning God, then, fuel one of the key aspects of tragedy, his fatal flaw, which leads inevitably to his own self-destruction.

    • Word count: 1995
  3. Free essay

    Women in Hamlet. The only two female characters in Hamlet are Gertrude, Hamlets mother, and Ophelia

    these words hint at a moral wrong-doing to emphasize Hamlet's disapproval. Hamlet also makes the comparison of his father being a "Hyperian" to Claudius as a "Satyr" demonstrating his disgust at his mother's choice. After this, he personifies weakness to be a woman, where he concludes, "frailty thy name is woman!" wherein his mother's conduct has damaged his view of women. These accusations develop with the appearance of the ghost. The ghost refers to Claudius as an "adulterate beast" hinting at him being stained by adultery.

    • Word count: 1168
  4. The Portrayal of Shakespeare's Hamlet in Cinema

    My conclusion will reiterate what I have found and discussed in the essay and bring it to a close. Chapter Two Shakespeare in the Theatre The plays of the 16th century dramatist William Shakespeare have regularly been performed on the stage in various different disguises, stagings and productions since they were originally written. For Shakespeare's contemporaries, theatre was a largely classless form of entertainment. The differentiated style of building was evidence of the organised way various classes of person were catered for in box, pit and gallery.

    • Word count: 8868
  5. In conclusion the attitudes towards women in the plays Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida and As You Like It are that women are weak. This weakness is shown in different ways

    There is irony when later Claudius the King says: In Hugger-mugger inter him; poor Ophelia Divide from herself and her fair judgment Here the irony is that Ophelia was never actually allowed to have any judgment of her own. Ophelia's situation shows that 'Freedom of conscience for women was still a new concept. Women had not been educated to form independent moral judgment.'8 Ophelia comes across as a stereotypical, subjective, weak female character. She represents the type of strong emotions that Elizabethan society thought of as 'unmanly and typically womanish.'9This is illustrated in Act four, in the seventh scene after Ophelia's death when Laertes cries for his sister.

    • Word count: 3489
  6. Portrayal of women in 'Hamlet'

    She demonstrates what an Elizabethan audience would have deemed an admirable loyalty to her father, Polonius, whose thumb she is well and truly under. She is very much influenced by him, and also by her brother Laertes, indeed, at their wishes, she spurns Hamlet, showing a distinct lack of loyalty to her lover, and little of the passion or determination of a Juliet. Ophelia has relied on men for guidance since the death of her mother when she was an infant, and in the absence of the three dominant men in her life, (Hamlet in England, Laertes in France and Polonius dead), Ophelia is lost.

    • Word count: 2539
  7. Elizebethan/Jacobean Drama Assignment One

    The player queen's lines provide us with a direct comparison to Gertrude's actions. These lines can be seen to belittle Gertrude and make her actions in remarrying after her husbands death seem heartless and rash. Hamlets line 225 'If she should break it now!' Immediately follows this proclamation from the player queen, here it can be said that Hamlet is implying that the player queen may not remain true to her word and can be seen to directly refer to Gertrude.

    • Word count: 1135
  8. Endgame" is written in the unique style associated with Samuel Beckett's works- a minimalist, distressing piece of work about isolation, death, and language

    Clov has lost his passion for living and is acknowledging the "finish" as an escape from his tedious existence. However, nothing is ever truly finished until death conquers it and this idea dominates the opening of the play as the character's actions, rotate and repeat around them, making their life dull and static, and the dialogue detached and repetitive, "All life long the same questions, the same answers." When Endgame is compared to "Waiting for Godot" the feeling of misery is heightened by the fact that the characters are not waiting for anything, except death. The 546692 EN1021, Reading Literature audience share the predicament of the characters as they too are waiting for some sort of climactic moment or for the character's bleak situation to be resolved.

    • Word count: 1515
  9. The parable of the Prodigal Son is a story about a father's love and sibling rivalry. It is possibly better named the parable of the lost son because it is intended to go along with both the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin

    When his father sees him, however, he rejoices and warmly welcomes his son back. He calls his servants to bring him a robe, ring, and sandals. He also called for the fattened calf to be killed and a feast prepared. The older son, upon hearing this, became very angry with his father. He couldn't understand why, when he had slaved away for his father throughout the entire time, his father could throw a feast for a son that had disobeyed him. His father responded to this by saying, "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

    • Word count: 1548
  10. Can we write about the tragedy of Hamlet in any meaningful fashion

    It also places Hamlet in a situation where, because Shakespeare essentially sticks to a fundamental 'revenge tragedy' structure regardless of his flexible and perhaps dismissive attitude towards conventions, he must nevertheless follow an unavoidable course, which is in some ways contradictory to the tragic elements of the play. Shakespeare himself alerts us to the dangers of over-classification through the words of Polonius, who ironically hits the mark in an uncanny way, contrary perhaps to both his intentions and his character, when announcing the arrival of the actors;"The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited.

    • Word count: 4366
  11. Thomas Kyd - Bring out the significance of play within the play in Kyd's 'The Spanish Tragedy'.

    There could not have been more spectacular and shocking method by which Heironimo might have achieved his revenge. In Act IV scene I, in the drama, Balthazar has requested Heironimo to arrange some kind of entertainment for hid father, the Portuguese viceroy, who is on a visit to the Spanish court. Heironimo says that a long time back he had written a tragic drama about Persada and Soliman and that he would gladly present the tragic drama on the stage for Balthazar's father. Heironimo wants that both Balthazar and Lorenjo agree to act certain parts in his drama and that Belimperia should also be prevailed upon to accept a role.

    • Word count: 768
  12. Contrast an Elizabethan and a modern audience's understanding of Hamlet's views".

    Hamlet quickly becomes suspicious at Ophelia's stiff nature, and interrogatively asks her, 'Are you honest?', 'Are you fair?'. Hamlet castigates Ophelia further; 'Your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty', which is slightly ironic because she is doing the opposite by allowing herself to be used as Claudius' tool, letting him and Polonius eavesdrop on their conversation. He goes on to say that 'Time gives it proof', at which point he could be thinking of either Gertrude or Ophelia, because, in his disgust with Ophelia's betrayal, like Gertrude, he begins to focus on her s****l depravity. When Ophelia tells him a direct lie about Polonius' whereabouts, Hamlet is understandably furious, not only at Ophelia, especially if he loves her as much as he claimed to at her graveside, but also at those he assumes to be listening.

    • Word count: 2865
  13. Do you find Aristotle's notion of the tragic error or flaw helpful in understanding dramatic tragedy?

    The word tragedy barely had a definition before he came along. Dramatic tragedy originated in Greece, somehow out of ritual sacrifices in honour of Dionysus. Its vague nature was possibly what prompted Aristotle to set about defining it. He wrote his account based on his knowledge of Greek tragedies such as those by Aeschylus and Euripides. This fact immediately requires pause for thought. The majority of tragic drama was written after Aristotle and therefore there are many concepts associated with the genre with which we are familiar that he would not have been.

    • Word count: 2096
  14. Shakespeare's Hamlet as a Tragedy.

    Shakespeare also occasionally uses abnormal conditions of the mind, such as insanity, and includes the supernatural, such as ghosts. The supernatural elements are always placed in close relation to the hero and only confirm existing movement. Hamlet's character is disturbed and unsettled by the recent events in his life. He is encouraged to "cast thy nighted color off" by his mother, Gertrude. He seems to be the only one mourning his father's death; the rest of the kingdom is celebrating the wedding even though a funeral has passed less than two months ago.

    • Word count: 1152
  15. Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy - a brief comparative study -

    So, both of them seem to follow the conventions of revenge in the Elizabethan theatre. However, they are remarkably different on a secondary level - where what is important is not the "what" but the "how" - despite the common framework. The Spanish Tragedy is categorized among the so-called 'primitive' revenge plays. While this drama can be depicted more or less in the context of the revenge and the action, Hamlet is far more than a pure strategy of revenge. This means that Shakespeare penetrates in far more dimensions than Kyd does, that is where Hamlet's complexity comes from.

    • Word count: 965
  16. Compare the representation of family relationships in the work of 2 writers you have studied this term (Hamlet and Swift's 'Modest Proposal')

    In the first 11 lines Swift has already addressed the idea that parents are perhaps not being the disciplining, guiding figures they should. The narrator states with no qualms that their "helpless infants" shall certainly "either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear Native Country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadeous." Not a promising prediction for the generation of the future. He goes on to comment that these children are "a very great additional grievance."

    • Word count: 2892
  17. Definition Of A Hero

    Included in this person's actions is a willingness to help others in need of help. Where others would pass a person up in a bad situation a hero would stop to help. They would help a person in a desperate situation without asking too many questions. They have to be caring enough to help others without acting selfishly and make personal sacrifices in order to help others. To act in a manner that would benefit others and not benefit them-self intentionally. A hero will act out of the kindness of their heart and not out of greed.

    • Word count: 974
  18. 'El medico de su honra is best considered as a play to be read, rather than performed.' Discuss.

    Gutierre's way is 'sentir y callar', in one way showing noble control over his emotions. He is also a victim of higher powers in Leonor's curse 'El mismo dolor sientas que siento'. Calder´┐Żn evokes pathos for his protagonist 'no hay un rayo para un triste'. However, in another reading of the same play, Gutierre appears a different character who totally lacks humanity. Whilst Enrique is youthful and lively, Gutierre uses forced rhetoric, even when talking to Mencia about his love for her 'eschuchame un argumento'.

    • Word count: 1779
  19. Consider the significance of the Hamlet's ghost to the play in relation to the characters and the audience, both contemporary and Elizabethan.

