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Have a suggestion to improve this page? To leave a general comment about our Web site, please click here Share this page with your network. Religious Elements in Shakespeare's Hamlet byPamela Ronson Objectives Introduction Teaching in a public school, with its sensitivity to the maintenance of relativism in thinking, can be a hindrance to an understanding of religious issues.
Yet in the areas of virtue, morality, or ethics, all acknowledged to play a role in the development of human character, religion may be found to be inextricably linked. One cannot stand in front of students and dance around it; religion is a force with which to contend, especially if Shakespeare is in the literary canon for the year.
Purpose If one is to teach the students about the most central influences in early English Literature, they need to understand the potency of religion within the English canon. In the beginning of the school year, we spend three weeks analyzing Oedipus the King, The Alchemist, and Hamlet, with regard to man's free will vs.
Then, the three-week unit on Religious Elements in Shakespeare's Hamlet is taught. After this unit, students will have a good understanding of the role that religion plays in society, historically and at present.
Finally, a serious engagement with the primary texts that comprise early English Literature will occur. Because students need not only to understand the importance of religion but also history, politics, and morality in literature, students need further exposure and further practice in identifying the role of religion, among other learning curves, in the following texts during a ten-week unit: Rationale Because Hamlet is peppered with religious allusions, it also encompasses the theme of the struggle between man's free will and man's pre-determined destiny.
Background To appreciate the unit in full, students will need to know the following background information: Hamlet Students need to have read the play, Hamlet1 the Folger Shakespeare Library edition is recommended for high school students at least once thoroughly, and have recognized as well the major themes of love, adultery, incest, death, madness, suicide, revenge, virtue, and sin, etc.
Please note that this unit can be modified to teach younger grades, ranging in the th grades. Modifications suitable for the teacher and students are encouraged and necessary. A synopsis of the play follows: The play begins by introducing the young prince of Denmark, Hamlet, whose father died one month ago and whose mother has decided to marry his Uncle Claudius, now King of Denmark.
Only until the appearance of a ghost resembling his father, the late King Hamlet, does Hamlet have a motive for animosity towards his uncle: The rest of the play lies in Hamlet's ability to believe this ghost to be trustworthy, and not diabolical, as he pretends to be mad while attempting completion of his ghost father's command.
A series of major catastrophes ensue: Hamlet rejects his former lover, Ophelia; Hamlet kills Ophelia's father, Polonius, on the premise that it was Claudius; Ophelia goes mad after the death of her father; Hamlet stages a play within a play to decide whether or not Claudius was to blame; Hamlet decides against killing Claudius while his uncle prays, but to do so instead at a future moment when he would surely die and go to hell; Ophelia's brother, Laertes, and Claudius plan a conspiracy against Hamlet; Laertes challenges Hamlet to a fencing match with Hamlet using the rapier poisoned by Claudius; Claudius poisons a cup of wine, in the event that Hamlet should win the swordfight; Gertrude accidently drinks the poisoned wine; Laertes accidently gets stabbed with the poisoned rapier; the dying Hamlet denounces Claudius to the public once Laertes reveals the truth; and Fortinbras's army comes to reclaim the throne of Denmark.
Religion Definition of Religion A common understanding of religion must be taught to the students before they begin the unit: The Importance of Religion Students need to assess why religion merits the attention it receives in daily life across the world. General discussion may ensue from an in-class informal discussion.Scene II.
Elsinore. A room of state in the Castle. Flourish. [Enter Claudius, King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes and his sister Ophelia. Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays.
William Shakespeare was the most prolific poet and dramatist the Western world has ever seen. After all, his words have survived for more than years. Shakespeare's plays and sonnets are some of the most quoted, and picking the top 10 famous Shakespeare quotes is no easy task.
Nov 12, · Entrenched in subtleties, by the end of the play I observed nuance and realism in the characters of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is leaps and bounds above some modern works churned out by Hollywood factories, urban fantasy novels.
Hamlet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
If extraterrestrials were to visit Planet Earth, we'd probably put a copy of Hamlet in their welcome basket. It's that good. Well over years after William Shakespeare wrote the play between and , readers and audiences are still connecting with it.