Research Essay and Process: Your Research Essay will be on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You will also be required to watch at least one film version of the play available on video or DVD. I will provide information on the various available versions later. Your essay will present a research-based argument about the play with regard to one or more film interpretations of the play. Research, therefore, will be into the play itself and film criticism as well. The particular focus or strategy of development will be your choice. The essay should be argumentative, with at least four sources drawn from both print and electronic materials. Use academically respectible sources, or, in the case of film reviews, sources originally published in print -- not Wikipedia, Sparknotes, or other such materials. Check with me if you are not sure whether or not a source is appropriate. Minimum length should be 1,800 words (approx. six pages). You should follow MLA documentation style
This is the my paper that my professor has corrected and made comments on what he expected.
November 29, 2008
Hamlets Emotional State
Emotions **word form** is a moving of the mind or soul, excitement of the feelings, whether pleasing or painful, disturbance or agitation of mind caused by a specific exciting caused and manifested by some sensible effect on the body. **source? Since it’s your argument, work toward an operative definition: one that is your own sense of the meaning of the word, particularly as it will apply to a work of drama, or to Hamlet**
Hamlet shows different emotions: depression, melancholy disillusionment
, and disconnectedness as he attempts to come to par with his father’s death and his mother incestuous, illicit marriage. The unfortunate circumstances that confronted Hamlet had let him through various emotional states although he never went so far over the edge as not to come back to reality. Hamlet who **cut; this subordinates the clause that follows, without a main clause** plays the part of Renaissance man who has never come in contact with the dark side of humanity.
According to Theo Lidz in the beginning of Act 1 scene I the guard dialog reflect that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark. It is full of corruption, deceit passion, ruthlessness, and ambition that hamlet is not used to (Lidz 70). Knowing that his mother is at the center of the situation it is hard for his mind to handle the situation, **comma splice** he has try to find meaning, direction and a stable identity in the midst of all evil about him (Lidz 74). **Try to contextualize the Lidz material more effectively. I can’t se what central topic you are developing here.**
Hamlet is quite upset by his mother’s quite hasty marriage to his uncle, wish causes some deep emotional problems for him.
Russel Leavenworth assumes that hamlet suffered **use present tense for plot reference** from Oediplus complex. Freud described this as a desire for a young boy to kill his father and become sexually involved with his mother. Hamlet believes he will be the number one person receiving affection from his mother
**set this automatically** Gladden 2
Queen Gertrude knowing that his father is eliminated, but to his great disappointment his mother
has remarried and he will not be the number one person to receive his mother’s affection (Leavenworth 85). **work in each paragraph on emphasizing the emotional focus; don’t leave it to the read to make the connections. It is almost her, but not quite: frame the paragraphs so that they clearly support what should be a more emphatic assertion about Hamlet’s emotional life at the start of the essay**
He felt that his mother has betrayed him by marrying in great haste. This anger built up inside Hamlet and by lashing out at his mother **comma** whom he really loves, he expect her to cradle him and take care of his needs, **comma splice; language marks stop here – be sure to proofread, and perhaps work with a tutor** he also needed the comfort of a loving mother because he had return home to find his father dead and the world he thought was so perfect is collapsing around him and to make him feel safe and out of harms way was his mother. He becomes disillusioned and hostile toward his mother and had become suspicious that Gertrude might have been in the plot to kill his father (Charlton 77). **frame this so that we know where Charlton’s observations begin; use tag lines**
Both Ophelia and Hamlet displayed "melancholia" during certain parts of the play. Ophelia was likewise in love Hamlet, but she was warned by Polinous, her father that Hamlet might just very well take her virginity and marry another. Hamlet and Ophelia share a common bond of both of them losing their father and both die because there is nothing left for them but to desire death as an escape from an existence that has become intolerable (Charlton, 109). "In (II, i, 78-83) we see how Hamlet reacts to the events in act I. He scared Ophelia, even thought we are aware that Hamlet has planned to appear insane, it seems strange that by entering Ophelia's room in such an untidy condition. This may be because of the way Ophelia offended Hamlet, by repelling his letters and denying him access to her." (Lidz, 46). Ophelia's "repelling" of Hamlet causes him to become depressed and even more confused. This may be why in his letter to her (II, ii, 119-123) might mean that he will commit suicide unless Ophelia takes him back (Lidz, **no comma in the parenthetical** 85). Because Hamlet lost the only person he still truly loves he becomes even more enraged and antic, when she repels him again, after her father's accidental murder. If Hamlet were not antic after he killed Polinus he might have begged Ophelia's forgiveness. Hamlet loses Ophelia when he kills
her father and thus he become more enraged with himself and he became even more determined to avenge his father's death. **I see the focus, but emphasize it more effectively; you start with their shared melancholia, but that shifts as the paragraph moves along. Clarify the main topic here. Then, the paragraph below will fit in better**
The melancholy, grief, and madness that Hamlet suffers from may well have been the propelling force for all of his unfortunate action in Shakespeare's play. It is worth allowing that the first of the two are real; his melancholy and grief are not counterfeit. Ophelia is the more tragic of the two because her madness is not feigned. Furthermore, it is caused by the very love of her life is even more disastrous for her poor young life. They are each malcontents with no real happiness made available to them given their unfortunate circumstances.
