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THE AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE CENTER STUDY GUIDE

Hamlet

TABLE OF CONTENTS

6 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Basics 19 21 31 35 38 48 54 60 70 79 85 86 87 89 92 97 99 102 103 104 105 107 109 110 112 113 115 119 122 125 128 Getting Them on Their Feet Line Assignments Choices Verse and Prose Handout #1 ­ Scansion Guidelines Paraphrasing R.O.A.D.S. to Rhetoric Handout #2 ­ R.O.A.D.S. Guidelines Elizabethan Classroom Asides and the Audience Handout #3 ­ Asides Diagram Teacher's Guide ­ Asides Diagram Staging Challenges: Darkness (1.1) Handout #4 ­ 1.1 of Hamlet Teacher's Guide (1.1) ShakesFear: 15 Questions Perspectives: Consciences (3.2) Handout #5 ­ An Apology for Actors Handout #6 ­ The Dumb Show Handout #7 ­ Claudius's Exit Teacher's Guide ­ Claudius's Exit Staging Challenges: Overheard (3.1) Handout #8 ­ 3.1 of Hamlet Teacher's Guide (3.1) Staging Challenges: To the View (5.2) Handout #9 ­ 5.2 of Hamlet Teacher's Guide (5.2) Rhetoric: Matter and Art (1.3, 2.1) Handout #10A-B ­ Polonius's Rhetoric Teacher's Guide (1.3, 2.1) Textual Variants (3.1) Inside This Guide Shakespeare Timeline Shakespeare's Staging Conditions Playgoer's Guide Stuff That Happens Director's Notes Who's Who Character Connections Discovery Space Questions

130 133 137 140 142 148 158 159 164 166 167 170 174 175

Handout #11A-B ­ Comparisons Teacher's Guide (3.1) Perspectives: Revenge (1.5, 3.4) Handout #12A-B ­ Plot Points Handout #13A-C ­ Scenes Teacher's Guide to Scenes Production Choices Handout #14 ­ Doubling Chart Handout #15 ­ Editing Guidelines Handout #16 ­ Line Count Worksheet Film in the Classroom SOL Guidelines Common Core State Standards Bibliography

THE BASICS

The Elizabethan Classroom Using the Stage Geography of the Space: The most basic tool your students need to have in order to understand how to use the space is the vocabulary of the stage's geography. Diagonals: When your students begin doing Shakespeare on their feet, they will probably stand in clumps, facing straight out towards the audience. Encourage them to think of different ways to stand -- to face their scene partners directly, even if it means turning their backs to part of the audience. The beauty of a thrust stage is that the audience can always see someone's face, and each actor is always clearly visible to at least part of the audience. Encourage your students to think of the stage as a grid, with horizontal and vertical lines. They should aim never to stand on the same horizontal or vertical line as another actor. This means that they will need, instead, to stand diagonally to one another -- what actors call "working the diagonals." The diagram on page 73 shows the most basic diagonals available -- from upstage right to downstage left, and upstage left to downstage right -- but the possibile stage pictures are nearly infinite. You could draw other diagonals from the doors to center or down-center, from the gallant stools to any location on stage, or even in a vertical dimension as well, from a point in the balcony to a point on stage. Embedded Stage Directions: If your students have read other plays, they may be used to seeing many explicit stage directions. In Shakespeare, however, most of the directions for action are implied rather than spelled out directly. The clues lie in the text: If one character tells another to rise up, that implies that the other character must have knelt or sat down at some point previously. A character who says, "I am hurt" has injured himself in some way, possibly in a fight. When Juliet tells Romeo, "You kiss by the book," this indicates that he has kissed her, probably immediately preceding the line. Based on these textual clues, actors have to determine where the actions take place and how long they last. Beware of brackets; if a modern editor has added, changed, or moved a stage direction, that direction will appear in brackets. If your students see a bracketed direction in their texts, ask them to question whether or not they think it is necessary or appropriate. They may also wish to examine the text of the play in other editions or in the Folio (available online) to see how else that direction might appear. For more on how modern editions may vary from early modern editions of the text, see Textual Variants (page 128). The text might also indicate the need for a prop, without explicitly stating that a character enters with one or receives one from another character. Potential for Audience Contact: You will explore this more thoroughly in Asides and Audience Contact (page 79), but for now, have your students notice what opportunities an early modern stage offers for audience contact. The students directly in front of the stage might be those in the pit, or in the galleries. Students sitting stage left or stage right could be the gallants, sitting on stools actually on the edge of the stage. How might it change an actor's choices to have the audience sitting so close? How does having gallants sitting on the stage affect things like fight choreography? Remember that early modern theatres also had tiered seating, so there would be audience members available for contact vertically as well as horizontally.

