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    For Hamlet, is it safe to say we can rule out the previous questions? I know one of the critics statements in the Jan 08 paper had something about revenge in it, so they aren't likely to ask a thematic question on revenge than are they?

    For Hamlet - Ophelia and Madness
    For Lyrical - Imagination and "low and rustic life"

    Thoughts?
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    For Hamlet....it could be imagery or the war/Fortinbras subplot maybe?
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    For Hamlet, the character question might well be either Opehlia, Gertrude or possible Horatio, or a combined Rosencranz and Guilderstern as they haven't come up yet. For lyrical ballads, I've no idea; anything out of imagination, childohood, the marginalised/poor, etc
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    Hate to dampen the mood, but there is a HUGE range of questions they could ask you about for Hamlet - I'd just re-read/skim read the play and learn some general quotations to cover all bases.

    Thematic questions include: mortality/sickness and decay/acting and playing/revenge/emotion and reflection etc.

    You can get a question on basically any character, including Fortinbras, Polonius or Laertes, and more rarely a question might come up on a specific scene such as :"What does Act 3 scene 3 contribute to your impression of Claudius."
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    Yes its very important you revise themes. DO NOT just revise character questions.

    I sat the Jan 08 paper and was shocked to death when a thematic question came up!
    I hadn't even planned for that eventuality.
    Basically the question asked whether Hamlet is typical of revenge tragedy or not. The other question was a toughie on Polonius as well....
    It was nice easy revenge question, but a horrible thematic question could come up at any time.

    BE PREPARED.
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    (Original post by Yuffie)
    For Hamlet....it could be imagery or the war/Fortinbras subplot maybe?

    i dont think it would be imagery. i know theres a section on it in h=the york notes, but i dont feel and essay could be made out of such a theme.



    btw (totally unrelated, but has to be said) lovin your signature!

    I'M IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTIONS!

    i DON'T NO WHAT WE'RE YELLING ABOUT!best.film.ever.
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    does anyone have a list of quotes to revise from they would share?
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    I would really love it if the questions were...

    Hamlet - Ophelia/women of the play

    Lyrical Ballads - Childhood

    I would almost forgive the AQA chief exminer for the monstrosity that was unit 6.
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    (Original post by lizaaaaaaaaaaaa)
    does anyone have a list of quotes to revise from they would share?
    That would be great for me too...
    Have major problems learning the quotations
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    I'm just learning about five quotes for each character, and theme.

    I want a question about Gertude, but there's been one about her before. Maybe one about family relationships- that would be brilliant.
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    STRUCTURE OF HAMLET
    from act 1 to act 3, the play has been building with steady momentum.
    Tragic turn of events = breaks up the standard and logical progression of the play, diverting Hamlet from his true tasks.
    So basically..."Hamlet has to contend with the blood which stains his hands, and the repurcussions (sp?) and consequences of his actions." If this did not occur, Hamlet would have been a revenge story, but the true tragedy of the play would be lost.

    Without killing Polonius, we would have reached the conclusion much quicker and there would be no sense of downfall or falling from grace for the protagonist.

    STRUCTURE OF THE PLAY - "Freytag's Pyramid" (classic 5 act structure of the play)
    ACT ONE - the EXPOSITION. introductory info for the audience, main characters are introduced; presents a conflict; it prepares the audience for subsequent acts; e.g. the play begins with a question "Who's there?" which epitomises the central theme of the play of appearance and reality.
    When Hamlet swears vengance, he sets the plot for the rest of the play, and the ghost acts as a catalyst for this plot/storyline.

    ACT TWO - COMPLICATION. propels the storyline by introducting further problems related to the main issue; main conflict develops and characters in more detail. Also, the act 2 scene 2 "mousetrap play" is all about acting and appearance vs. reality; and this scene is directly in the middle of the plays structure, which could signnify it is a pivotal idea in the play.....if we didn't know that already....

    ill finish writing up my notes in a bit with quotes i just need to go get a cup of tea
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    TWO PLOTS OF HAMLET - in the plot of hamlet there are many contradictions and discrepencies which cannot be explained in one interpretation. Contradictions reflect the two plot structure with the same characters, and different biographies.

