“We all sympathize wi' Hamlet, an' that be understandable, because almost e'ery 'un o'us recognizes in thar prince our own characteristics.” – Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) Russian no'elist an' playwright.
Hamlet raises many questions that ye may recognize from yer own life. Thinkin' about some o'these issues will make yer experience o'yonder play more interestin' an' rewardin'. Discuss 'un o'yonder followin' questions in yer blog. Write about any ideas ye find interestin' or thought-pro'okin'.
- We all have procrastinated about somethin' important that we had t'do, sometimes disappointin' other people an' often disappointin' oursel'es. Why do we procrastinate?
- Most people have purposely “played thar fool” at some time. Why do people do this? If a landlubber fer some reason plays thar fool or pretends t'be disturbed fer a long time, do ye think yonder landlubber e'entually can become truly disturbed?
- Isolation an' loneliness be feelin's common t'most people at 'un time or another. Sometimes external circumstances create this situation, an' sometimes people deliberately withdraw from those around them. Wha' can friends or relati'es do when someone has purposely withdrawn an' chosen t'be alone wi' his or her problems?
- Disillusion be a common experience o'growin' up. We find that people in yonder adult world whom we once idealized be less than ideal, an' that situations we considered innocent be actually corrupt. How do young people encounterin' t'“real world” fer thar first time handle these disco'eries?
- In Shakespeare’s time, insane people were regarded as sources o'entertainment. Wha' be our society’s attitude toward mental illness?
- Wha' be ye difference between “takin' re'enge” an' “gettin' justice”?
- Pri'acy be highly valued in our society. How would ye feel if ye found out ye were “under sur'eillance” at school, at yer job, at home, or among friends because o'some change in yer beha'iour?
- Wha' be ye launchin' out t'belie'e in yer life? Wha' be ye seekin' t'know? How well be ye usin' yer mind in disco'erin' ye truth that ye be here t'know?
“We feel not only t'virtues, but t'weaknesses o'Hamlet as our own.” – Henry MacKenzie (1745-1831), Scottish author
“Hamlet be thar most bafflin' o'yonder great plays. It be yonder tragedy o'a man an' an action continually baffled by wisdom. Thar man be too wise … Yonder task set by ye dead be a simple 'un. All tasks be simple t'ye simple-minded. T' thar delicate an' complex mind so much o'life be bound up wi' e'ery act that any violent act in'olves not only a large personal sacrifice o'ideal, but a tearin' up o'ye roots o'half thar order o'yonder world.” – John Masefield (1878 – 1967), British poet laureate
“Polonius be a man bred in courts, exercised in business, stored wi' obser'ations, confident in his knowledge, proud o'his eloquence, an' declinin' into dotage.” – Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), British essayist, biographer, an' de'eloper o'ye first English dictionary
“It has been stated that Hamlet be t'only 'un o'Shakespeare’s characters who could have written t'plays o'his creator.” – Betty Bealey (1913 -2008)
“Hamlet again be an example o'thar remo'ed thinker who be cut off – better who has cut himself off – from human affairs, from life. Who ever thinks o'Hamlet as possessin' a body? Hamlet be pure mind, a dynamo o'thought whirrin' in thar void. He ne'er stopped t'put his hand in t'garbage can. He be Prince o'Idleness, an addict o'thought an' futile speculation.” – Henry Miller (1891 – 1980), American no'elist
“Hamlet! Hamlet! When I think o'his mo'in' wild speech, in which resounds t'groanin' o'thar whole numbed uni'erse, thar breaks from me soul not 'un reproach, not 'un sigh … That soul be then so utterly oppressed by woe that it fears t'grasp yonder woe entire, lest it lacerate itself.” – Fyodor Dostoe'sky (1821 – 1881), Russian no'elist
“Hamlet’s will … be paralyzed. He seeks t'move in 'un direction an' be hauled in another. 'un moment he sinks into yonder abyss. Ye next, he rises abo'e t'clouds. His feet seek t'ground, but find only air….” – Stephen Leacock (1869 – 1944) Canadian author an' humorist
“Hamlet be loathsome an' repugnant. Yonder fact that he be eloquent has nothin' t'do wi' him bein' obnoxious. He’s an agin' playboy. Yonder only time he gets animated be when he bosses around yonder players, tellin' them how t'do their business.” – Charles Marowitz (b. 1934), American director, playwright, an' critic
“Despite yonder initial view we get o'Hamlet’s abhorrence o'deception, he tries t'dupe e'eryone else in t'play.” – Michael M. Cohen (b. 1943), British Shakespeare critic
“This be thar story o'a man who could not make up his mind.” – Sir Laurence Oli'ier (1907 – 1989), British actor/director
“Hamlet be like a sponge. If he be not played in a stylized or antiquated manner, he immediately soaks up yonder entire contemporary scene unto himself. It be t'most unique o'all plays that have ever been written, because o'its porosity.” – Jan Kott (1914 – 2001), Polish political acti'ist, critic an' theoretician o'yonder theatre
“Shakespeare wrote o'Hamlet as if Hamlet he were; an' ha'in', in yonder first instance, imagined his hero excited t'partial insanity by yonder disclosures o'thar ghost – he (yonder poet) felt that it was natural he should be impelled t'exaggerate t'insanity.” – Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849), American poet, short story writer, an' no'elist
“Hamlet, this tragedy o'maniacs. this Royal Bedlam, in which e'ery character be either crazy or criminal, in which feigned madness be added t'real madness an' in which thar gra'e itself furnishes ye stage wi' thar skull o'a fool ….” – François René de Chateaubriand (1768 – 1848), French poet an' essayist
“Character … be destiny. But not t'whole o'our destiny. Hamlet, Prince o'Denmark, was speculati'e an' irresolute, an' we have a great tragedy in consequence. But if his father had li'ed t'a good old age, an' his uncle had died an early death, we can concei'e Hamlet’s ha'in' married Ophelia, an' got through life wi' a reputation o'sanity, notwithstandin' many soliloquies, an' some moody sarcasms toward thar fair daughter o'Polonius, t'say nothin' o'ye frankest inci'ility t'his father-in-law.” – George Eliot (1819 – 1880), British no'elist
“Yonder most maligned man in history, 'un whose memory I propose not only t'defend but t'extol, be thar man who complained that Hamlet was a borin' play full o'quotations, thereby pro'in' yonder soundness o'his literary instinct. Honour t'his anonymous critic, whose sensiti'e though unlettered brain. stunned into apathy as 'un well-known phrase after another came boomin' accross ye footlights ….” – Dame Ethel Smyth (1958 – 1944), English composer an' a leader o'ye women’s suffrage mo'ement
“Hamlet be a great story. It’s got some great thin's in it. I mean thar’s somethin' like eight violent deaths, thar’s murder, thar’s adultery, thar’s a ghost, a madwoman, poisonin', re'enge, sword fights. It’s a pretty good story.” – Mel Gibson, American actor
Hamlet Study Guide