Hamlet vent anger with Claudis, because he already had words with his mother. He is looking to solve the problems of the kingdom and thus the problems within himself (his
depression). The on/off antic disposition is shown again; stress builds up then vents.
Besides Hamlet's venting of anger, in which he was clearly mad, he did have the rest of the character convinced that he was mad, even though Hamlet was feign madness most of the time.**Here, too, clarify with better emphasis that you are examining Hamlet’s anger; and why that should come at this point in the essay (Relate it to the emotional range, in other words)
In Hamlet's Enemy: Madness and Myth in Hamlet,**title format** Lidz has a very interesting opinion of what Hamlet means when he states to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, "I am not mad north-north west; when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw (I, ii). This could come to mean
"Don't worry, I'm not so mad that I don't know one tool from another, as well as one bird from another, and I'm bright enough to confuse you with this remark". Along the same lines Lidz translated it as "I know who the hunter is (hawk; Claudius) and who the hunted is (heron, Hamlet)." Along the same lines of Hamlet being aware that his life is in danger he replies to Polonius, "You cannot sir, take away from me anything that I will more willingly part withal; except my life, except my life, except my life (I,ii,212-214). This tells us that Hamlet is in a precarious state, despite his wits (Lidz, 234). Extend this into your own study a bit more**
Throughout the play Hamlet uses word play inorder to "act" insane. His faked insanity serves as a sort of cover for his plot of revenge against the man that killed his father. Most of the time when Hamlet seems to be acting mad, he is using the freedom afforded to him by his supposed madness, to "mess" with Polinus and Claudius by displaying his wit in playing with words and phrases. One example of Hamlet's word play is "Pol. What do you read my lord? Ham. words, words. Pol. What is the matter my lord? Ham. Between who? Pol I mean the matter that you read." **This might be less confusing if you present as a long quotation – indented, with the original line breaks** Then Hamlet goes on to describe a book about a gray old man that is, basically, an imbecile; which I can only come to conclude, refers to Polonius. The great thing about Hamlet's words are that they are witty enough to fool Polinus, but to the audience Polinus appears to be a fool. It is a way of Hamlet saying that he is in control, and shows without a doubt that Hamlet had his wits about him.
Hamlet is cunning enough to "test" Claudius, to see if what the ghost told him was the truth; "The play's the thing/ Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King(I, ii,580-581) (Lidz, 150). These are not the actions of an insane person, they are those of an intelligent and cunning one, who is unsure and of his future and the further of his mother and the kingdom. On the issue of Hamlet's uncertainty, it is evident that he is extremely unsure, this is apparent in his "to be or not to be" Soliloquy. He questions himself, should he try to clear the court of corruption or just give up and end his life now. It is this doubt that drives Hamlet to act deranged at times, but he overcomes it, and tries to answer all the difficult questions posed in his life. As I stated before, pressure builds up for Hamlet, then he must find some way to release it," in act V, because when calm returns, Hamlet repents his behavior." (V, ii, 75-78) (Lidz, 164).
