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2/19/12
Things Fall Apart
In the last section of the play, it seems like all the scheming and secrets that have been going on come together and make for a disaster as everyone ends up dying. During the scene when Hamlet and Laertes have a fencing dual and they both die, I wonder if even though Hamlet was killed, if he and his father would be satisfied that they finally got their revenge on Claudius. How far is too far when it comes to seeking revenge on someone whom the person believes strongly deserves it?
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Relating to our essential question, I think that this play shows how insanity can end up being a chain reaction. When one person decides to pretend to be crazy, the lines become blurred between insanity and sanity as the once saine people don't know how to react to the insaine (Hamlet) and end up going a little crazy themselves. This can be seen when Ophelia drowns after Hamlet kills her father and makes her believe that he's too crazy to love her anymore. She falls in the trap of confusion and from what Gerturde tells about how she died, it sounded like Ophelia either committed suicide or just didn't want to live anymore and let herself drown.
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A passage that is stylistically interesting is in Act 4 Scene 7 when Claudius is talking to Laertes and planning their revenge on Hamlet and Claudius says:
Oh, for two special reasons,
Which may to you perhaps seem much unsinewed,
But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother
Lives almost by his looks, and for myself—
My virtue or my plague, be it either which—
She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul,
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,
I could not but by her. The other motive
Why to a public count I might not go,
Is the great love the general gender bear him,
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
Convert his gyves to graces—so that my arrows,
Too slightly timbered for so loud a wind,
Would have reverted to my bow again,
And not where I had aimed them.

By using such detailed similies and metaphors to describe his reasoning for not killing Hamelt earlier, (his love for Gertrude and the fact that Hamlet is so popular with the people of Denmark) Claudius seems more sincere in his love for Gertrude and makes it sound like he didn't have all that bad of intentions in marrying her; he didn't want to upset Hamlet.
2/10/12
The Importance of Communication
This weeks sections of Hamlet really made me realize how important communication is among the characters, and how through not communicating things to eathother; their lives all slowly fall apart. Like for example how Hamlet overhears the second part of Clauduis' prayer of apology. Hamlet doesn't hear the first part about how Claudius admits to killing the King and thus doesn't get the full story. Also, how Hamlet puts on the play called Mousetrap which is a portrayal of the King's murder, instead of confronting claudius and asking him about it face to face. I wonder if by not being outright with their feelings the characters just createmoreconflict for themselves, or if they are making the right choices in keeing certian secrets.
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These scenes relate to our question because in a way it proves how keeping so many emotions bottled up unside can be bad for a person's mental health. Hamlet is a good example of this in how crazy and wierd he acts to Ophelia during the play. He doesn't ever tell her about how angry and offended he is by his mother's remairrage to his uncle. This is bad because she doesn't understand why he's acting so strange and their relationship is harmed because of it.
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I thought the part when Hamlet is talking to Rosencratz after his motherhad sent Rosencrantz to go find Hamlet and figure out if there's anything wrong with him was stylistically interesting. The diction Hamlet uses is very broken up and fragmented as he randomly switches from one topic of discussion to the next. This shows how either truly crazy and scattered his mind is becoming, or the fact that he's just really good at acting crazy in casual situations.

HAMLET
You would play upon me; you would seem to knowmy stops; do you think I ameasier to be played on than a pipe?
ROSENCRANTZ
My lord, the queen would speak with you, andpresently.
HAMLET
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
ROSENCRANTZ
By the mass, and 'tis like a camel, indeed.
HAMLET Methinks it is like a weasel.
ROSENCRANTZ It is backed like a weasel.
HAMLET Or like a whale?
ROSENCRANTZ Very like a whale.
HAMLET
Then I will come to my mother by and by.
ROSENCRANTZ I will say so.

2/2/12
Who's Really the Insane One?
After reading the next part of the play and watching the movie it's starting to make more sense to me whats all going on and why, because we learn what the King's ghost is really after, and Hamlet finally gets some hope that his father's death can be avenged. The problem is that Hamlet's father wants Hamlet to kill Claudius himself, which I thought was wierd because why would his father want to put Hamlet in that bad position if he really cared about him? If anyone ever found out that Hamlet killed Claudius or was planning to, Hamlet's life would be ruined and in a way it'd be his father's fault. So maybe the old king wasn't really that good of a person in the first place if he's trying to get his son to do such a risky thing for him.
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These scenes relate to our question because maybe the real insane person is the dead king for starting up all this conflict that's about to go down. It also proves that Hamlet is truely insane too because he decides to listen to what a ghost tells him which is to go kill someone. This is why we can't really trust Hamlet's intentions throughout the rest of the play if his main goal in life is to avenge his father's death by killing his uncle because a ghost told him to that may or may not be his father's ghost.

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I thought the part on Act 1 Scene 5 when Hamlet repeatedly makes Horatio and Marcellus swear that they won't speak of seeing the ghost that night to anyone ever was stylistically interesting because in using repetition here, Shakespeare implies that Hamlet could be going crazy for real. ‍‍‍‍‍He makes Hamlet seem very desperate and paranoid about the events of that night which implies that Hamlet might have already been insane ever since his father's death‍‍‍‍‍.

HAMLET Never make known what you have seen to-night.
HORATIO MARCELLUS My lord, we will not.
HAMLET Nay, but swear't.
HORATIO In faith,My lord, not I.
MARCELLUS Nor I, my lord, in faith.
HAMLET Upon my sword.
MARCELLUS We have sworn, my lord, already.
HAMLET Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.
Ghost [Beneath] Swear.






1/18/12
Initial Response to Hamlet
So I thought the scenes we read this week were interesting in that they set up some conflict that will happen later on. It seems like most of Shakespeare's plays involve death, misunderstanding and forbidden love. By the way Hamlet is so suspicious of his father's death and how quickly his mother seems to have gotten over it, you can assume that his uncle had something to do with it. Already the whole truth of the situation isn't being told which is never a good thing because that's usually the initial cause of why people end up dying in most Shakespeare plays. Also, it's common in his plays that two characters fall in love who aren't really supposed to fall in love because of things like class status and family feuds. Like how Ophelia and Hamlet aren't supposed to be in love because of their different responsibilities to the kingdom.
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These scenes relate to our essential question because they set the stage for certian characters to be thought of as insaine. For example, people may think Hamlet is insaine if he tries to tell others of seeing his father's ghost, or people might think his uncle is insaine for being the possible cause of the king's death. At first, the guards who hadn't seen the ghost thought the guards who said they had were crazy and they didn't trust them. But it took them seeing the ghost with their own eyes to change their assumptions and believe the 'crazy' guards.
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I thought that Horatio's passage about what could happen if there really is a ghost haunting the castle in Act 1 Scene 1 was stylistically interesting because he uses a lot of intense imagery to describe what happened in ancient Rome when Ceasar died. He could also be foreshaddowing a similar situation in Denark to come since their king also recently died.

"A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun, and the moist star
Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
And even the like precurse of feared events,
As harbingers preceding still the fates
And prologue to the omen coming on,
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen."