Hamlet themes and Unit 3 essential questions

AP Literature and Composition
November 23, 2015
Turn in Homework: Exam item analysis
TPCASTTs and Poetry
questions on imagery
Hamlet introductory power point ~ note taking
Hamlet themes and Unit 3 essential questions
Thematic Ideas Hamlet
• Revenge: Hamlet searches continuously for the answer to the question of whether
or not he should avenge his father’s death. His concern with right and wrong in
religious, moral, and political terms causes him much inner turmoil.
• Appearance vs. Reality: The play contains many situations in which the surface
appearance of things does not always match reality. Hamlet struggles to determine
who his true friends are; the players in the acting troupe assume new identities;
Claudius appears to be a true and just king and Gertrude his virtuous queen.
• Sanity vs. Insanity: In many ways this conflict is intertwined with the theme of
appearance vs. reality. Hamlet’s sanity or insanity has baffled critics for years. Even the
characters in the play discuss inconsistencies in Hamlet’s behavior, sometimes
assuming he is really insane, at other times amazed by his clarity of thought.
• Decay and Corruption: Among the most powerful images of the play are those
which reveal disintegrating situations, especially in personal terms for Prince Hamlet.
Also, Shakespeare considered evil to be a disease that spreads. Notice how even the
natural world is affected by the sins in the play.
Essential Questions Unit 3
• What literary devices or techniques do writers
use to develop complex meanings of subjects
discussed in literature?
• How does Shakespeare use literary
techniques/devices to create a true
representation of a human being?
• Is loyalty to myself, and my own values, more
important than loyalty to a friend?
• Can one (apparently) have all the right
information and make the wrong decisions?