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What are the side effects of revenge? What happens to someone as a result of
revenge? What about the people around them? Is it self destructive? Why? Who
gets hurt?

The Opening Scene – Act 1 Scene 1

What is the mood and


What language
techniques have been Look at the purpose of the
used to create this ghost here. Does the ghost
foreshadow anything? What is
the ghost’s attire?

What is the purpose of

this scene and what has
it been used to Also, explore what Horatio brings to
establish? the scene?
Act 1 Scene 2 –
Claudius Addresses the Court

Understand the difference in the atmosphere between the first two scenes of the play

Discuss with the person next to you for 2 minutes the following things and be ready to
discuss as a class:
- Have compared the first two scenes
- Completed a comparative analysis statement
Act 1 Scene 2

Scene 2 is set in the Great Castle

of Elsinore. It is bright, colorful
and loud.

- What are the key points of

this scene?
‘By our late dear
death/Our state to
be disjoint’
The first scene hints at the widespread concerns that
exist in Denmark, but this scene reveals exactly how
‘rotten’ the state is. Claudius’ corruption is a sign that
Elsinore is vulnerable.
Claudius – First impressions
Discuss with the person next to you for 2 minutes
the following things and be ready to discuss as a class:
. Include key quotes
- Denmark
‘O that this too too
sullied flesh would
Shakespeare reveals Hamlet’s thoughtful personality
through his analysis of grief and his struggle with the
morality of suicide.
Hamlet's loss of faith and the question of whether suicide
can be justified are major themes throughout the rest of
the play.
Hamlet – the solitary thinker
How has Shakespeare presented Hamlet?
- Appearance
- Attitude
- What others say to him
Compare the two families:
Claudius Polonius

Gertrude Laertes

Hamlet Ophelia

Look at how the members of the family react and respond to

the respective heads of the family, Claudius and Polonius. Can
you sense any genuine love or concern in either family?
Polonius, Laertes and
Discuss with the person next to you for 2 minutes the following things
and be ready to discuss as a class:
- Polonius's language and wordplay
- Laertes language when speaking to Ophelia
- Ophelia’s submissiveness
Discuss, with the person next to you for 2 minutes,
the following things and be ready to discuss as a class:
:-Scene 4
- the Danish custom of drinking
- Why Hamlet is not afraid to go with the Ghost

- Scene 5
How the Ghost compares himself to Gertrude and
What does he say about his murder
What does he say about how quickly he was killed
The ghost in Hamlet no doubt performs an important
dramatic function. Whatever may have been Shakespeare's
belief about ghosts he utilizes the popular conception to
highlight what is in the minds of his characters. The ghosts
or witches that appeared to Macbeth spoke out only what
was in his mind, and revealed his inner thoughts to the
audience better than any words of his could do. In the same
way, the ghost in Hamlet discloses to us the suspicions
already in the minds of Hamlet and his friends. When
Hamlet sees the ghost and hears its revelations, he voices
this thought by saying, "Oh my prophetic soul!" (I. V. 40.)
And the fact that it first appears to the friends of Hamlet
suggests that they shared his suspicions and perhaps even
anticipated them, though no word had been spoken. The
inquiry of Marcellus about the cause of the warlike activity
and his later remark about the rotten condition of Denmark
seem to imply a suspicion that he is endeavoring to verify or
to disprove.
The skepticism that all at first show concerning the ghost
seems to indicate their unwillingness to put faith in their
suspicions. They do not willingly think evil of the king, and
they all want some undoubted proof, not only of the fact of
the ghost's appearance, but of the truth of his words.
Horatio hesitates to take ths word of Bernardo and
Francisco, and is convinced only by the actual sight of the
ghost. Hamlet, apparently the least suspicious of all, for he
is the last to see the ghost, seems reluctant to believe that
Horatio and the others have seen it. To convince him,
Horatio assures him with an oath of the truth of his report,
"As I do live, my honor'd lord, 'tis true."
(I. ii. 221.)
His doubts are not finally removed until the fourth scene
when he sees the ghost for himself. At last, the evidence
overcomes his moral reluctance to believe such foul
suspicions, and Hamlet is convinced of the guilt of the king
Discuss with the person next to you for 2 minutes the following things
and be ready to discuss as a class:

