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Short Paper #2

Write a 3-4 page, typed, double-spaced essay in response to the following essay prompt. The questions
posed with each topic are not intended as the only means of addressing the subject, nor are you expected
to answer all of them. They are simply there to get your mind in motion – where you go in developing
these ideas is entirely up to you. Please use Modern Language Association (MLA) format for your papers,
and be sure to prepare a works cited page, even if only for the production. Even when quoting from the
textbook, you should provide act, scene and line numbers for all passages referenced (see example in
Option 1 below). If you are uncertain how to do this, make an appointment to see me. Also, remember the
excellent resource available to you in the Writing Center (10 th floor Learning Commons, in the Library),
which can help you from the brainstorming stage to final revisions.

Access the Royal Shakespeare Company video of Hamlet via the library website: 
2.       Click on Alexander Street Press
3.       Click on “My Collections” on the top left of the page
4.       Choose The Royal Shakespeare Company Collection
After viewing the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet via the Roosevelt Library please
consider at least one of the following issues raised in the play as staged:
 Features of revenge tragedy, such as a ghost seeking vengeance, or collateral damage
 The use of plays within plays, or “seeming” (pretending to be or think one way when a character
actually is entirely another way)
 The impact of design elements in the production, such as: sound, lighting, or costumes
 Important moments of directorial interpretation, such as: whether or not Hamlet appears to know
that he and Ophelia are being watched in the “nunnery” scene; the way that the literal play within
the play (The Mousetrap) is staged; whether or not Gertrude knows that she is drinking poison in
the duel scene between Hamlet and Laertes
Since Hamlet is a revenge tragedy like Titus Andronicus and The Revenger’s Tragedy, you may well want
to draw points of comparison or contrast to one or more of these plays in your essay. These are just
suggestions! Feel free to see me to discuss other approaches that you might have.

NOTE: The RSC production of Hamlet makes minimal cuts to the text of the play, and thus has a
run time of 3 hours. Plan accordingly – you will want to have watched the video at least a week
before the essay is due in order to give yourself time to think through what you want to say about it,
and write and revise your essay. Spring Break is a great time to watch a Hamlet video!

The evidence that you will offer in support of your claims will consist primarily of detailed descriptions
of what you witnessed in the production. As you make each claim in your essay, ask yourself the
question: what specific aspect(s) of the production gave me this impression? Use your answer(s) to
explain why you interpreted the characters, scenes, situations, etc. that you discuss as you do.

The production you view should appear in your works cited page. If you draw connections of some kind
to the text of one of the plays that we have read this semester, or if you consult the text of Hamlet, those
texts should appear in your works cited page, too. For the production you may use the citation tool online,
which will generate a citation for you. Here it is in MLA format:

Hamlet. Dir. Robin Lough. Royal Shakespeare Company, 2016. Alexander Street. Web. 20 Feb.
2020. (NOTE: The final date will be the date that YOU accessed the video).
Due to the Assignments Area on Blackboard by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2020