    1. "real" events in Elsinore
    2. drama staged in the castle

    Plot of Hamlet does not exist as a single entity.
    basic plot structure; wrongs occur and the hero seeks revenge to make it right. In the process everyone is destroyed.

    *by the way, for some alternative interpretation, i could be going off on a tangent. but you could possibly argue that everyone in the court dies (well the main characters), including Ophelia. Her death could be to show the victimisation of the women, and that she is simply a pawn. But on the other hand, Hamlet bangs on about her being a multifaced woman, and her sexual deviance is suggested and confessed when she admits he "tumbled" with her.

    sex was a sin for a woman, and the fact that she did it with hamlet, she has committed a sin, just like everyone else in the court has. therefore her death is in someways justified? i dont think thats the right word. but my basic point is her death wasnt something neccesary to sympathise, fair enough she didn't kill anyone, but she had opened her "chaste treasure" to Hamlet, and like everyone else, faced the consequences.

    such a cold hearted look at Ophelia, but i think it makes sense, if it doesnt ill try and explain it again.*
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    HAMLETS DELAY
    1;5 - Hamlet told by Ghost "foul and most unnatural murder"
    Hamlets delaying - he wanted to be 100% sure, he is a religious and clearly moral - the only thing holding him back from suicide is his religious beliefs. Religion clearly would play a huge part in how dramatically Hamlet is affected by his mothers "o'erhasty marriage" and his lack of trust in institutions around him. He only saw his father love his mother, and she just goes off with someone else.
    ALSO Hamlet wanted authenticity of the ghosts explanation - The Mousetrap Play.

    Hamlet, although we learn he is thirty years old, he does act like a typical moody teenager - he is told something so has to prove it is true. He is acting on his own terms not his fathers. And if this is so, then he teenage character and mood in an older mans body could suggest his rooted depression or mental disorder (link madness). This of course only applies as a theory if the ghost is considered to be authentic and not sent from hell. I have good notes about the ghost ill post up after this.

    the delay of Hamlets revenge was due to procrastination; he was coping with the outside conflicts of the corrupted court, and also the inner conflict of his mental state - he was all too aware of the consequences of his actions. So did he just see both sides of the issue? or was it just an excuse?

    I don't know the quote right now, but when hes talking to Horatio, just before Hamlet goes off to see the ghost, about Denmark and its drunkards. basically saying how we are born with our destiny and we cannot choose the path we are given.

    DEATH OF OPHELIA AND POLONIUS
    (this is an alternative interpretation to the death of ophelia interpretation above, just to confuse!)
    Ophelias death is to heighten the sense of tragedy - she SEEMS the only genuine "honest" character in the play, but dies in an ambiguous manner. Her death could be regarded as a cover up? the way Gertrude describes her death it is all very lyrical and idealised (for a death that is) and then she used hyberbole "Drowned! Drowned!" to emphasise how she died. i might be taking a skeptical view on this.

    but when Ophelia hands out the flowers, which all have significant meanings to the people she gives to; she is kind of exposing their true characters. E.g. Gertrude is given a flower, I think its "rue" which symbolises adultery, and Claudius is given "corribine" to symbolise adultery too (male form) etc. Therefore you could argue Ophelia, in her madness, is threatening the court and its values - of falseness - so must be killed? and this may explain why Claudius allowed her funeral. oooh im rambling a bit, i think its a bit of a coverup!

    Death fof Polonius is a PLOT DEVICE. It gives Laertes an incentive to seek Hamlets revenge.
    The way each of the characters die add to the portraytal of their character traits and the repurcussions of their behaviour.

    Laertes - Killed ironically by his own device of poisoning the sword
    Gertrude - drinks the poison. she either drank it purposefully, to defy her subordinate stereotype or to save Hamlet for drinking it presenting herself as a caring mother. or she drinks it by accident, in which case she is a victim of the court but she was clearly part of it; corruption and all.
    Polonius he died how he lived - spying.
    Ophelia either commited suicide, which would have been a consequence of her madness, or was killed by the corrupt state of Denmark. (both women have the possibility of commiting suicide - fragility of women? they are weakwilled to withstand the harshness of life?)
    Claudius although Hamlet did eventually kill Claudius, he still did not neccessarily do it for the sake of avengers his fathers death, more like his mothers death. Gertrude dies first, and then Hamlet turns on Claudius and Laertes!!
    Hamlet he dies tragically, but to a modern audience more unsympathetically due to the amount of deaths culminated along the way!
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    importance of the ghost
    most critics see the ghost as a purgatorial ghost - damned. to a catholic audience in S times, this would have been the most logical explanation, however to a protestant audience it may have been interpreted differently. not sure of the detailed alt. interpretations but ill have a look in a bit!

