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Write on Shakespeare's Hamlet. The following guide is for a paper on Hamlet:
Consider any of the following 14statements/questions as possible paper topics. You may use any of item. In your paper
please include some source material(Textual evidence)!. Issues about all of these characters, symbolic imagery(Food, disease)
, Plot issues, atmosphere, and tone. You should be able to formulate a good 4page essay.
1. What things, specifically, give the play an atmostphere of "uncertainty," a quality of instability? Who and what is creating this uncertainty?
2. What kind of a man is Polonius? Is he a loveable character? A villain? A fool? Should we destest him? Pity him? and finally, how does
hamlet seem to see him? See ACT 2, SCENE 2.
3. What are the ghost's functions ( as a dramatic device ) in the plot? Specifically.
4. What, exactly, is it that has driven Ophelia mad? and is her madness different than Hamlet's?
5. What does Hamlet"s first solioquy reveal about the prince's state of mind?
6. Frank Kermode, Sharspeare critic, once remarked, " The problem of Hamlet is a problem of action."
And the testbook suggests that Hamlet possibly experiences a "paralysis of the will." If Hamlet's problem
is hist inability to take action, what is it that causes this? What is in side of him? A fatal flaw? If so, what fatal flaw? Elaborate..
7. How do Claudius, Laertest, Fortinbras and Horatio help to define Hamlet for us?
8 Marcellus remarks in Act 1, scene iv: " Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.." Discuss food and disease"( rottenness, decay)
imagery in the play. Why is it there? What does is suggest?
9 See Hamlet's second soliloquy, Act 2, scene 2. What is he saying about acting and "acting"? This is a theme in the play(Being and seeming to be).
10 Does Hamlet love Ophelia? He says in in ACT 5, scene2. But what about act 3, scene1? Why whould he behave in this way?
11. Discuss Hamlet's scenes with the ghost in Act1, scenes4 and 5. What do these tow scenes tell you about him?
what does his language, his reaction to the ghost reveal about his personality, his true willingness to act?
12. See Hamlet's third soliloquy in act 3, scene 1 ("to be or not to be..." Is this solioquy a meditation on death? or resolution to act?
on cowardice? what does it reveal about him, how he is thinking?
13. What does Hamlet's very last speech reveal about the theme of death? ( "you that look pale and tremble at this chance...")
14. Hamlet's speech to Horatio in Act 5, Scene2 (" There is special providence in the fall of a aparrow...") refers what, exactly?
what is Hamlet telling his friend and how does this relates to his seeming renewed/ mature understanding of life and death?
Skills: academic-writing, acting