Act 3 Scene 2
Enter Hamlet and three Players
Hamlet: Guys, you gotta act it with PASSION but also not too much!!! I’d have you whipped for overdoing it. The point is “to hold, as t’were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image”.
First player: gotcha.
The Players exit
Hamlet: Yo Horatio! Look at Claudius during the play ok? There’s gonna be a scene that imitates my father’s death, so the king might look guilty
Horatio: Okay, I’ll watch him closely.
Enter Trumpets and Kettledrums, King Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and other Lords attendant with his Guard carrying torches. Danish March. Sound a Flourish.
Hamlet: They’re coming! I gotta play the fool now.
King: How are you, Hamlet?
Hamlet: I’m great!! I eat the air!!!!
King: Your answer confuses me.
Hamlet: Ophelia, lemme lie in your lap.
Ophelia: You’re strangely happy, Hamlet.
Hamlet: Well yeah I mean my mom looks happy but my dad’s died so…
Trumpets sound. The show begins:
Enter player King and Queen, they hug and the Queen leaves him to sleep. Another man enters and pours poison in the King’s ears.
King: turn on the lights!
King stands up and storms away
Horatio and Hamlet are alone
Horatio: I think that was enough evidence that the King did it
Hamlet: Yes, finally!
Polonius: your mother wants to see you in her chambers
Hamlet: hey that cloud kinda looks like a camel
Hamlet: ok I’ll go
Olivia’s question: 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?
My answer: At the beginning of his soliloquy, Hamlet says, “Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, a broken voice, and his whole function suiting with forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! For Hecuba! What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he should weep for her?” Here, Hamlet is referring to the player’s acting that he just witnessed and commenting about how the player was able to weep and show so much emotion for Hecuba, a character that he has no true connection to. Following this, Hamlet goes on to lament his frustration about how he cannot express emotion the same way that the player can, despite him having an actual reason to express such emotions (his father being murdered). This goes to show how hard Hamlet is on himself and how he often feels frustrated with what he lacks.
My question: What is the significance of the ongoing situation with Norway and their royal family, particularly young Fortinbras? Why does Shakespeare include this storyline?
“Everyday Use” talks about African American identity and heritage. In the story, there is a clear cultural divide between Dee and her mom and sister, Maggie. Dee is the only one out of the three who has had a full education and left life on the farm. Her mom and sister find it hard to understand Dee and her behaviors and beliefs.
During this short story, Dee and Hakim-a-barber (either her boyfriend or husband) visit her family. Dee tells them that she has changed her name to “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo” because she “couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.” It is clear that Dee/Wangero was trying to reclaim her African heritage by changing her name from Dee, which was passed down from her family and likely originally given by white slave owners, to Wangero, an African name.
It becomes even more clear that Dee is determined to connect with her heritage when she begins asking to keep various objects around the house, such as the churn top and dasher that her uncles had made. Finally, she asks to take the quilts that her grandmother made and refuses to take the other quilts that were machine stitched. “These are all pieces of dresses Grandma used to wear. She did all this stitching by hand. Imag’ine!” Dee/Wangero finds a lot of meaning in the genuine vintage-ness of the quilts and in the fact that it was hand made by her grandmother.
There is an obvious culture divide between Dee/Wangero and her mother when they fight over who will get the quilts, Dee or Maggie. Dee argues that Maggie will “be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” Clearly, she sees this as a negative thing. However, her mother has the opposite opinion – she wants the quilts to finally be put to use. Walker uses the cultural divide between Dee and her mother to represent the impacts of the African American identity movement during the time that this story was written (1960s/1970s). The mother, who is an older generation and has never left her rural life, doesn’t understand Dee/Wangero’s need to connect so badly with her heritage. Dee/Wangero, like many of the young African Americans of the time, found herself needing to connect to her African heritage in any way possible (like through her family’s “everyday use” objects) because she was trying to find her place in society and reclaim her identity.