    The ghost disappeared at the sound of the c**k crow, when the morning dawned; "(...) Fare thee well at once. The glow-worm shows the matin to be near" This is another typical convention, as people perceived that evil creatures and spectres only came at night. But moreover, the c**k crow, had also a Christian meaning, it was symbolic of betrayal in the Bible, when, after Jesus' death Peter denies ever knowing him. But in addition to this, Hamlet's ghost also caused a stir among the public regarding its religious origin. The ghost then becomes a controversial issue in the play, interpreted differently by different groups in the audience.

    • Word count: 2245
  20. Several modern dramas have had a strong social impact shortly after production and/or publication. Discuss the reasons for this in TWO cases.

    John Osborne's Look Back in Anger represented not a revolution in form but instead a revolution in content. The Brechtian influence encouraged Osborne and Beckett to experiment with style. Waiting for Godot is termed a play in the 'Theatre of the Absurd'. Martin Esslin made up the term 'Theatre of the Absurd' for a number of playwrights. Beckett's absurd play like other absurd plays has the view that man inhabits a universe with which he is out of key with.

    • Word count: 2461
  21. Discussing conflict in Hamlet.

    As is the case in Hamlet. A comparison of the love relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet and Gertrude and Claudius, illustrate that betrayal, selfishness and lack of love cause the downfall of these relationships. As Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship ended in a tragedy, partly because of Hamlet, Ophelia became insane and ended up committing suicide. There are many examples of betrayal in the play Hamlet, and in these examples betrayal leads to the destruction of relationships. Claudius is the king of Denmark and he will do anything to stay that way.

    • Word count: 999
  22. "The main action of Hamlet is the attempt to search out and destroy the hidden imposthume which is poisoning the body politic of Denmark." Consider this view.

    The throne was at the centre of political life at this time, and as Laertes put it, the question of who was King, affected "the sanity and health of the whole state" Therefore, through the insight the ghost has given us it is clear that Claudius is not worthy of his new position at the head of the state, and that there must be an immediate stop put to the corruption. The recent happenings have turned Denmark into a place were a murderer, Claudius, has succeeded in establishing himself as an acceptable substitute for his dead brother, and has also

    • Word count: 1423
  23. Many of the plays revolve around the central question of 'killing the King.' What are the political

    then that we could come by Caesar's spirit, And not dismember Caesar. But, alas! Caesar must bleed for it. " ( II.i.166-171 ) Many images of sacrifice are present throughout the play, such as the servant returning and saying to Caesar: " They would not have you stir forth to-day. Plucking the entrails of an offering forth, They could not find a heart within the beast." ( II.ii.38-40 ) Brutus and Cassius do not have any desire to kill Caesar but they feel he is a sacrifice that must be made.

    • Word count: 2856
  24. Examine the presentation of fathers in "Hamlet" with close reference to three key scenes.

    and Act 1 Sc.III (Polonius). Claudius, the newly crowned King of Denmark and uncle to Hamlet, assumes the role of Hamlet's stepfather after marrying Gertrude following the death of old Hamlet. He takes on this role very early on in the play when he publicly announces his love for Hamlet in Act 1 Sc.II: And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son do I impart toward you. (I.ii.10-12) Hamlet is very resentful toward Claudius because of his lack of mourning for the death of Old Hamlet and his hasty marriage to Gertrude "A little more than kin and less than kind."

    • Word count: 2286
  25. Consider the significance of death and disease in 'The Duchess of Malfi' and 'The White Devil'.

    Although in the latter play there are many obvious examples of the images of death and disease they seem to be used less frequently and are slightly more likely to be descriptive than metaphorical. It is interesting that the imagery begins before the plot has begun or any real information regarding the events of the plays have been imparted. In The White Devil Gasparo says: 'Your followers Have swallowed you like mummia, and being sick With such unnatural and horrid physic Vomit you up i'th kennel'2 This is said in the first twenty lines of the first act.

    • Word count: 1658

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 two or more screen versions of a scene from one of the plays on the course - You may consider the relevance of editing, additions, casting, mise-en-scene, etc.

    "In conclusion, Olivier's portrayal of Gertrude and Ophelia in this scene shows that in his version, Hamlet is central to the play. It is clear that the women are positioned in relation to Hamlet, and are there to accentuate his role. In Zeffirelli's version, Gertrude dominates the film. It can be stated that Olivier's version is a pre-feminist version, where Ophelia is portrayed as a helpless victim. In comparison to this, Zeffirelli's Hamlet shows Gertrude as a prominent figure and is definitely a feminist version of the play. Overall, both adaptations of Hamlet offer a different interpretation of women. Olivier's is a post-war reading, which does not allow the female characters in the play to exert any issues, whereas Zeffirelli's version goes beyond this aspect to question and highlight the role of women in Shakespeare. 1 Morley, 1978, p. 100. 2 Davies & Wells, 1994, p. 181. 3 Morley, 1978, p. 100. 4 Pilkington, 1994, p. 165. 5 Kliman, 1988, p. 26. 6 Cartmell in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 29. 7 Lawson in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 231. 8 Cartmell in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 30. 9 Pilkington, 1994, p. 193. 10 Cartmell in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 36. 11"

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