In Lidz's book Freud is quoted as saying, "that if anyone holds and expresses to others an opinion of himself such as this ("Use every man after his desert, and who shall escape whipping?"), he is ill, whether he is being more or less unfair to himself." I am using this quote to
ambiguous person, and evidence for both sides of the argument can be made for either the side that he was crazy or that he was sane; it is just up to interpretation. **looks potentially interesting, but I don’t see what you are trying to connect to; clarify the link between Freud’s idea and what you se in Hamlet’s situation**
Curious circumstances revolve around why Hamlet procrastinated in the killing of Claudius. On his way to see his mother Hamlet sees Claudius praying and decides not to kill him. It clearly shows that Hamlet was not kept from gaining vengeance through lack of opportunity. In fact that act is one of self damnation, which eventually ends five lives in the court. It states in the play
that Hamlet did not kill Claudius, because if he killed him while he was praying, Claudius would go to heaven. This would seem to people in modern times that there was a deeper reason, which there is a definite probability there is one, but we must remember that people in Elizabethan times truly believe in heaven and hell; and if Claudius had purged his soul by prayer, but he did not and
Hamlet lost his chance (Weston, 181). **Does this relate, somehow, to Hamlet’s anger…?**
We also must remember that Hamlet had other things on his mind at the same time, more importantly, his mother. He is not so obsessed with his father's murder that he must hasten to revenge (Lidz, 235). He believes (more likely made himself believe) that he can kill his uncle and get the throne at anytime, but more importantly his mother's obliquity will remain with him (Lidz,
Hamlet checked on revenge also brings us back to why the events that unfolded while he was away at college shattered his dreams so violently. I think that he would consider himself a very idealistic person, an almost Renaissance man. Killing his uncle in cold blood would then require him to become a person that he is not. Cooleridge states in Interpreting Hamlet "Hamlet is placed in circumstances, under which he is obliged to act on the spur of a moment. Hamlet is brave and careless of death; but he vacillates from sensibility, and procrastinates from thought, and loses the power of action in the energy of resolve." Being a Renaissance Man or thinking man of wide and
keen intellectual powers, but feeble will. I believe (and think Cooleridge is trying to purvey) that Hamlet's will power is suffocated by reflection.
"Hamlet is too complex for this simplistic a blood letting, he needs justice." The question we have to ask ourselves now is if Hamlet was aware that he must leave off considering all sides of the question if he is to act. Hamlet's Oedipal complex in relation to killing Claudius. This is because of Hamlet's behavior in the "closet scene" he cannot kill the man who has only done what he himself had wished to do. Hamlet identifies with Claudius and has to punish himself for his guilty wishes rather than take vengeance on his uncle, this is why he can only kill Claudius when he himself is dying and has been punished (Lidz, 122).
Hamlet has high hopes and dreams, but he sees them killed, along with his father. The court is crumbling and extremely corrupt and worst of all his beloved mother is at the center of it. This wreaks havoc with his mind, as it would any human being. Losing his mother, and also only other person he loves, Ophelia. He is then faced with the task of avenging the murder of his father, by killing his uncle; but it is not that simple because his uncle is doing the same exact thing that he himself wants to do. These unfortunate circumstances cause Hamlet to develop strong, emotions of despair, sadness, anger, and inner peace. With further insight upon the burdens of his life, we see that strong emotions are well justified, no matter how extreme they may seem.
**auto page break; the below is a “Works Cited” – check ML**
** Overall, I think the main need for e revision is to re-block each paragraph more effectively as developing a specific topic point clearly connected to a more assertive main argument about Hamlet’s emotions. Make it so that the reader can glance through and within seconds clearly see the outline of your essay: what emotional definition at what point you are defining, illustrating, and connecting to the next point – within a clear, focused, overall direction. What is the climactic point to make – which emotional term is most important to our understanding of Hamlet’s character, situation, tragedy, weakness, etc.?**
Babcock, Weston. A Tragedy of Errors Purdue Research Foundation 1961.
Charlton, Lewis. The Genesis of Hamlet Kenniket Press, Port Washington, NY 1907.
Leavenworth, Russel E. Interpreting Hamlet: Materials for analysis Chandler Publishing CO,
San Francisco 1960.
Lidz, Theo. Hamlet's Enemy: Madness and Myth in Hamlet" Basic Books, Inc. NY 1975.
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