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Hamlet Discussion Board 2018

Page history last edited by MsBoyd 1 year, 12 months ago

Greetings, AP Students! 


This seminar is an ONLINE discussion which will prepare us for an in-class discussion and help you prepare for the Hamlet end-of-unit test.  


Click here for your rubric. 


Note: Participation should not be limited to simply answering my questions. Instead, discussions should follow an ongoing process of reviewing and responding to classmates' and my comments in a dialogue fashion. Discussion postings should include application of the session's readings to the issues raised in the discussion prompt.


You’ll need to use your username and login in order to post below. 

Username: (usually your first name and last initial)

Password: (animalnumberfruit)


You should log into and participate in the discussion at least three separate times on three separate days. Your first posting must be your response to the discussion questions I pose, followed by at least two responses to your classmates' comments.


Here are your directions: 

  1. Your first posting is a response to the questions below. Your response should be thorough, detailed, and apply readings from this unit to support your response. You must post your first reply by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, December 12th.
  2.  Your second and third postings should be replies to your classmates' posts. Your replies should BEGIN BY ADDRESSING YOUR PEER by NAME and may do one or all of the following: 
    1. Pose a follow-up or related question
    2. Articulate and explain agreement or disagreement
    3. Bring up a related point
  3.   Your follow-up postings must be posted by 11:59 PM on Friday, December 14th. 
  4.  All sub-questions or comments on your initial response must be addressed by you before the discussion closes, by: 11:59 PM on Monday, December 17th. 
  5. You may post more than three times! 


Discussion Questions:

A.  Why is Hamlet included in the English Literary Canon? What reasons justify or call into question its place of honor in literary studies?

B.  What line(s) from Hamlet seem most significant? What is the significance of those lines? How do they connect with a theme of the play? 


Comments (Show all 330)

asiac said

at 5:39 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Maddie, a specific scene that comes to mind is Gertrude's account of Ophelia's death and the subsequent public reaction. The gravedigger states "How can that be, unless she drowned herself in her own defense? (5.1.6)" Accident or suicide? Who really knows? Shakespeare, I guess but he is long gone now, so its up to the reader to decide. In regards to the minor characters point, one of Hamlet's final request "And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain/ To tell my story. (5.2.383-384)" Hamlet tells Horatio, a minor character, is ordered to aid in the rebirth of Denmark.

asiac said

at 6:36 pm on Dec 17, 2018

I would say, I enjoyed the psychological view the most. Not necessarily for the diagnosis aspect, insane or sane. But, I thoroughly enjoyed applying different perspectives to Hamlet. Especially, since half of the claims and applications made were not on Shakespeare's radar when he wrote Hamlet. So, we as readers are able to make assumptions and create our own narrative.

asiac said

at 6:56 pm on Dec 17, 2018

I think it should be read because of Shakespeare's ability to artfully depict the human experience. I believe Shakespeare can be brought into the modern age through different teaching techniques. In addition, to current interpretations like Michael Almeyreda's Hamlet (not the greatest but hey its there) and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet (the better of the two in my opinion). Also, words will never die. They can always be looked at through new and more modern lenses.

asiac said

at 6:59 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Esmeralda, I totally see your point. Especially, if we examine how Shakespeare's characters portray emotion. I would say human expression of emotion can be very universal.

kavehm said

at 7:39 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Deonte, do you think that Marcellus saying "rotten" also foreshadows all of the deaths in end being caused by poison?

morganl said

at 7:40 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Agreed. Given his calculated nature, I think he felt like he couldn't do anything until he got his own mind figured out. Thanks for your feedback!

leylaa said

at 8:16 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi David, Shakespeare has written over 37 different literary works and they are studied by hundreds of schools. But I don’t think that we necessary study him too much because his work are so varied that we can learn something new from each literary work. Students should be familiar with his writing and especially his most famous works that we study in school.

davidc said

at 10:58 pm on Dec 17, 2018

I couldn't agree more

alexandera said

at 8:22 pm on Dec 17, 2018

I think if Hamlet was a feeble minded character he would not still be a prisoner in Denmark because he would be unable to realize the complexities that demonstrate the world around him is a prison

rubena said

at 8:26 pm on Dec 17, 2018

I think most notably the question he raises that makes me ponder is the scene where he asks "to be or not to be." The way it can display a different meaning allows the reader to take different approaches towards the play, which I think is what makes Shakespeare a notorious writer.

malloryb said

at 9:23 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Ruben! I completely agree with your comment about how Shakespeare's ambiguity makes him a fantastic writer. I enjoy the discussion behind possible meanings behind the "to be or not to be" soliloquy.

malloryb said

at 9:15 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Brenna! Thank you:) Hamlet would be so much nicer towards Ophelia and would feel less like everyone in the court is ganging up on him. He would most likely calm down.

