Hamlet (Act Two): allusion to the Aeneid

Today, you’re going to be comparing a passage from the Roman epic, the Aeneid to a passage from Act Two of Hamlet, using an AP-style prompt as a lens for reading.

The purpose of this lesson is to understand how studying the origins of allusions can lead to a richer, more complex analysis of the text.

Don’t forget to read and annotate act three of your chosen Shakespeare play for Monday!

Hamlet (Act Three): Ophelia/Hamlet Relationship

Hi folks! Today, we’re going to study character relationships, specifically the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia.

First, I’ll give you a quick recap of Act Two.

Next, we’re going to watch this brief clip of Hamlet saying his famous, “To Be or Nor To Be” soliloquy. Watch and consider what frame of mind he seems to be in.

Next, you’ll read and annotate the passage immediately following this soliloquy. It’s a scene between Hamlet and Ophelia.

Don’t forget to read and annotate Act Two for tomorrow!

Hamlet Discussion Wrap-up

Today, we are wrapping up our discussion of Hamlet by completing the following activities:

In groups, you will each be assigned an act.  On a white board, write down motifs (remember, a motif is a symbol that is recurring).

We will also be discussing how Fortinbras and Laertes can serve as foils (a character who contrasts with another character – typically the protagonist – in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character) for Hamlet.

Finally, let’s discuss the following essential questions for this unit:

How does the dramatic context shape our understanding of the piece?  

How does the playwright create meaning through dramatic devices?

How does Hamlet represent the tragic hero?

Be prepared to write in a timed format tomorrow over the Hamlet passage you chose.