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Graded Assignment
ENG403A/404A: British and World Literature | Unit 9 | Lesson 11: Director’s Notes
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Date:
Graded Assignment
Give Director’s Notes
Reread Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy below; it is found in the play in Act 4, Scene 4. Then answer the questions on
this page and provide director’s notes that indicate how you would instruct an actor to speak and behave while
delivering this soliloquy.
Hamlet. … How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event—
A thought which, quartered, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward—I do not know
Why yet I live to say, “This thing's to do,”
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do 't. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honor's at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father killed, a mother stained,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
(2 points)
1. What emotions do you think Hamlet experiences over the course of this speech?
Score
Answer:
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Page 1 of 3
Graded Assignment
ENG403A/404A: British and World Literature | Unit 9 | Lesson 11: Director’s Notes
(2 points)
2. What conclusion does Hamlet reach, or what does Hamlet realize, over the course of this
speech?
Score
Answer:
(2 points)
3. How do you want the audience to feel about Hamlet and his situation after hearing this
speech?
Score
Answer:
(14 points)
4. Now use your answers to the questions above to help you formulate your director’s notes.
Remember to include details about tone of voice, volume, speaking pace, facial
expressions, gestures, body language, movements on stage, and emotions in your notes.
You may also need to define words and terms that your actor may not know. Write your
director’s notes in the space provided below.
Score
Answer:
Hamlet’s Fourth Soliloquy
Director’s Notes
Hamlet. … How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th’ event—
A thought which, quartered, hath but one part
wisdom
And ever three parts coward—I do not know
Why yet I live to say, “This thing’s to do,”
© 2009 K12 Inc. All rights reserved.
Copying or distributing without K12’s written consent is prohibited.
Page 2 of 3
Graded Assignment
ENG403A/404A: British and World Literature | Unit 9 | Lesson 11: Director’s Notes
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and
means
To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me.
Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an eggshell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honor’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That have a father killed, a mother stained,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep, while to my shame I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain? O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!
Your Score
© 2009 K12 Inc. All rights reserved.
Copying or distributing without K12’s written consent is prohibited.
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