Grey Clawson

B. Vogt
AP Literature
5 October 2010
Hamlet Analysis Guide Act 1
1. Modern English
1. a) The opening scene establishes an ominous tone.
b) The cold atmosphere and the night reinforce the scene of terror.
c) The significance of midnight represents the witching hour, the hour when spirits are
thought to roam the Earth.
2. a) Hamlet – prince of Denmark
b) Horatio – Hamlet’s best friend
c) Laertes – Polonius’s son and Ophelia’s brother
d) Polonius – counsel to Claudius, Father to Laertes and Ophelia
e) Claudius – brother to King Hamlet, husband to Gertrude, and uncle to Prince Hamlet
f) Gertrude – Prince Hamlet’s mother, widow of King Hamlet, wife of Claudius
g) Ophelia – daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, ‘girlfriend’ of Hamlet
1. Strife between Denmark and Norway is the reason for Denmark’s military state of
2. Provides necessary information without interrupted the flow of the text.
3. Fortinbras
1. Meteors, disasters in the sun, and he also interprets the appearance of the ghost as a
bad omen.
2. Generally, disturbances in human affairs. The death of King Hamlet affects everyone
in the grand scheme of things.
1. Cock – metaphor for the trumpet of the morn
2. Personification – dawn walks
3. Dawn – “in russet mantle clad”. Russet – formerly name of rough homespun used
for the clothing of country folk
4. By direct contrast. Birth vs. Death, Good vs. Evil
5. No, it is the opposite. The king has just died and they are in a military state of

2.Grey Clawson B. Theme 1. Suicide is unforgivable. “I know not ‘seems’” 10: 81 2. 4. Corruption. To Elizabethans it is a symbol of unrest. Hamlet’s intelligence and his highly developed sense of ambiguity. Grief Soliloquy 1. Claudius says that all fathers die so he sees it as not so much of a big deal. particularly in the kingdom. Leadership and power Characterization: Hamlet 1. The hero is forced to hide his true thoughts. The guard’s fear adds to the suspense. 2. 5. Theme 1. The Danish customs of royal elections was chosen rather than hereditary succession. Yes. “A little more than kin…” 10: 68-69 -Hamlet still grieves for his father while other have moved on a little more quickly. sun. Scene 8: Lines 10-13 4. -Resentment of his uncle. madam. He ironically tells Gertrude that he “knows not ‘seems’”. Theme 1. and the common. Hamlet’s morbid wish reflects the theme of mortality in the form of suicide. To grab the attention of the audience and presents foreshadowing of evil and unrest to create suspense. Mortality of all human kind. Appearance and reality. Hamlet proves to be so good an actor that his performance in feigning madness is so intense that he actually transcends the boundary of sanity. 2. Majestic sentences containing many subordinate clauses that qualify his meaning. 2. He is beginning to confront his inevitable dilemma. 3. Claudius’s crimes. “Ay. 3. He speaks of kind. 3. 2.” 10: 78 -Recoils from the falsity he sees around him. 2. Characterization: Claudius 1. it is common. Vogt AP Literature 5 October 2010 Suspense 1. 4. . To either live or die. 3. 3.

Polonius’s actions are exactly opposite to the advice he gives to Laertes. not Hamlet. Yes. Concern for both his son and daughter. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Characterization: Polonius 1. Pompous. . meddlesome and domineering. Marcellus’ famous line. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. Polonius -Laertes’ speech suggest that he. -At the moment his warning is without foundation -Will shortly see that his excessive moralizing parallels that of his father. Electra Complex A daughter's amorous obsession with her father. 19: 48-54 3. 3. Elizabethan women were taught to obey their fathers and brothers. The phrase is derived from the story of the ancient Theban hero Oedipus. -Develops contrasting sides of his character -Reveals his determination to speak to the ghost that resembles his father shows that he is capable of courage and decisiveness in contrast to his melancholy mood -Concluding lines reveal that he might have harbored suspicions about the death of his father Characterization: Laertes 1. Vogt AP Literature 5 October 2010 5. 4. who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. as well as the most famous. in which the character Electra drives her brother Orestes to kill their mother and her lover in revenge for the murder of their father.Grey Clawson B. The term Electra complex comes from the plays of Euripides and Sophocles entitled Electra. 6. Laertes’ advice to his sister. 2. -“Hyperion to a satyr” -Satyr -“but no more like my father/Than I to Hercules” Characterization: Hamlet 1. 2. Literary occurrences of the Oedipus complex include Andre Gide's Oedipe and Jean Cocteau's La Machine infernale. has misled young ladies Characterization: Ophelia 1. and so such obedience would seem natural to her She loves and respects her brother and is sure he has her best interests in mind She is innocent and inexperience Oedipus Complex A son's amorous obsession with his mother.

Such as it is. with vile and loathsome crust. like eager droppings into milk. Elizabethan willingness to take ghosts seriously Hamlet’s exit leaves the audience in a high state of tension 3. And prey on garbage. celebrations). And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf. And a most instant tetter bark'd about. Claudius. I'll go pray. And in the porches of my ears did pour The leperous distilment And curd. Most lazar-like. but Hamlet goes beyond the indictment of one man’s drinking to condemn the deterioration of the Danish character. and for mine own poor part. His swift decision to feign madness in order to conceal his plans to avenge his father’s murder. Vogt AP Literature 5 October 2010 Theme 1. Wouldst thou not stir in this. For every man has business and desire. though to a radiant angel link'd. Claudius’ revelry (festivities. At having been killed without a chance to cleanse his soul in preparation for death Theme 1. Horatio’s fears that the spirit may lure him to madness and a violent death 2. 2. 32:196-197 3. Nemian lion’s nerve 25:93 Theme 1. Essential nobility 3. So lust. With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial. The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine. Never make known what you have seen to-night.Grey Clawson B. They reinforce the picture of Denmark as a decaying country led by a corrupt king. 2. Plot 1. 2. Deep intelligence and sensitivity. Plot 1. . Look you. Horrified. 2. Will sate itself in a celestial bed.

3. Vogt AP Literature 5 October 2010 And what so poor a man as Hamlet is May do. he feels he must proceed with the utmost caution at court lest Claudius learn of his plans for revenge. Most critcs agree that Hamlet indulges in deliberately strange behavior in order to conceal his knowledge of the ghost’s revelations. God willing. Claudius poured poison into his ear while he was sleeping. was compounded by his mother’s hasty remarriage to her brother-in-law. His defensiveness suggests that he feels guilty 4.Grey Clawson B. shall not lack Overall Question 1. to express his love and friending to you. Given his situation. Base answers on the details that Hamlet reveals in his first soliloquy His apparently deep melancholy. . 5. Less than two months 2. which stems for his father’s death.