FORMAT: 3-5 pages (min. 1500 word count), 1 margins, double-spaced, 10/12 pt. type; cover page if you wish. Use at least two outside sources (cited). MLA format preferred for any quotes (see syllabus). You must use one of the approved file types: pdf,txt,rtf,doc,docx – no Google docs, etc.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600)
In a brief essay, address one of the following prompts:
Discuss the concept and use of irony (reversal of expectations) as it occurs in the play: verbal, situational, and dramatic. Give at least three examples, whether from dialogue, action, or characterization.
Discuss how the play uses the medieval convention of the Revenge Play to develop complex characters who reflect a much truer image of human nature than the perfect heroes and heroines of such theatrical models. How does the contradiction & ambiguity of such characters reveal their humanity? Besides Hamlet, characters like Claudius, Laertes, and Gertrude would be good choices to consider. Again, give at least three examples, whether from dialogue, action, or characterization.
Consider how Aristotles notion of hamartia — the inherent flaw or weakness that destroys a tragic hero — drives the story. What is Hamlets flaw and in what ways (and what key scenes) does it manifest itself? As always, give at least three examples, whether from dialogue, action, or characterization.
NOTE: Whichever you choose, you must also include at least one good paragraph that discusses the cinematic methods and achievements of Franco Zeffirelli’s version, which we watched this term. As a filmed adaptation of a celebrated play, it takes liberties with the script but achieves impressive results. Detail and evaluate the most important that you notice (angles, lighting, staging, acting, etc.). And of course, consider the acting: Mel Gibson, Glen Close, Helen Bonham Carter, et al. Give at least three examples about the experience (content, direction, performance, and/or production).