S2: Final Reflection

  1. This semester, I think that my greatest achievement was the Q2 Hamlet Revision. I was really proud of this essay because when I looked at the passage the second time (which was also after having actually read through that part of the play, so I understood the context), I felt that I was able to really understand the nuances in the passage and put that into writing. I think that this paper is the best representation of my abilities to analyze and write about a passage.
  2. Looking back at my feedback throughout this year, I notice that something I should continue to work on is adding more commentary and analysis into my writing. With that being said, I can also see that I have improved a lot in this aspect from the beginning of the year to now.
  3. Considering most of second semester was virtual learning, I’d like to say that I kept up well with class material and was able to continue my learning and participation at a high level despite the challenges.
  4. When reviewing my goal for Semester 2, I can say that I was successful in improving my analysis of poetry and passages. This improvement is especially evident in my Q2 Revision (as mentioned above).
  5. How does literature get to the “heart of the matter”? I believe that all literature provides a commentary on the collective human experience in one way or another, regardless of what it is about. There are certain shared experiences that all people go through, certain truths that are universally agreed on, and certain concepts/ideas that are highly controversial and cannot be agreed upon. All of these themes can be considered the “heart of the matter”, and literature is simply a means for authors to share their beliefs regarding this or simply force the reader to consider an idea or perspective that they may not have before. 

U3: Reduced Scene Script

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
Horatio enters.
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!

Enter Polonius
Polonius: your mother wants to see you in her chambers
Hamlet: hey that cloud kinda looks like a camel
Polonius: …
Hamlet: ok I’ll go

U3: Hamlet Act 2 Discussion Post

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?