Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, Period 1 Review of the Day

First things first, homework. Go onto the power point for this week and there are instructions for a parent/teacher conference letter that is due Wednesday. You must PRINT a hard copy, SHARE it on a Google doc with Ms. Smith AND EMAIL it to your parent/guardian! It isn't that hard, just do it :-)
Today we had our fishbowl for Hamlet Act 1. To see the outer circle's comments go to the cover-it-live blog below. I took a few notes on the inner circle's discussion. Have fun reading!
Summary of Act 1

  1. Bernardo, Marcellus, and Horatio see a ghost that resembles the late king. They decide to tell Prince Hamlet.
  2. Claudius, Laertes, Polonius, Hamlet, the Queen, and others are meeting. Claudius tells Laertes he may return to school in France but refuses to grant Hamlet's request to do so.
  3. Hamlet decides to meet with the ghost.
  4. Ophelia receives advice from her brother and father about her relationship with Hamlet.
  5. Hamlet talks with his father and learns of the latter's murder at Claudius' hands.
  • Hamlet needs to choose whether he will be a man of action or inaction-internal conflict
    • He might be a man of action only be sneaky and take revenge on Claudius but leave no connection to himself
  • Tension between Laertes and Hamlet
    • Laertes was granted permission to return to school; he has no reason to turn on Claudius
    • Polonius and Leartes are protective of Ophelia-otherwise Hamlet and Laertes would enjoy each others' company
    • Polonius-is he still loyal to the original king? Would he turn on Claudius if he knew of the circumstances of King Hamlet's death? 
  • What is the purpose of the ghost's armor?
    • Symbol of impending threat of Norway/Fortinbras
    • Warning to Hamlet to not soil Denmark's image
    • Symbol of a battle with Claudius-the ghost never mentions Norway
    • Set the young Hamlet into a state of urgency
    • Foreshadowing that Hamlet will be unsuccessful in his first attempt to kill Claudius
      • This long of a story needs mishap and climax--defenition of a tragic hero
  • Marcellus/Horation-loyal to Hamlet, backbone character to the plot
  • King Claudius--Queen Gertrude
    • Any prior love? 
      • Yes. Gertrude married him because they knew each other and she had no one so...why not?
    • Does she know of the plot to kill King Hamlet?
      • There are no hints leading to that conclusion
      • She loved Hamlet-he talked of her as innocent and in love--Claudius was a weed that took her over
      • She was a "seemingly virtuous queen" -- this could show concern from the ghost as to why she so quickly married Claudius
      • Does she want power? But she already had power as the wife of Hamlet, her station didn't change at all
      • The late king can't know for sure
        • He tells Hamlet to leave her be because she has guilt that only she can deal with-God is her judge
    • Why does the ghost tell Hamlet to take revenge on Claudius but not Gertrude?
      • Claudius had more devious motives
      • Getting revenge on him gets revenge on her
      • The ghost only needs Claudius to die so he can be free from his torture-do not destroy life needlessly
  • How do we know we can believe the ghost?
    • There's no evidence it really happened except Bernardo, Horation, and Marcellus
      • Is this power enough to keep them loyal to Hamlet?
  • Who would take revenge if Hamlet succeeded in killing Claudius?
    • Brink of war, unsettling times, state of turmoil
  • War
    • If Fortinbras kills Claudius, he is just a casulty of war
  • What if Hamlet doesn't kill the king?
    • Could witnesses be used?
    • Servants, guards--there had to be someone watching the king sleep or at least be nearby
    • Yet Claudius is smart enough to be alone with the king
    • A nap is the king's normal routine
  • Did Claudius have help?
    • Polonius-motive to keep family and self image
    • Ophelia-lead to Hamlet's demise-she is his confidant
      • She will be his downfall
      • She must obey her father, even if she doesn't want to betray Hamlet
    • Hamlet is set up for the perfect oppurtunity to fail
    • When Hamlet learns of Ophelia's forced distance will he be hurt or driven to action?
      • Depends on how he finds out
  • Why wouldn't Claudius let Hamlet go to school? Keep him at a distance
    • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer
  • Does Claudius want to kill Hamlet too?
    • What is his motive? He already had power and wealth
    • Will he make an alliance with Fortinbras? But why would he ally with Claudius?
    • The sons inherited the same issues
      • People hold grudges throughout history
  • Why doesn't Hamlet value his life? 
    • He has a future
    • Social aspects hurt his heart
    • Does he really have everything?
      • All of his privileges are taken away - love, college
    • Innocent phase - tragic hero
      • Moving to knowledge phase - lost his father and mother and is learning of the evil of Claudius
      • Hamlet starts to question the world
    • Next is intimate awakening between him and Ophelia ---- ACT 2
      • We might learn that something has already happened between them
      • We have no background knowledge at this point-not connection to reader
      • Will Ophelia rebel against her family and the social place of a daughter in her family? - but this story is a tragedy...
      • May have been the reason Polonius could be assisting Claudius -- can Laertes take the throne?
        • Polonius is selfish
          • Heirs are everything
        • Claudius needs an heir
          • Send Laertes to obtain a college education
        • Is Polonius framing Claudius to get power? -- same as in Norway
    • War might be Claudius' downfall, but it would be Hamlet's too. He is just as much a part of Denmark as Claudius

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