Embedded Directions ­ First 100 Lines 1.1 Enter Barnardo and Francisco, two sentinels. BARNARDO Who's there? FRANCISCO Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself. BARNARDO Long live the king! FRANCISCO Barnardo? BARNARDO He. FRANCISCO You come most carefully upon your hour. BARNARDO 'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco. FRANCISCO For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart. BARNARDO Have you had quiet guard? FRANCISCO Not a mouse stirring. BARNARDO Well, good night. If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste. Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS FRANCISCO I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there? HORATIO Friends to this ground.

The darkness also obscures the identities of Horatio and Marcellus. What noise could indicate their arrival? Barnardo keeps saying goodbye, and then keeps calling Francisco back. Why might this be? Notice how Shakespeare is building a mood of tension long before he reveals what has these guards so on-edge. Has Francisco come close enough to see Barnardo, or does he recognize his voice? This direction indicates that Barnardo cannot see who is on the stage with him ­ implying that it is dark. Make sure that your students are "acting darkness". See Staging Challenges, page 87, for more.

Evidently, Francisco cannot see Barnardo, either.

Does Barnardo recognize Francisco yet, or is he still wary? How should each actor's physical posture change to reflect recognition? Have your students think about the physical changes that communicate stress and suspicion versus comfort and relief.

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Francisco is cold. Ask your student actors to consider how they move and speak when they are extremely cold.

Francisco's line seems final. Try having him attempt to leave and then having to stop when Barnardo.

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STAGING CHALLENGES

Darkness While many modern productions rely on darkening the house and on using complex light boards to convey nighttime scenes to the audience, the King's Men played in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon or in the fully-candlelit Blackfriars Theatre. It was up to the actors, with the use of props like lanterns or torches, to indicate night or darkness, and their actions had to convey to the audience if characters on stage together could not see each other. This activity will lead your students through the process of discovering how Shakespeare indicates light or darkness, how actors may choose to represent either, and how those choices may affect the interpretation of the play. Activity: Give your students Handouts #4, 1.1 of Hamlet. Work through or revisit the scansion and paraphrasing of the scene (see pages 35 and 48). Once your students have worked through the language of their scenes, have them go through and decide if and when the characters can actually see each other. (You may wish to divide them into four groups and assign each group a character to focus on). Consider the following: o What, in the text, indicates that it is dark? Who says it? o How early in the scene is the setting indicated? o Is there any light, and if so, where it is coming from? Consider the possibilities of: moonlight, starlight, a far-off glow from castle windows, etc. o Does a character have a torch? How far would that torchlight extend? Note that there is no direct call for a torch in the text. This does not necessarily mean that no character bears one, and thus it is a choice that a production could make. However, consider the conditions that the characters are in: these sentinels are on the walls, looking out for any signs of movement of Fortinbras's troops. Bearing torches would betray their own presence, and while the light would help with short-distance vision, it could actually impair long-distance vision, blinding the sentinels to anything going on beyond the castle walls. Additionally, the "glow-in-the-dark" quality of the ghost is much more impressive if the characters are otherwise in total (imagined) darkness. Have your students discuss these conditions and make a decision for their staging. Have your students mark in the text who can see whom and when. Also have them take note of entrances and exits. o What might the delay between a character entering and another character acknowledging the entrance indicate about the visibility in the scene? o Are there any places a character clearly exits without the Folio providing an exit line? In that case, where might the exit most logically be placed? Have five students perform the scene, demonstrating what they discovered about whether or not characters can see each other. Use the Teacher's Guide on page 92 (along with any relevant notes from the Basics sections) to assist them. o Remind your non-acting students that the audience members are still a part of the play ­ at any moment, an actor may pick them out to play with them, and they may still be called upon to act as directors. FURTHER EXPLORATION: Cross-Curriculum Studies ­ Science/Biology Explore what happens to the human eye in darkness versus in light. How does the pupil adjust to accommodate darkness? What happens to the dilation of the pupil in a sudden switch from dark to light, or from light to dark?

