Hamlet Act 1 Setting: 1. a. The scene begins at midnight with fear, mystery, and death setting the tone for the evening. b. Bernardo says, “How now, Horatio, you tremble and look pale.” Horatio: “What art thou that usurps’t this time of night; it harrows me with fear and wonder.” c. This is the period when the ghost of King Hamlet appears Plot: Flashback • 1. What important details about what happened before the death of King Hamlet does Horatio’s speech provide? Horatio details the happenings of war between Norway and Denmark. Denmark, led by King Hamlet, won and killed King Fortinbras. But now Prince Fortinbras of Norway is ready for revenge. Imagery 4. It is a vision of happiness, joy and light. Now they are faced with a mood of fear, uncertainty, and sadness Characterization: Claudius 3. Claudius’ speech honors his brother in the beginning. He then uses his brother’s death as a rallying cry for war against Fortinbras. His speech shows equal parts of sorrow and revenge. He finishes by thanking his guests, first for attending the funeral and secondly for attending the wedding of widow Queen Gertrude and Cladius Characterization: Hamlet • 1. Hamlet is discontent because of 1) the death of his father 2) the “unweeded garden” or the kingdom falling apart into disarray 3) his mother marrying his uncle • 2. The ironic pun he uses is “ a little more than kin, less than kind” and “not so my lord, I am too much like the sun” Kin and kind are similar sounding words and sun and son also are similar sounding words Theme: Mortality 1. What theme do Gertrude and Claudius introduce when they urge Hamlet to forget his grief? Death is mysterious and is part of life. Hamle’ts father died, and his father died, and eventually Hamlet will die. Theme: Appearance and Reality 1. What other theme is introduced when Hamlet says, “Seems, madam? Nay, it is.” Actions are complicated. What appears to be true is only a small piece of what Hamlet is feeling on the inside. Soliloquy 1. What is Hamlet’s essential dilemma? He is upset that his mother married his Uncle in such a short time. He can’t tell anyone and must mourn in silence. Theme: 3. Hamlet’s soliloquy in which he compares the world to an unweeded garden also introduces which leading theme of the play? Human nature is inherently evil and continues to grow evil if society does not regulate our actions. Characterization: Ophelia 2. Although generally regarded as sweet and obedient, Ophelia is capable of giving an ironic answer to her brother. What is it? “But, good my brother, do not as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads and recks not his own rede” Don’t be like the priests who fail to practice what they preach.