Semester 2 Final Reflection

  1. When looking at my Unit 3 – 6 portfolio, I see my greatest achievement has been. 

    My U4 Original Poem. Poetry is not something that comes easily to me. I especially have difficulty understanding structure and patterns regarding syntax or even syllables within lines. For this assignment, I decided to challenge myself to write one of the most difficult types of poems in terms of structure – a villanelle. I consider this my greater achievement because, despite feeling unconfident in the poem type, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and it paid off in the end. In pushing myself and applying concepts from class in a more personal context, I gained a greater sense of confidence as well as a deeper understanding of poetry.

  2. When looking at my feedback on my work and Mastery Data (as found in Schoology), I noticed…Looking back at my feedback, I noticed that my organisation has improved. Although my essays are generally well-organised, it took me a while in the beginning to break out of organising my analysis essays by technique rather than by theme which could have a stronger line of reasoning. I’ve been able to organise my writing in a way that is grouped based more on ideas rather than rhetorical strategies.
  3. Considering most of second semester was virtual learning, I’d like to say. . .I found online school a bit draining and unmotivating. Nonetheless, I am proud that I consistently came to class prepared and completed assignments. I also really enjoyed checking in with my class and seeing how everyone was doing.
  4. When reviewing my goal for Semester 2, I can say that I . . .My goal for semester 2 was to improve my organisation when writing essays and analysis pieces. As mentioned in question 2,  I think that I did accomplish this goal because I’ve seen an improvement in my organisation. An example of this would be in my AP Q2 essay, where I was able to organise my essay in an effective way despite having limitations in terms of knowledge about the passage.
  5. A reflection on a Unit 3, 4, or 5 EQ is. . . (Include the EQ and response)
    Unit 3: How can I refine my voice and style to communicate my messages effectively?I can refine my voice and style to communicate my messages effectively by catering it to my audience and the context. An example of this would be the Hamlet unit. When acting/reading out a soliloquy for the flipgrid assignment, I made sure to alter my tone and pace as well as place emphasis on certain words to convey the emotions of the character within the scene. In doing this, the audience has a better idea of what is happening in the play, what the character is like, and his/her thought process. As seen in the reduced scenes assignment, my voice and style was refined in a very different way but were still effective in communicating my messages. The context of this assignment was that it was for an audience that doesn’t understand Shakespeare’s language and are perhaps my age. Instead of acting, I communicated my messages in a different way that fit the context better. I reduced the lines in a way that were more similar to text messages (such as including the words “lol”). The sentences weren’t as complex or sophisticated, but they were more understandable to the audience.


Unit 3 – Shared Inquiry (S)

Preparation notes and questions:

Big, broad Ideas (Targets):
1. Function of plot, characters, and/or setting within a text. (C3)
• What significance does the presence of Fortinbras as a character have?
• What purpose does Horatio have in the play?
• Did Ophelia kill herself?
• What function does the play/theater have in Hamlet?
2. Function of contrasts within a text.
• Does Hamlet’s madness and Ophelia’s madness differ? If so, what’s the significance between this
contrast in how madness is portrayed between the two characters?
• Hamlet and Fortinbras are both similar in that their father’s both died and they wanted to avenge
their father’s death, however the way they came about this was very different. What is the
significance in the contrast between Hamlet and Fortinbras’ characters?
3. Function of a symbol.
• When Ophelia starts going mad, she distributes flowers to people and even describes what each
flower stands for. What do these flowers symbolise and what significance do they have?
• What is the significance behind Yorick’s skull in the graveyard scene in Act 5?
4. Function of specific textual details in revealing character motivation and perspective.
• Do you think that Gertrude drank the poisoned wine on purpose?
• In the BBC version, it appears that Gertrude knowingly drank the poisoned wine. What does this
reveal about her character?
• When King Claudius was “praying”, was he aware that Hamlet was about to kill him?
• Was Gertrude aware that King Claudius killed King Hamlet?
• How does Hamlet’s attitude towards death change throughout the story?
5. Function of specific textual details in the development of theme. (C6)
• What techniques does Shakespeare employ to develop the theme of mortality within the play?
• What techniques does Shakespeare employ to develop the theme of madness within the play?

Unit 3 – Reduced Scene Script

Act I Scene 5
The Ghost and Hamlet enter

Hamlet: Where are you taking me? Say something.
Ghost: I’m your dead dad and you need to kill the current king for me ok ty
Hamlet: Woah there tmi!
Ghost: AVENGE ME >:(
Hamlet: Are you saying that Claudius murdered you?
Ghost: Yes, that incestuous, adulterous beast! He betrayed me and laid with my wife, your mother-–I loved her but I guess she loved me not. Wanna hear the details of how I died?
Hamlet: Sure dude
Ghost: I was chilling in the orchard before your uncle poured poison into my ear––yes, literal poison––and killed me for my wife and my crown. So avenge my death, dear Hamlet! But fair warning, whatever you do, please do not harm your mother in any way; leave her to the wretched punishment of her own guilt.

Ghost leaves
Hamlet: Damn it! I remember you, you poor ghost. I’ll wipe my mind of basically everything and only remember to kill my uncle. Oh Claudius, you “smiling damned villain”. I’ll get revenge for my dad.

Enter Horatio and Marcellus
Marcellus: Hamlet!
Horatio: He’s okay?
Hamlet: Yup.
Marcellus: Tell us what happened!
Hamlet: Gather, gather!
Marcellus: So what happened bro?
Horatio: Yeah what was that about?
Hamlet: Oh it was great!
Horatio: Go on…
Hamlet: I can’t ur a snake
Horatio: Oh my gosh no never
Marcellus: I’m not either
Hamlet: You promise?
Both: Swear!
Hamlet: There’s no bad guy in Denmark who isn’t evil,
Horatio: There was no need for a ghost to tell us that .
Hamlet: Yeah you’re right. So I won’t tell u anymore let’s leave.
Horatio: But that’s so weird to say
Hamlet: Yeah sorry if I disappointed you
Horatio:No it’s fine
Hamlet: Yes it is disappointing, because I can’t tell you and you want to know more. And I must ask for a favor,
Horatio: What is it? I’ll still help.
Hamlet: Don’t tell anyone that you saw this ghost.
Both: Okay we won’t
Hamlet: Promise?
Horatio: I won’t
Marcellus: We promise
Hamlet: Pinky promise
Marcellus: We already promised
Hamlet: Do it anyway.

Ghost Cries under stage

Ghost: Pinky Promise!
Hamlet: Swear on my cool sword.
Hamlet: btw bro Horatio never tell anyone this happened
Horatio: ok
Hamlet: like pinky promise
Horatio: ok
Hamlet: like double pinky promise ok dude like swear
Horatio: ok

Unit 3 – Hamlet Act 2

Anna’s question: What makes the soliloquy of Hamlet such an iconic scene within the play? What did Shakespeare do to give this scene strength and beauty?

My response:

Hamlet’s soliloquy is such an iconic scene within the play because it characterises Hamlet and reveals the conflicting emotions within him. In this scene, it becomes clear that Hamlet is eager to avenge his father, but is also hesitant. Shakespeare employs rhetorical questioning to display Hamlet’s fear and lack of confidence in himself. He says, “Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? Breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?”, Through this, it becomes clear that Hamlet, despite wanting to take revenge, is also doubtful of himself and sees himself as a coward. Shakespeare then uses strong diction to emphasise Hamlet’s eagerness to take revenge for his father. He calls King Claudius a “blood, bawdy villain” who “treacherously” took his father’s place. Hamlet’s doubt is once again brought out when a more melancholic tone is used to speak about the ghost. He admits that the ghost “may be the devil, and the devil hath power t’ assume a pleasing shape.” He once again notes his doubts, but resolves to continue with his plan. Overall, Shakespeare uses rhetorical questioning, diction, and tone in the soliloquy to characterise Hamlet and expose his inner conflict. As a result of this soliloquy, it becomes clear to the reader that Hamlet is uncertain of himself despite his hatred for King Claudius. The contrasts in his thoughts highlight him possibly being on the verge of insanity, as well as foreshadow his actions in the rest of the play.

Question for the next person:
In the beginning of his soliloquy, Hamlet comments on the player and his ability to weep “for Hecuba.” What is the significance of Hamlet’s comments about the player?