1. find a web site relevant to Hamlet or Shakespeare on the Internet; Post a lin

    1. find a web site relevant to Hamlet or Shakespeare on the Internet; Post a link and a minimum-50-word review of the site on the “Hamlet Web Sites” discussion forum. Use the “Web Site Review” template.
    2.Finally, Read Hamlet Acts I & II.
    After reading Acts I and II, write responses to one or more of the questions below and post them to the “Hamlet: Acts I and II” discussion forum. You can answer one question, or several, in the same single response, but that response should be at least 200 words long.
    This week and next week, you will make such responses as we read the play. I am interested in your own responses to these questions; you don’t need to discover the answers online somewhere, because I will give you at least 80% for a sincere response of your own, anyway. True, a thoughtful, well-written response will gain more points; but uncited, plagiarized sources will gain you a zero, and possibly removal from the course with an F.
    If you want to use sources, you can (as not in the formal essays) use open-Internet as well as formal academic sources; but CITE them properly! That is one of the most important aspects of this class.
    In your responses, try to make precise, economical use of illustration from the play. That is, after your interpretive proposition, segue into a short passage from the play – one word, or a set of lines – that illustrate your proposition.
    Again, write a minimum of 200 words for your responses each time. You can respond to one or more of the following questions; you do not need to respond to all questions. You can spread your thoughts out, in other words, through two or more questions about more than one act; or, you can focus narrowly but deeply on one question.
    Act I:
    Consider the play’s opening – Scene 1. What is the mood? How does it contrast with the mood in Scene 2?
    From his initial speech to the court, what kind of man, monarch, husband, and uncle/stepfather is Claudius?
    What kind of woman/Queen/widow/mother is Gertrude?
    Study Hamlet’s first soliloquy (“O, that this too, too solid flesh…”). How do you explain his emotions and thoughts in clear, 21st-century English?
    How would you characterize the relationship between Polonius and his son Laertes, and his daughter Ophelia, and between Laertes and his sister Ophelia?
    What in the words of the Ghost seem to support the truth of the spirit’s claims? Does anything about the scene seem ambiguous or doubtful?
    Act II:
    Considering the Act I question about the relationship between Polonius and Laertes, what does Act II, Scene 1 add to your sense of that relationship, and what might it tell us of Polonius’ true character?
    Study Ophelia’s account of Hamlet’s behavior: what evidence do you see for Hamlet’s being mad, melancholy, in love, ambitious, scheming, a performer, or perhaps just a prankster – or any combination, or some other characterization?
    Five a verbal portrait of Polonius thus far: as father, courtier, counselor, speechmaker, etc. What is his role in the play, or in the dynamics of the play?
    How would you characterize the relationship between Claudius and Gertrude?
    Study Hamlet’s behavior in his responses to Polonius, and also in his responses to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – with reference, as you like, to anything so far in the play that informs your understanding of Hamlet as a man.
    Study Hamlet’s behavior and words in the scene after the arrival of the Players. How does it add to your understanding of his character – his moods, his ethical self, his sensibilities – anything.
    Study the next soliloquy (“O, what a rogue and peasant slave…”); looking back at the first soliloquy, how does this passage advance our understanding of Hamlet’s mind?
    [end]

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