dashaunf said

at 9:32 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Esmeralda, I appreciate your mutual understanding in regard to common dilemmas. In response to your question, the most important common dilemma that developed Hamlet into a sensible character is the struggle to overcome adversity, in which was portrayed through love. As Hamlet lost his father while also losing the love of his life, being Ophelia. These two events shaped the play, creating a world of chaos and corruption.

zacharyz said

at 9:36 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Alex, I do not think that Fortinbras quest for revenge parallels Laertes and Hamlet's. Fortinbras lost his father like Laertes and Hamlet but he takes a much more civil route in honoring his father. Laertes and Hamlet both seek revenge for those who wronged their father but Fortinbras decided to fight for and that his father aspired to own. He realizes that his father would be more proud to see his son live out his goals then to live a life constantly seeking revenge.

dashaunf said

at 9:40 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Hakim, thanks for the feedback. Hamlet is an extremely complex character who navigates a world of corruption, not everyone could sleep at night knowing that their father has been murdered by their uncle, who then wed their mother. Therefore, a battle with adversity is the most important as it influenced all of Hamlet's actions.

hakimc said

at 9:58 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Very well, I could consider putting myself in Hamlet's shoe, imagine what life would be like if I was Hamlet. After having imagined his life, if I was Hamlet, I would have gone through the same thing, battling with anxiety and depression, all because someone had killed a love one. I could definitely understand how important this dilemma is, which do relate to real life, which therefore, according to our argument, is the reason as to why Hamlet is included in the literary canon.

brookec said

at 9:41 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey, Ms. Boyd! I would say that of the main cast, Horatio is not a deceptive character. Horatio was a good friend to Hamlet and never looked to go behind his back or betray him. He was the epitome of a faithful friend as he was supportive of Hamlet's decisions and was really the only one who always stuck by Hamlet's side, and also did not hold any kind of vendetta against anyone. Thus, Horatio, unlike the other main characters, was not a victim of the bloody duel at the end of the play. I think it is also important to note that since Horatio was not, deceptive he did not fall a victim to deception as Gertrude, Claudius, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, and even Ophelia did.

anyal said

at 9:54 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Sophia,
Thanks for commenting on my post! I do think that students would miss an important lesson if teachers did not teach and give Shakespeare to read. From Hamlet, students learn many life lessons, the old English language it is written in, and most importantly can make major connections to their own lives.

brookec said

at 9:55 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Mannat, Great question! I believe Hamlet's death a result of his act of madness. Claudius saw Hamlet as a threat because of how he killed Polonius. Claudius was worried that Hamlet's madness would result in the harm of the kingdom but more importantly, he was worried that Hamlet posed a threat to him. Hamlet was ratted out multiple times, so of course of Claudius believed he was mad. Hamlet fell a victim to his own deception because Claudius used his madness and rash acts as a reason to have Laertes duel with him and (unknowingly) kill him.

brookec said

at 10:12 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Caitlin! I believe Shakespeare's way of writing is what sets him apart from others of his time. His plays can be enjoyed by almost anyone and everyone. He writes in a way that allows people to understand his works on a basic level, for entertainment, and also on a more complex level, to allow people to analyze for deeper meanings. His plays include drama, comedy, romance, and almost any other genre you could think of. Hamlet includes aspects of all these genres and can be enjoyed on a basic level and on a complex level. Hamlet is even said to be one of Shakespeare's greatest characters because he is so complex, that there are many interpretations of his character that could exist. All in all, I believe it is Shakespeare's style of writing that sets him apart from other writers of his time, and keeps him relevant today.

hibbaa said

at 10:14 pm on Dec 17, 2018

hello morgan! Thank you for clarifying

anyal said

at 10:15 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Thanks for your comment Andrew. Although this happens to be the most well known and common quote, I still think it is the most important.

anyal said

at 10:18 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Karlos, thanks for your comment. Another quote I think is very important in Hamlet would be "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" which is not very common. This was said by the Ghost to Hamlet, having him swear to avenge his murder which makes up basically the entire plot.

hibbaa said

at 10:19 pm on Dec 17, 2018

That though Shakespeare is no doubt influential, there are other more ethnic authors who are just influential, and that Shakespeare should not be required, emphasis on required, to be taught in high school, as most students study him throughout middle school and college. Despite this he is, as you said, influential, so he should be included in literary canon.

anyal said

at 10:20 pm on Dec 17, 2018

This quote was spoken when Hamlet was supposedly "going crazy" and was talking to Polonius. I am not saying that every scene and all the language can all be relatable but many of the major themes can connect to people's lives such as losing a loved one, heartbreak, hard decision making, and overall being in a bad position that could make someone extremely upset and even go crazy.

jacquelynf said

at 10:35 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Megan! Good question, I think that there have definitely been books written in today's time that may be easier for modern students to understand and relate to. However, I also think that some of the themes presented in "Hamlet" are relevant to some students' lives today such as love or loss.

