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He almost saved her face.

Ben TolomeoHamlet Blog 42/20/12
HamletWe finally reached the end of the play this week, and despite already knowing the conclusion of this play before even finishing, it was interesting to see how it played out. It was surprisingly more brutal than I was initially expecting it to be. As soon as the Queen hit the floor, it seemed like the rest of the characters started dropping like flies.

Essential Question: How can our perception of reality change reality?
I was curious as to why Laertes seemed to become very apologetic at the end once he realized everything was doomed. It seems like Laertes is siding with Hamlet against the King, but that wouldn't explain why he agreed to kill Hamlet in a scheme devised by Claudius. In these lines you can see the gratification Laertes has with the death of Claudius, and he calls Hamlet 'noble'. He also seems to try and amend his crimes with Hamlet by asking for his forgiveness, like he was trying to drop all the conflict they had between each other in the moments before his death because he realized their issues didn't matter anymore.
He is justly served;
It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet:
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me.

Ben TolomeoHamlet Blog 32/12/12

HamletThis week we had to perform the scenes we got last week in our groups. I played as Hamlet in Act 3 scene 2, and was able to unfortunately experience the unclear view of his sanity first hand when I forgot one of his lines as I was performing... His dialogue was completely unrelated at times to what he was talking about in the lines previous and he would go off on random thoughts... such as when he spontaneously begins rambling about clouds when talking to Lord Polonius, who has no choice but to go along with it - as to not appear rude. Certainly this brings up the common debate of whether or not he is insane. I think he is insane, and after watching the mousetrap play on several different versions it really reinforces the idea of him being insane.

Essential Question: How can our perception of reality change reality?
The scene where Hamlet is struggling internally on whether or not to kill of Claudius when he thinks he is praying is a prime example of how Hamlet's perception of reality ultimately leads to his decision of not killing Claudius then because he does not want to kill him while he is praying which Hamlet believe would possibly lead to him being accepted in to Heaven instead of going to Hell.

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  • What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?
  • Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend
  • Which is the mightier: in his lawless fit,
  • Behind the arras hearing something stir,
  • Whips out his rapier, cries, 'A rat, a rat!'
  • And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
  • The unseen good old man.
After reading this it is apparent that Hamlet's insanity is proving to be legit in the views of his friends and family. His own mother even goes as far as to call him "Mad as the sea and wind", it's clear she believes him to be insane.

Ben TolomeoHamlet Blog 22/5/12

HamletThis week we read scenes four and five of act one in Hamlet. In these scenes we discovered some new information about the ghost that Marcellus, Barnardo, and Horatio claimed to have seen while on guard. After telling Hamlet, he insisted he come on watch with them that nightto see for himself if what they had said was true. It is in scene five that Hamlet meets the ghost, learning that it is in fact his father's spirit. This is where multiple perspectives can come in to play, because there is no way to know for certain whether or not Hamlet is genuinely insane after talking to the ghost or whether he is pretending to be insane. I find it interesting to hear other people's thoughts on this matter because there is supporters on both sides.

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So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.'
I have sworn 't.

This is where Hamlet commits to what the ghost has commanded him to do, to avenge his death by killing Claudius. This is also where I believe that Hamlet lets his plan for vengeance overcome his sanity and starts the beginning of his insanity.

Essential Question: How can our perception of reality change reality?
The question of why was Hamlet the only one openly willing to accept what the ghost was saying while Marcellus, Barnardo, and Horatio were all unwilling to follow its request out of fear. This implies that Hamlet's perception of reality is drastically different than the others, and it is this perception that leads him to following and talking to the ghost and ultimately going insane.

Ben TolomeoHamlet Blog 11/29/12

HamletInitially I was indifferent when I learned that we would be reading Hamlet because from what I little I knew about it (It was just some old play). But once we saw the summary of the play in class, it didn't look like it would be too painful, maybe even enjoyable. After reading Act I Scene I, I found it relieving to know that Hamlet had some humor woven in to it. For example, when Bernardo and Marcellus are talking, when suddenly:

enter ghost
Marcellus Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!Bernardo In the same figure, like the king that's dead.Marcellus Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
... I thought it was funny at least.

Essential Question: How can our perception of reality change reality?

Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him
touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night;
That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

HORATIO Tush, tush, 'twill not appear
In this scene Marcellus is telling Horatio of his ghost sightings, but Horatio does not believe it to be true. And this can be attributed to Horatio's current perception of reality, in where he has has heard ghost stories but has never seen anything like a ghost before, so naturally he believes them to be fictional. So when the ghost does actually appear, it conflicts with Horatio's perception of reality and forces a complete alteration of it.

  • It would be spoke to.
  • Question it, Horatio.
  • What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
  • Together with that fair and warlike form
  • In which the majesty of buried Denmark
  • Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
  • It is offended.
  • See, it stalks away!
  • Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!
  • Exit Ghost

I chose this passage because of the interesting use of unrhymed iambic pentameter by Horatio as he is communicating with the ghost. It is evident that Bernardo, Marcellus, and Horatio all want to speak with the ghost, and it can be seen in their frantic dialogue with each other and the ghost itself.