Shakespeare’s Writing Style and Hamlet Information

line group of words on a page
foot single unit of stressed and unstressed syllables
iamb stress is on the 2nd syllable
meter number of poetic feet in a line
pentameter 5 feet 10 total syllables
iambic pentameter line containing 5 iambic feet
feminine ending a line of an iambic pentameter with an eleventh unstressed syllable
Shakespeare’s dramatic writing style blank verse and prose
blank verse poetry that has a regular meter but no rhymewritten in iambic pentameter
prose writing with no consistent meter
characters that speak in prose heightened emotional statemurderersschemingmadlower social or educational statusdrunktalking with one of the abovepretending to be one of the above
monologue speech to others on stage
soliloquy speech that no other characters hear
aside said directly to audience
tragedy a causally related series of events in the life of a person of significanceusually ends in a catastrophe
tone of a tragedy serious
purpose of tragedy arouse pity and fear in audience then produce catharsis (purging of emotions), tying and untying of a knot
exposition in a tragedy Act 1, usual stuff, called protasis
inciting moment in a tragedy end of Act 1, called exciting force
rising action in a tragedy Act 2, complicates the central conflict, called the complication
climax in a tragedy middle of Act 3, leads to catastrophe, called epistasis
tragic force event that sets falling action into motion, closely tied to climax, called catastasis
falling action in a tragedy Act 4, leads story from climax to catastrophe, provides relief scenes, includes final moment of suspense
resolution in a tragedy Act 5, presents catastrophe, protagonist usually dies
purpose of the resolution serves as a logical conformity to the direction of the plot serves as a final presentation of the nobility of the protagonist
characteristics of an Elizabethan play ghost tells hero to seek vengeancehero becomes disguisedfemale character goes mad from griefbad guy that does stuff for powerdelay in hero’s revengedeath of hero
themes and motifs in Hamlet relationship between appearance and realityrelationship between grief and tragedyexistence and influence of the supernatural
King Hamlet former king of Denmarkdeadappears in play as ghostfather of Hamlet, husband of Gertrude
King Claudius current king of Denmarkbrother of late King Hamletmarried Gertrude shortly after death of King Hamlet
Queen Gertrude was married to King Hamletmarried Claudius after death of King Hamletmother of Hamlet
Hamlet prince of Denmarkson of King Hamlet and Gertrude
King Fortinbras former king of Norwaydeaddefeated by King Hamlet of Denmark in battle, lost land
King Norway current king of Norwaybrother of late King Fortinbrassick in bed, not aware of what is happening in his kingdom
Fortinbras prince of Norwayson of King Fortinbrasraising an army to attack and get back land