rubena said

at 10:35 pm on Dec 17, 2018

I think as stated in my previous comment. The statement of "to b or not to be" is a strong one that resonates with many. It is essentially where one must ask themselves what is their purpose and why are they put on this Earth. Definitely I believe this represents immediate struggle.

jacquelynf said

at 10:38 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Naomi! I think that Shakespeare chose that to be Hamlet's first line in the play because it gives the reader a clue into what the rest of the plot will be about. The fact that Hamlet, even in just the first line, is giving his uncle/ step-dad attitude and acting bitter, shows the reader the type of behavior they should expect from Hamlet throughout the play.

davidc said

at 11:00 pm on Dec 17, 2018

After careful text examination i agree with you

davidc said

at 11:03 pm on Dec 17, 2018


oliviap said

at 11:13 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Molly! Thanks for your feedback! I completely agree that the fact that Hamlet is still relatable in modern society is one of the primary reasons for its inclusion in the literary canon. In my opinion, Shakespeare intended for the play to transcend generations because he utilized universal themes that will always be relevant (love, loss, mental illness etc.).

kamillaa said

at 11:17 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Ayana, that's an interesting question. If Hamlet killed himself in Act 3 then the entire purpose of the plot would change. After Act 3, there would no longer be a motivation for revenge that pushes the plot forward, and therefore all the death and tragedy that occurred because of Hamlet would never happen, the characters would just continue with their lives. Knowing the way Shakespeare must still end his plays with tragedy, the play would most likely end with Ophelia and Gertrude going mad and killing themselves over the death of Hamlet, which would leave the throne to King Claudius alone.

oliviap said

at 11:18 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hi Bailey! Thanks for your feedback! I definitely agree that Hamlets own mental instability contributed to his madness. While his madness may have initially been part of a plot to fool is family, as time progressed, I do believe that he became truly mad. He was so distraught about the loss of Ophelia and his father, and the marriage of his mother and uncle that his mental state deteriorated rapidly.

kamillaa said

at 11:26 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Sydney! I agree with you that there were better ways for Hamlet to handle the situation that would not have ended in so much bloodshed, but on the contrary I think that raises its place among literary canons because of the realistic portrayals of human flaws. Literary canons are meant to relate to the real world, and Hamlet represents the hateful and envious parts of human behavior, and although it does not teach the audience as much of a moral lesson, it does not negatively impact its place among literary canons.

kamillaa said

at 11:32 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Daniella, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are a perfect example as to how minor characters can push the plot forward. I believe that every action can cause a chain of reactions, so even the minor characters can impact the play in a major way. Another example would be Horatio. Although he had a few scenes within the play, he came to be a way for the plot to come to a conclusion because Hamlet's last few words as he lay dying were for Horatio to tell his story.

kamillaa said

at 11:39 pm on Dec 17, 2018

Hey Daniella! Thank you for your input! I can see where you feel the characters show love to an extent. I feel like that is due to the wide range of their relationships to each other. Gertrude of course will love Hamlet regardless because he is her son, while Ophelia loves him in a different sense. Also, the audience is able to see the love in Hamlet's relationship with Horatio, being that he is Hamlet's only true friend. However, Horatio could never love Hamlet in the same way that Gertrude or Ophelia do.

daylenr said

at 12:03 am on Dec 18, 2018

Hey Kelly, by definition, a crush is to have a brief but intense infatuation for someone (basically just loving the idea of them). While from experience, being in love (in terms of dating) means connecting with that person emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It also means you're willing to resolve issues that arise with that person in order to maintain the relationship that you guys are developing together. Hamlet shows evidence of having a "crush" by his infatuation for ophelia being brief and for him, building up to a hope for increased intimacy. As soon as he is rejected his feelings turn to resentment. These feelings before and after were both intense. One can rebuttal that he says he loved her at her funeral, however, throughout the story, we see Hamlet is indecisive and will sometimes say and do things he doesn't feel that strong about. For example, there were over 5 instances where he says he doesn't love ophelia in the play. How do we know which is true if he contradicts himself constantly?

daylenr said

at 12:05 am on Dec 18, 2018

By the definition of a crush (see my response above to kelly), crushes can be girlfriends/ex-girlfriends. So yes that would make her his ex but still a crush.

daylenr said

at 12:11 am on Dec 18, 2018

It was developed throughout the play through the main action scenes. An example of this is the mousetrap where claudius stands and leaves the play which gives hamlet verification that claudius did commit the murder. This also impacts hamlet because it's one of the first instances we see of him finally taking more action with less indecisiveness. So this not only develops the theme, but the character of Hamlet.

chasityp said

at 1:26 am on Dec 18, 2018

Hi, Caitlin, you mention that the murder of king Hamlet is the main thing that is considered rotten within the quote, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." What other things could be considered rotten?

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