PERSPECTIVES

Catching Consciences At the end of 2.2 of Hamlet, the Danish prince swears, "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." This statement sums up his plan to have the visiting Players present a story that will mirror what he suspects of Claudius: that Claudius murdered his brother, married his sister-in-law, and stole the crown from his nephew. Hamlet hopes, through this device, to determine Claudius's guilt or innocence, believing that a guilty man could not watch his shame paraded openly without. During the early modern period, debates raged about the value or the danger of the theatre. Puritans objected to men dressed as women, to public depictions of sin and vice, and to the loss of industry presented by shows which took place mid-afternoon on workdays. These objectors published tracts against the theatres, and theatrical patrons and professionals responded. Thomas Heywood's An Apology for Actors, written in 1612, is one of the most famous of the theatrical defensive essays. Heywood, himself a prolific playwright, argues that theatres have value for many reasons. He draws on the classics and on the strong tradition of theatre in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, points out all the educational benefits of plays, praises the English sovereigns and nobles who patronize the theatres, and provides many examples of the theatre inspiring people to good or provoking people to confess their crimes. He even attributes the heroic labors of Hercules and Henry V's conquest of France to the inspiration of theatrical spectacle. Handout #5 presents some selections from this treatise. One of the main focuses of the debate was on the theatre's influence on the audience. While anti-theatrical polemics claimed that the theatre encouraged vice and corruption, glorifying sex and violence, putting wicked ideas into innocent heads, the defenders of theatre argued exactly the opposite. Evil characters always fall. They may take the good down with them in a tragedy, but still, pride, wrath, and all the other sins receive their just punishment. So, too, they pointed out that the theatre presents many models of virtue and correct behavior, through the triumphs of heroes. They related tales, as Heywood does, of theatergoers confessing crimes or vowing to give up lives of sin after viewing particularly moving performances. Thus, the pro-theatre crowd argued, plays work for the common good, inspiring men to better themselves and warning against the dangers of vice. So, when Hamlet claims that he can use a play to reveal Claudius's treachery, Shakespeare's original audience may not have found the idea much of a stretch. In the following activities, your students will explore both the historical context and the theatrical presentation of this ploy. Activity 1: The Use of Art Give your students Handout #5 - An Apology for Actors. Discuss Heywood's assertions. What does he say are the benefits of producing and observing plays? o You may wish to assign this reading as homework and have students list 3-5 of Heywood's arguments about the benefits of theatre in their Promptbooks. What can Heywood's defense lead you to infer about the argument against theatre? What seem to be some of the objections Heywood is defending theatre against? Ask your students if they have heard similar arguments about modern media ­ whether about movies, television, video games, social networking, etc.

Activity 2: Staging the Dumb-Show The dumb show was a form used throughout medieval and early modern drama to convey information without dialogue. Many plays throughout the Elizabethan and Jacobean period included dumb shows, including Gorbaduc, The Duchess of Malfi, The Queen of Corinth, The Changeling, and Shakespeare's Pericles, though by the Caroline period, the device had fallen out of fashion and was used only in mockery. The pantomime could be a sort of prologue, as it is in The Mousetrap, or it could be a way to bridge gaps in the narrative.

Teacher's Guide ­ Claudius's Exit HAMLET Madam, how like you this play? QUEEN GERTRUDE The lady protests too much, methinks. HAMLET O, but she'll keep her word. KING CLAUDIUS Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't? HAMLET No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i' the world. KING CLAUDIUS What do you call the play? HAMLET The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name; his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: but what o' that? your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not: let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung. Enter LUCIANUS This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king.

