“Hamlet is a name; his speeches and sayings but the idle coinage of the poet’s brain. What then, are they not real? They are as real as our own thoughts. Their reality is in the reader’s mind. It is we who are Hamlet.” – William Hazlitt (1817)
Write an essay about what Hamlet (the play and/or the character) has to say about who we are, about the human condition.
Try the online essay planner for Hamlet at shmoop.com.
Synthesize arguments from the notes and discussions topics from our own classes (any topic/concept/question/conundrum from Apollonian to Xenophobia).
… not selfishly–or not always selfishly, we are in search of our identity, the identity of our human condition.
- Malcolm Ross & John Stevens
The most profound discovery that we can make is our discovery of self. Our identity rests in the kind of people we are. To understand who we are and to develop fully as human beings, we must explore the nature of our humanness and the purpose of our lives. Who and what are we? What are the common human qualities and ideals we hold? What roles do other people (e.g., friends, family) play in our lives? What brings us joy, inspiration, and fulfillment? What doubts and fears do we have? By examining our lives and searching for answers to these and other questions, we can find meaning and fulfillment as human beings.
The life which is unexamined is not worth living.
Critical Response Rubric