‘Hamlet’ ShowMe by SCC English

Here is a link to the excellent ShowMe series on ‘Hamlet’ made by St. Columba’s College English. They are an excellent examination of some moments in the play and will contribute to your understanding of the play as a whole.

Friendship demonstrated by R&G in Act 4

Hamlet is direct and honest with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Act 4 Scene 2. After the death of Polonius they question the Prince about the body, claiming they want to ensure a proper burial. Hamlet gives them nothing, knowing that Claudius has sent them. He calls them a sponge: ‘Ay, sir, that soaks up the […]

Images of physical suffering and pain in ‘Hamlet’

Images of sickness and disease abound. The ghastly visible effects which the poison had on Old Hamlet: ‘And a most instant tetter bark’d about, Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, All my smooth body.’ (1.5.71-73) References to sickness and disease apply sometimes to individuals and sometimes to humankind in general, and somtimes to the […]

Questions on General Vision and Viewpoint in ‘Hamlet’

These questions are designed to help you form your own opinions about the General Vision and Viewpoint of ‘Hamlet’ in order that you can compare and contrast this text with ‘How Many Miles to Babylon?’ and ‘Inside I’m Dancing’. What does the opening scene convey to you? Assess the strength of relationships in this play. ‘In […]

‘Hamlet’ as Tragedy

When writing about ‘Hamlet’ as part of a Literary Genre essay, you will need to explain why it is a Tragedy. It is not sufficient to say simply ‘because everyone dies’. Tragedy, in its classical sense, is more complicated than that. There are certain criteria that must be fulfilled before a play can be classed […]

Summary of ‘Hamlet’

The following are some of the key points to note in the plot of ‘Hamlet’. Act 1 The soldiers arre convinced that the ghost they have seen is real; they are expecting it to appear again and so the audience is prepared to accept the sight of the ghost. There is a state of unrest […]

Friendship as demonstrated by R&G in Act 3

Hamlet is fully aware of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s reasons for being in Elsinore and so he treats them with contempt and derision. He knows they are mere pawns of the king and so in his dealings with them he uses his ‘antic disposition’ at will. When, after staging The Murder of Gonzago, Hamlet manages to […]

Hamlet and Horatio’s friendship in Act 3

Act 3 Scene 2 is the scene where The Murder of Gonzago is performed for the court and it highlights Hamlet and Horatio’s friendship further. Horatio is portrayed as a man worthy of Hamlet’s trust and respect. He is a very good listener and a man who observes things silently. It is clear that Hamlet […]

Friendship as demonstrated by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

The friendship demonstrated by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is in sharp contrast to that demonstrated by Horatio.  We first meet these two characters in Act 2 Scene 2 as they have been summoned by Claudius to court in order that they may spy on Hamlet. ‘I entreat you both, That, being of you young days brought […]

Friendship of Hamlet and Horatio in Act 1

In Act 1 Scene 1 Horatio and Marcellus join Bernardo on the battlement of Elsinore so that they may witness the ghost if he reappears. When the ghost leaves without having spoken to any of the men there, Horatio declares: ‘and by my advice Let us impart what we have seen tonight Unto young Hamlet; […]