One of the Players ­ the Poisoner. Probably "trope-ically," as in, by means of a trope or rhetorical figure, not "tropically," as in, from the tropics. Hamlet puns "trope" with "trap." Meaning, the plot of the play. What does this indicate about how much attention Claudius may or may not have been paying to the dumb show? Before you start, set up your stage-within-a-stage: Where are the Players? Where are the King and Queen seated? Where are Hamlet and Ophelia? Where are the other characters?

How might Claudius react to this?

Hamlet draws his metaphors from horses: How might this relate to the idea of the burdens which they may or may not bear? How can Hamlet make this metaphorical connection explicit for the audience?

OPHELIA You are as good as a chorus, my lord. HAMLET I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying. OPHELIA You are keen, my lord, you are keen. HAMLET It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge. OPHELIA Still better, and worse.

Hamlet has been making sexual jokes at Ophelia's expense throughout this scene. How patient is she by this point? How innocent? How comfortable or uncomfortable? How can Ophelia deliver this line? Amused? Exasperated? Can her delivery inform Hamlet's tone in the next few lines?

Who does Hamlet direct this to? Ophelia? The Players? Claudius and Gertrude?

RHETORIC AND FIGURES OF SPEECH

Matter and Art

Rhetoric [ret-er-ik], n. 1. The art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech. 2. The study of the effective use of language. 3. The ability to use language effectively.

Gertrude implores Polonius to use "more matter and less art" when speaking to her ­ an imploration that he leave off rhetorical niceties and just say what he means. Throughout Hamlet, Polonius is one of the wordier characters (coming in third in line count to Hamlet and Claudius, despite dying in the third act). His speeches may, at first glance, look dense or rambling, and it does generally take Polonius quite some time to come around to his point. Unpacking his language, however, can reveal nuances to his character and potential choices for an actor to make that could make Polonius more complex than the stock figure of the bumbling old man. In this activity, your students will explore Polonius's rhetorical art in 2 scenes, to determine how much his art reveals and how much it obfuscates. This examination will introduce them to two specific figures of speech: antithesis (an-TITH-e-sis) and epanorthosis (ep-a-NOR-tho-sis). Review the R.O.A.D.S. to Rhetoric (page 54). Give your students Handout #10A, Polonius's advice to Laertes in 1.3 of Hamlet. o Ask them to find as many examples as they can of the arrangement of contrast. o Introduce your students to antithesis: A device of Direction The arrangement of contrasting words or ideas nearby each other (often, though not always, in parallel structure). Examples: Brutus: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. ­ Julius Caesar o Brutus doubles up his contrast, placing "Caesar" in opposition to "Rome" as well as "less" in "opposition" to more. Again, the conjunctions signal the use of antithesis. First Witch: Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. / Second Witch: Not so happy, yet much happier. ­ Macbeth o The Witches, speaking here to Banquo, define his future only in relation to Macbeth's. This construction underscores Macbeth's eventual determination of Banquo as his enemy, as someone placed in direct opposition to himself. The antithesis here also amplifies the cryptic nature of their prophecy. Antithesis is one of Shakespeare's most common rhetorical devices. On stage, characters often describe their decision-making process for the audience whom they can see. Many soliloquies will make use of antithesis to demonstrate a character weighing one option against the other. Another use of antithesis is as a device of persuasion. In Julius Caesar, Brutus and Antony both use antithesis while addressing the plebeians. Contrast can be a powerful motivator, as an eloquent speaker can use it to make one alternative seem like the obvious and natural choice. Questions to Ask: What ideas is the character placing in opposition? What goal is the character trying to achieve by contrasting these ideas? How effective is the contrast? Is there anything inappropriate or discordant about it? Is the device being used to persuade? Is the character trying to persuade the on-stage audience or the in-theatre audience?