Complete the three sections looking
closely at Act 1 Scene 5.
“I was the more
~Ophelia, Act
III, scene 1

Ophelia and the status of

Unlike some of Shakespeare’s other female characters (Juliet),
Ophelia is not a developed character. She gives into the
demands from the men in her life.
The Ghost
appears to
This mirrors the first scene.
There is a contrast
between the carefree
nature inside the castle
and the looming threat
How does Shakespeare show a contrast in this scene between
the carefree nature of the court inside and the danger that is
looming outside of the castle?

- Suspense before the ghost arrives

- The sound of the trumpets

- The feeling of both the old king and new king

- What is further revealed about the state of Denmark

Hamlet – ‘I do not set
my life at a pin’s fee’
Discuss, with the person next to you for 2 minutes, the following things and be ready
to discuss as a class: Focus on how Hamlet is in a desperate state – he does not care
about his life. Also look at his references to fate and destiny.
Act2 Scene1
1. Polonius sends someone to spy on his son,
2. Ophelia reports Hamlet’s strange appearance
Shakespeare lightens the tone by

making Polonius appear ludicrous.

Full of his own importance and

intoxicated words , he has the

tendency to lose the thread of “what

was I about to say?/by the mass I was

about to say something.”

Hamlet begins to
appear mad

What do we learn from

Ophelia about Hamlet’s
Key Info
Hamlet knows Ophelia will
tell her father what she has
seen .

Feminist critics comment that

Ophelia seems to have no
scope for following her own
wishes. Others, contrasting her
with Juliet, accuse her of a
complete lack of spirit.
Act 2 Scene 2 –
Rosencrantz and
Deception is Real Madness vs
widespread Fake Madness

Humor in
Hamlet’s Madness

Players have an Hamlet curses his

important role lack of action
Discuss, with the person next to you for 2 minutes, the following things and be
ready to discuss as a class:

Using Act 2 Scene 2

as a starting point,
analyze the
importance of
deception in Hamlet.
The dramatic
purpose of this
episode is to
establish Hamlet
as a
analytic, thinking
and moral.
‘to be or not to be’
Hamlet’s most unique soliloquy Abstract
Act 3 Scene 1 – “to be
or not to be”
Read through the scene and work through the
following steps:

1. What are the key messages of this

2. Why is there no mention of the
3. What do you notice about the tone and
4. What does this show you about Hamlet’s
state of mind?
The calmness of the soliloquy is
in direct contrast to the
passionate exchange which

‘Get thee to a
Reversal of Roles
- Gertrude’s allegiance
-Ophelia’s betrayal


Hamlet’s reaction to Ophelia

before she speaks.
- How he refers to her
- Language used Hamlet’s rage once Ophelia
starts talking.
- How does he refer to her
- Language he uses
Play within a
What are the key moments of the scene?
Claudius’ reaction to
the play…

What does Hamlet


Horatio…….the voice
of reason? Still?
Hamlet’s relationships
are developed…


Ophelia And
“Ophelia should be viewed
as a completely innocent
Argue for AND against this
for against
Act 3 Scene 3

What does this

scene reveal about
Claudius’ character?
Claudius is not
genuinely repentant
How do we know this?
Tragic Conscience

for Hamlet’s

Plot Fairness
The Closet Scene
What is the purpose
behind Hamlet’s

Confirms Make
Repair their
Claudius’ Gertrude
Guilt repent
Explore Gertrude’s
language whilst she is
talking to Hamlet-
what do you notice?
Explore Hamlet’s
control over the

How does he
maintain this?
What do we make of Hamlet’s
spontaneous reaction?
“Act 3 Scene 4 proves that
Gertrude is just an innocent

To what extent do you agree

with the statement?