    Hamlet is plunged into actions by the appearance of the ghost; RESEMBLING his fathers ghost. theme or appearance and reality is rooted firmly as the plays backdrop by this point (yes at this point in act 1 scene 1).

    Hamlet wants an explanation and course of action, however he gets an explanation it is not adequate to answer the whole "what should we do" question.

    The ghost says he is "they fathers spirit" (paraphrased) and explains the "foul and most unnatural murder" - Take REVENGE

    "bear it not" - Ghost is telling hamlet not to just accept his fathers murder, but also suggests that Hamlet should not stand the continuation of Claudius and Gertrudes rule.

    "taint not thy mind" - tone of remark, it is a kind of throwaway comment really, hes just explained in graphic detail the state of purgatory...all a bit suspect if you ask me...
    also it shows that the ghost clearly doesn't regard the act of revenge as too difficult an act; maybe hes not such a "hyperion" after all? also add that to the fact, the way hamlet describes his father in the soliloquy, its pretty much like butter wouldn't melt in Hamlet snr's mouth tbh. but the fact he is suffering so much, makes you wonder. fair enough he didn't die praying, but what had he done before which made it so bad!

    "leave her to heaven" - in context of claudius and gertrude, incest was a BIG deal at the time of Shakespeare, much like it is today. so basically you could argue he wants her to live and deal with the punishment of her conscience, and whatever punishment is to be furth given, should be left to the afterlife? go purgatory!!
    either that, or he loves gertrude dearly stills, and that points the finger at Claudius being the corrupter, and gertrude as a pawn in his game.


    Hamlets reaction to the ghost is like a religious conversion. (see the little soliloquy thing at the end of act 1 scene 5) he goes on about backing away from previous knowledge of books and sees himself as a new man....suuuure.
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    For Lyrical Ballads, childhood, imagination or nature would be nice. But it probably won't be nature.
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    yehh i reallly REALLY hope its on childhood. i think something about imagination/supernatural will come up though!!

    just because its one which coleridge can be incorporated fully. dam rime of the ancyent marinere!
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    Laura, thank you for those notes We were never told the symbolism of Ophelia's flowers, so that's definitely something I'll remember now!
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    yeh theres a list of them somewhere, i cant remember but ill have a look in a minute. basically she uses madness in the same way as hamlet....except shes definitly mad....where she can completely attack the court and its values, without being locked up!
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    It'sokay, I already looked it up. I appreciate Ophelia a bit more now, everywhere else she always seemed a bit dim.

    I dont know if it proves she's entirely mad though. Like you said, its a bit like Hamlet's antic disposition - she can say what she likes, but blame it on "oh, I'm mad, you cant blame me."

    Or maybe I'm still reading it wrong. Some of the websites I'm looking at might be influencing me, they're a bit strange.
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    the play's introduction could suggest a history play introduction...
    we learn from horatio and marcellus etc. that King Hamlet was challenged by Fortinbras to a personal battle - both fortinbras and hamlet waged large possessions of land on the outcome of the duel. SETS UP SUBPLOT OF REVENGE; before hamlet is even introduced there is something going on with revenge; more of a historical revenge.

    Horatio compares the ghost to a list of supernatural things - scholarly Horatio now seems more superstitious than sceptical - the audience now know there is something there. (horatio plays a very significant part in rooting hamlets "antic disposition" as just an act)
    the atmosphere of fearful expectation are generated from Horatio's lines - creates the dramatic impetus to the 2nd appearance of the ghost.

    the ghost disappears when the **** crows (idea of light/darkness and good/evil) - also link to when Claudius runs out of the mousetrap play, calling for light! its all symbolic

    ahh has anyone else got any points of language, easily quotes which i can comment on language, i seem to be lacking there!
 
 
 
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