Teacher's Guide ­ Polonius's Rhetoric

Yet here, Laertes? aboard, aboard, for shame! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee! [And] these few precepts in thy memory ~~~~~ See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, --------------------------------------- Nor any unproportioned thought his act. ---------------------------------------- Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; ------------------------------------------- But do not dull thy palm with entertainment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware ------- Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. ---------------------------------------- Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; --------------------------------------------------- Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, ----------------------- ----------- But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; [For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are of a most select and generous chief in that]. ---------------------------------- Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, [And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry]. This above all: to [thine own]self be true, -------- And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell: my blessing season this in thee! A ­ explanatory clause A ­ redundantly emphatic D ­ antithesis (night-day) O ­ "follows" A ­ explanatory clause D ­ antithesis (borrower-lender) A ­ unnecessary conjunction S ­ noun used as verb D ­ antithesis (tongue-act) D ­ antithesis (familiar-vulgar) O ­ "Are you" O ­ "Get" R ­ "aboard" S ­ metaphor

S ­ metaphor D ­ antithesis (types of friends) S ­ metaphor D ­ antithesis (beware-bear't)

D ­ antithesis (ear-voice) D ­ antithesis (take-reserve, censure-judgment) D ­ antithesis (costly-fancy, rich-gaudy)

TEXTUAL VARIANTS

As a teacher, you are in possession of one of the best-kept secrets in the world of Shakespeare scholarship and education: There is no single, definitive, or universally accepted version of any of William Shakespeare's plays. The plays as they appear in your textbooks are the result of hundreds of years of influence from editors and printers. Long before publishing companies began editing and translating texts for the modern English readers, printers had to decipher hand-written cue scripts to approximate what appeared in the ever-changing performance scripts and on stage in performance. Needless to say, printers sometimes made errors, and their changes and translations mean that what we now know as Shakespeare actually covers of a lot of people's input. This means that before the production of the 1623 First Folio of William Shakespeare's plays, the earliest version of his complete works, two very different versions of Hamlet already existed in print. While Hamlet's longest version is the Second Quarto edition (1604), two other early-seventeenth century versions of Hamlet also exist. The play appears in the 1623 First Folio as well as in a considerably shorter First Quarto printing from 1603, which is roughly half the size of the Second Quarto, printed only a year later. Q1 became known as the "bad" quarto for its substantial deviations from Q2 and the Folio, which, conflated, represent the most commonly accepted version of Hamlet. Despite this bad reputation, Q1 has much to recommend it, both as a script for production and as a text for scholarship. Differences between the texts include scene order, character names (in Q1, Polonius appears as Corambis in the first quarto, while Ophelia is spelled Ofelia), and even the dialogue within the scenes. Exploring these differences can give your students a sense of agency and ownership over the text, allowing them to make decisions about which editorial choices will best serve the theatrical story. Activity #1: "Get thee to a nunnery" Staging the Text With this activity you can examine the differences in character with Ophelia and Hamlet. Your students may also analyze the emotional content of the scene while characterizing the relationship of the characters. This scene is a pivotal contrast point between the texts on the development of character and relationship. Your students will explore some of the language and performance differences between the leanest (1603 Q1) and the perhaps mostwell-known version of Hamlet (1623 Folio).

Present each student with a copy of Handout #11A, a selection of 3.2 of Hamlet. You may want to consider doing a read-around (see page 19) of the each version of the scenes together before getting the students up on their feet. If you are using this activity as a lesson warmup, we recommend that you get the language into their mouths within the comfort of a group before putting students up in a performance capacity. Have students draw lines connecting similar thoughts from the Q1 script to the F1 script, as shown in the Teacher's Guide. Then have them write down their three favorite differences between the texts for discussion. You may choose to discuss these differences before the activity or have them keep the differences in mind. Either ask for volunteers to play Hamlet and Ophelia or have character readers to "feed-in" for the two students physically acting out the scene (see page 19). This activity is about the language the characters use, so make sure your actors will be comfortable enough to bring across the meaning. When the students are up on their feet: Have your actors work through the Q1 version of the scene. Ask them to be mindful of Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship, as in this iteration of the text Hamlet simply says "I never loved you," as opposed to his shifting build-up to dismissal in the Folio. Discuss, taking care to document your conclusions: What kind of relationship did they have if what Hamlet is saying here can be taken at face value? Is Hamlet lying to her? Why does Hamlet bring up Ophelia's father? How far into each of the scenes does that happen? Then, work through the Folio version of the scene. Your previous discussion will likely color this reading, and that is fine.

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