Hamlet Act III Essay Review

painting/masks What new motif does Shakespeare introduce in the opening act?
facade –> appearance vs. Reality theme What other motif and what theme are developed by this new imagery?
– P tells O to read a book while Hamlet comes to her to “color” her loneliness – to help her hide her true feelings for H.- C – talks of “the harlot’s cheek, beautied w/plastering art”-is still ugly (sinful) underneath her make-up-it isn’t effective at hiding her truth. He compares that to his own cover-up of his sin. His words/actions are ineffective at hiding his truth.- H tells O he has “heard of her paintings”, “God has given [you] one face & [you] make [yourself] another.” Plural pronouns here may be referring to O+P or to all women… To reinforce this new motif, Shakespeare has Polonius, Claudius, and Hamlet comment on this subject. What do they have to say? Polonius’ comments come while he gives Ophelia directions on how to appear more natural prior to the eavesdropping episode; Claudius’ insight comes in an aside, and Hamlet’s lines occur during his criticism of Ophelia when she receives her sentence to the nunnery.
disease – talking to Gertrude – take off the rose & leave a blister-Claudius is a mildewed ear- compost on weeds to make them ranker- “My offense is rank, it smells to heaven- Hell itself breathes out contagion- Words like daggers Shakespeare inundated this Act with the imagery of disease and violence. Give three good references to prove this premise.
-rose against thorns Epitome of perfection – ideal/perfect prince (social, military, scholar, artist, courtier)- Observed of all observers- Glass of fashion- Mold of form In her soliloquy, Ophelia shows us a picture of the Hamlet she used to know. What kind of portrait does she paint and what is the purpose of Ophelia’s remembrance of the former Hamlet? While quoting exact lines isn’t a must here, references to words and images are necessary details.
– if you can’t play a simple recorder & force it to “sing” how will you “play” me & force me to talk?- anger at disloyality When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern try to get answers from Hamlet yet another time, Hamlet angrily reprimands them. With the extended metaphor of the recorder, what is Hamlet trying to say to and about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?
Tale of Aeneas (foreshadowing hesitation) – Pyrrhus pauses before killing Priam(distraction takes place when Hamlet is afraid of sending Claudius right to heaven.) What earlier triple play technique foreshadowing Hamlet’s distraction resulting in stay of execution for Claudius?
He tells Ophelia that “those who are married already – all but one – shall live.” Claudius overhears & is “the one”- Also, Hamlet is too obvious in his set-up of the play While criticizing Ophelia in the lobby, how does Hamlet blow his detective’s cover?
royalty = God ordainedOrder = Safety of KingSubjects lives depend on the king.Ironic because the kingdom is already in chaos because of Claudius’ treachery In their opening speeches of Act III, scene iii, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern explain why they have agreed to spy on Hamlet, “We ourselves provide:/ Most holy and religious fear it is/To keep those many bodies safe/That feed upon your majesty.” On what two concepts are they basing their actions and thereby excusing their spying and deception? Given the behavior of Claudius, why are these lines about kings ironic?
He is unconcerned – indifferent, callous – w/o conscienceSarcastic – says he repents, but it lacks sincerityImpulsive Delivered in ironic understatement, “Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger” is Hamlet’s comment after he has killed Polonius. Affected by all the corruption in his world, Hamlet seems to be changing. What do you think of this “new” Hamlet?
Ambition, Crown, Queen; Relates to the primal eldest curse when Cain killed Abel because Abel had God’s favor, Cain jealous & killed him. Same as Hamlet and Claudius. Hamlet had favor, was God ordained, Claudius jealous & killed. For what three reasons did Claudius commit his “rank offense, the primal eldest curse?”
Not in armor but “in his habit as he lived.”Expressing changing moods – loving – completes family circle – Not at war w/his family (husband & father) not warrior – Previous appeared to soldiers on watch When the ghost appears in scene iv, how is he different from his initial appearance in the play? What might be the significance of this change?
(1) She has betrayed him(2) He is a hallucination brought on by excitement or strong emotion(3) He chose not to reveal himself to her (No trust) For what three possible reasons did Gertrude not see the ghost?
“Confess yourself to heaven; repent what is past, avoid what is to come.”- abstain from going to Claudius’ bed; keep secret what has occurred (Polonius’ death), Do not tell Claudius his madness is a facade. What appeal does Hamlet make to his mother to reform? What additional plea does he make?
Others: Philosophical, pondering the meaning of lifeTo be or not to be: Suicide and death (afterlife – his desire to die and avoid responsibility – his mandate to kill C). It’s gloomy, melancholy, reflective, philosophical (more descriptive), objective. Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be” differs significantly from his others so far delivered; for example, this one is much more philosophical. Consider the soliloquy carefully. What issues does it raise that are of universal interest? What parts apply chiefly to Hamlet’s particular circumstances? How does the mood of this one differ from the mood of the previous soliloquies?

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