First Act of Hamlet
After you have read Act I and the article, list one example from Act I for each of the language patterns noted below. Also, provide answers for the questions included below.
Syntax and Language
unusual word arrangement
stichomythia: A line-for-line, verbal fencing match, used by the principal characters who retort sharply to each other, echoing their opponent’s words and figures of speech. It is a play on words.
What do you make of the fact that Hamlet’s mother uses “thou”, a familiar form of usage which she would use with her son and Hamlet’s formal use of “you” when he would usually address her with the familiar form, “thou”? Does this tell the reader anything about the relationship between them at the moment?
What other images and language devices has Shakespeare used here to show the conflict between Hamlet and Gertrude? (Act 1 Scene 2)
Part B: Giving Advice
In Act 1 Scene 3, much advice is given. Laertes provides brotherly advice to Ophelia regarding Hamlet’s affections, while Polonius gives fatherly advice to Laertes upon his return to school in France. Polonius then echoes Laertes’s advice to Ophelia regarding Hamlet. Analyze each piece of advice as follows:
In one well-focused paragraph, explain the advice Laertes gives Ophelia regarding Hamlet’s affections. What does he counsel her against Hamlet?
In one well-developed paragraph, contrast the advice given to Ophelia by Polonius and Laertes. Each counsels Ophelia against a relationship with Hamlet, but utilizes a different approach, citing different examples of why the relationship should not go forward. Explain.
In one well-focused paragraph, compare the advice of your parent or guardian to that of Polonius’s advice to Laertes.