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Hamlet Study Guide

Hamlet Study Guide

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4.18

(3,750)
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Published by Saddleback
Thirty-five reproducible activities per guide reiforce basic reading and comprehension skills while teaching higher-order critical thinking. Also included are teaching suggestions, background notes, summaries, and answer keys.
Thirty-five reproducible activities per guide reiforce basic reading and comprehension skills while teaching higher-order critical thinking. Also included are teaching suggestions, background notes, summaries, and answer keys.

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Publish date: Jan 1, 2011
Added to Scribd: Nov 24, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781602918900
List Price: $17.95 Buy Now

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leslie398 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Last time I read Hamlet, I was in school and I remember having some difficulty with the language... This time I found the language easier (although still hard to follow in places -- "The canker galls the infants of the spring
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd,
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
Contagious blastments are most imminent." Laertes to Ophelia; I have read this over & over and still don't understand it).
dchaikin_1 reviewed this
11. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare (c1601, 348 pages, read Feb 25 – Mar 12)Edited by David M. Bevington & David Scott Kastan, c1980, 1988 & 2005I don't have all that much to say about this, although I really did enjoy it. This was my first time reading it, and it's only the fourth Shakespeare play that I've read. What caught attention, first, was how much I liked and was actually impressed by Hamlet, the character. That's a bit weird. He does some bad stuff and makes some fatal silly mistakes. The second was that this the first Shakespeare play I've read that used the language as a way to get deeper into the characters. My previous experience with Shakespeare left me with the impression of extremely beautiful and playful use of language. But...that seemed to be the point. Here he used the language as a tool in adding some complexity to the characters, well, at least to Hamlet, and in adding ambivalence to what they say and do and are thinking.
shanaqui_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
There: you can all stop nagging me, I've finally read it. The plot was mostly as expected, though I think whatever version I read as a child was less kind to Ophelia, as I had a rather different image of her in mind. I had a whole book of Shakespeare retellings, now I think about it: I can't really remember many of them, but I suppose they haunt me a little in my vague ideas of what the plays are like before I read them...

Anyway, Hamlet: justly famous, and full of phrases and quotations that even people who've never read a Shakespeare play can quote. It's always interesting coming to those in situ at last.

Still terribly glad I don't have to study Shakespeare now. If I end up somehow forced to read Shakespeare in my MA, I may scream. Much happier to come to his plays now, in my own good time.
alcracka reviewed this
Rated 5/5
One of my favorites. Best film adaptation: surprisingly, Mel Gibson's. Branagh's was way too long (yeah, I know, but still) and had Robin Williams in it; we won't talk about Ethan Hawke's.
a_reader_of_fictions reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Story:
Everyone knows Hamlet. Okay, maybe not everyone, but most people do. Now, if you were to ask me if I liked Hamlet, my short answer would probably be 'no.' Really, though, it's not fair for me to encapsulate my feelings on Hamlet into such a simple answer. If Hamlet and I were in a relationship on facebook (assuming he it could ever decide whether to be in one...punned!), it would most definitely be complicated.

Here's the thing: Hamlet is a great play. There's no denying it. When I think about the play objectively, there's a lot of amazing stuff in there. Shakespeare's wit is fantastic; gotta love all of those dirty jokes he makes in here. And, of course, the language is completely gorgeous.

The characters I have never been particularly tied to, which is one reason Hamlet does not rank among my favorite plays; the tragedies often lack the sassy heroines you can find in the comedies. Hamlet's indecisiveness frustrates me endlessly. Whine, whine, whine, think about doing something, wimp out, wine more. Cry moar, anon. Yoda judges you. Hamlet's uncle father and his aunt mother are not especially likable, even if you don't think they're guilty of what Hamlet's ghosty father accused them of (namely, turning him into a ghost). Ophelia isn't the brightest; plus, her end does not for admiration make. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are probably my favorites, and that's only because of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard.

Truly though, the reason that I don't really like Hamlet is how prevalent it is. I just get so tired of always hearing this same play over and over. I mean, who didn't have to read this in high school, and again in college?

Performance:
This audiobook is the recording of a stage version of the play, performed by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival cast. They do a good job, and I imagine it was quite a fun performance that they did. It sounds like they did some interesting things with the characters, such as changing gender in some cases and some modernizing (thus the leather jacket Hamlet's wearing).

Unfortunately, listening to a play and watching it just aren't the same. Had I not already been very familiar with Hamlet, I have little doubt that I would at time have been confused by some of the quick scene changes or by which voice belonged to which character. Some of the actors did have rather similar sounding voices.

Between scenes, there is creepy dramatic music, which definitely set a mood, but I don't think I liked. Nor did I care for the fact that the players rapped everything. That was kind of weird. At least Ophelia didn't rap her crazyface songs. Speaking of Ophelia, she was my favorite part of the performance. Her voice and manner definitely reminded me of River Tam (Summer Glau's character in Firefly, who has a couple of screws loose). What an awesome way to portray Ophelia. Now I kind of want to try to write some fan fiction with the characters from Firefly performing Hamlet. Maybe not.
loufreshwater reviewed this
Rated 5/5
What didn't I learn from this book? ;-)
tadad_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This continues to remain my second-least-favorite of the seven Tragedies I've read so far. This preference isn't based upon the quality of the play qua play; it boils down to the fact that I simply don't enjoy Mr. Prince Hamlet, Jr. Despite some arguments to the contrary, he still comes across to me as a bipolar obsessive with impulse control problems, a distinct lack of responsibility, a poor attitude toward girlfriends and who, if we read only what is written, appears to make monumental judgments about his mother on little or no evidence. In other words, I don't like him. Of course, I don't particularly like fellows such as Mr. Macbeth either, but it's a different lack of esteem: a dislike for the bad guy (which is a sneaking regard) rather than a disdain for the self-absorbed.I find the characters of Polonius, Ophelia and Gertrude much more intriguing in this play and I do enjoy it for them. So, while I love the language of this play, and the supporting cast, and acknowledge the structure and plot, I still don't enjoy it as much as a romp through Birnham Wood or, better yet, Lear's Britain.
quantum_flapdoodle reviewed this
Rated 4/5
One of the bard's all time classics, so frequently performed that it occasionally needs to be re-read to experience it the way he wrote it, without all the directorial impulses to pretty it up or modernize it. It had been a long time since my last read, and I was somewhat surprised to realize that this play comes with very few stage directions outside of entrances and exits; there are so many things that directors do exactly the same, you forget they weren't mentioned in the stage directions, and have simply become habit. Anyway, this play, about ambition and revenge, still holds up well through the centuries, though many of the actions seem outdated to us now. The poetry of the language and the rich texturing of the characters, even the most minor of characters, creates a complex story that successfully holds many balls in the air at once. Shakespeare's frequent use of ghosts is noteworthy, since that is something that modern day playwrights are told to be very careful about, and avoid if at all possible. A satisfying story, and a satisfying re-read.
bryndahlquis reviewed this
Rated 5/5
While it can be quite long and tedious in parts, it's still Hamlet.I mean, it's hard to beat Hamlet.
ncgraham_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
This is it. The big kahuna. The Shakespeare play to end all Shakespeare plays. And I confess, I have fallen in love with it completely.When I was a child reading about Shakespeare plays in my Tales from Shakespeare (and seeing occasional live performances of the comedies), and later when I was a teenager watching them on videotape, I couldn’t quite see what the big deal was with Hamlet. It sounded to me like it lacked the romance of Romeo and Juliet, the fun of the comedies, the magic of the romances, and the bloodiness of some of the other tragedies like Macbeth.How wrong I was.While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate using a complete performance text—that would make for a long evening—and there are actually a large number of contradictions in the play as it has come down to us, what a joy it is to read all of Shakespeare’s words! Hamlet is a long play, but in general it flows beautifully, with long, elaborate scenes that fold into each other. I haven’t made a count, but I’d wager that in addition to being Shakespeare’s lengthiest play, Hamlet has, on average, the longest scenes. To me, this makes it read easier, but I might be in the minority in that respect.Hamlet as a character is a vehicle for some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful poetry and most searching philosophy. The play has gained its worldwide renown almost solely because of his soliloquies, which are many and lengthy. With all due respect to the famous “To be or not to be,” my favorite of the lot is “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!” I’m not an actor by profession, and haven’t been on the stage since junior high, but this speech stirred the actor in me. It’s a virtuosic piece, which opens with Hamlet’s typical melancholy and self-deprecation and ends with a moment of true resolve and excitement. Of course, the next time we see him, he’s depressed again and contemplating suicide.Going in, of course, I already knew about the wonderful poetry and philosophy in Hamlet. What I didn’t expect was how powerfully I would relate to the main character. Perhaps this is because I was approaching the play for the first time with the understanding that Hamlet is a very young man. He has traditionally been thought to be about 30 due to a remark of the gravedigger’s, but all other internal evidence points to him being in his late teens or so, and it’s very much possible that the gravedigger’s remark was a later addition to accommodate an older actor. When I instead read him as a teenager or young adult, all the pieces came together and the play made sense to me for the first time.Not that one has to be young in order to relate to Hamlet—he is a universal character, and it’s really remarkable how many different ways he can be interpreted. A friend and I were discussing how we might each play the role were we ever given the chance: he would probably emphasize his intellectualism, his shrewdness, his struggle with madness, and his quest for revenge, whereas I would stress his youth, depression, and emotional variance.There’s so much in this play that it is utterly impossible to touch on everything in a single review, so I suppose I’ll stop while I’m ahead. I’m sure that when I reread, I will notice new things that I never saw before. And I do plan on rereading Hamlet. Like all truly great works of literature, it’s an inexhaustible gold mine, a fountain of insight one can’t help returning to.

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