Class Agenda #85 – “Hamlet” – Act 1.2 II

Class Agenda #85- Hamlet Act 1.2 II

Homework Check- Charles will come around and check. Just show him.

Get Out: Your Notebook, Copy Of Hamlet

Opening Reading-


    Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory be green, and that it us befitted

    To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe,

    Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
    That we with wisest sorrow think on him
    Together with remembrance of ourselves. Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
    Th’ imperial jointress to this warlike state,
    Have we (as ’twere with a defeated joy,
    With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
    With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole)
    Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barred
    Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
    Now follows that you know. Young Fortinbras, Holding a weak supposal of our worth
    Or thinking by our late dear brother’s death
    Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, Colleaguèd with this dream of his advantage,
    He hath not failed to pester us with message Importing the surrender of those lands
    Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
    To our most valiant brother—so much for him. Now for ourself and for this time of meeting.
    Thus much the business is: we have here writ
    To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,
    Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears

    Of this his nephew’s purpose, to suppress
    His further gait herein, in that the levies,
    The lists, and full proportions are all made
    Out of his subject; and we here dispatch
    You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand, For bearers of this greeting to old Norway, Giving to you no further personal power
    To business with the King more than the scope Of these dilated articles allow.


    Translate the FIRST 4 LINES of King Claudius’s monologue into language that you’re more comfortable with.

    After you translate, summarize the gist of what the king is saying.

#889- “How Long Do I Have To Wait For You? ” Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings (4:04  —  2005)



    I Can Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    • Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., conceive, conception, conceivable).
    • Consult general or specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, its etymology, or its standard usage.


    Student learning will be assessed via a Quick Write at the end of the lesson. Students answer the following prompt, citing textual evidence to support analysis and inferences drawn from the text.

     How do specific word choices in Claudius’s monologue impact the development of Hamlet’s character?



Part II- Mini-Lesson- 

Breaking down Shakespearean Language.

1. Get into the right mindset. Feel the mood of the play. Never assume that this is too difficult for you anyway. Going through the text step by step will enable you to understand it.

2. Think about the Performance. When we see the performance, they’re just people (meaning they’re doing things and saying things.)

3. Get used to the old-fashioned language. Whenever you hear the word “thou,” thy” or “thee”, that means “you,” “your,” or “you”–singular. When you hear “art”, that means “are”. When you hear anything that ends in “-st”, don’t freak out. Shakespeare adds “-st” to any word that goes with “thou”, thus “mayst not” = “may not”. Shakespeare also likes to take out syllables to make the line flow smoother–example: “o’ th’ ” would translate to “on the”.

4. Remember that this is a play that is written like a poem. There are multiple similes, metaphors, oxymorons, etc…

5. If you’re Performing Shakespeare, be sure to enunciate (speak out entire words rather than a slur of words)



Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory be green, and that it us befitted

To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe,

In My Mind, Becomes:

My brother (King) Hamlet just died and it’s

normal to be sad, Our whole kingdom is sad together.

Looking at the opening of Act 1.2-

Part III Practice-

  • Look at King Claudius’s Monologue (From the opening reading)
  • Spend 8 Minutes in your groups, translating it into your own words.
  • Share out your translation

Part IV- Reexamining Claudius’s Second Monologue

  • In small groups at your tables: Finish Individually for HW If Not…
    • Read Lines 90-93
    • Discuss the following, Taking Notes in your notebook as you do.
  1. In lines 90–92, who is Hamlet mourning?
  2. What are the first two adjectives that the King uses to describe Hamlet’s nature?
  3. Evaluate Claudius’s sincerity about Hamlet’s “sweet and commendable” nature. What evidence from the text supports your position?

Continue in Groups on Lines 93-96

  1. How does Claudius view the loss of Hamlet’s father? Use evidence from the text to support your position.
  2. How does Claudius emphasize his point in lines 93–94?

Vocabulary Check In- Impious and Obstinate 

Continue on Lines 96-101

  1. Which familiar word do you see in condolement?
  2. What does it mean to send condolences?
  3. What does Claudius mean by condolement on line 97?
  4. Using these definitions, paraphrase lines 93–98. What is Claudius saying to Hamlet?
  5. Define the word “grief” (line 98).
  6. What idea links the phrases “mourning duties” (line 92), “filial obligation” (line 95), and “obsequious sorrow” (line 96)?
  7. What can you infer about Claudius’s view of grief and its relationship to duty?
  8. In lines 96–98, of what fault does Claudius accuse Hamlet? Cite two words that support your response.
  9. What does Claudius mean when he calls Hamlet’s grief “unmanly” in line 98?

Lines 102-105

  1. In line 102, what does Claudius mean by “what we know must be”?
  2. How is the word vulgar used in line 103?
  3. Which other word with similar meaning does Claudius use in lines 102–103? What is the impact of using these two words close together?
  4. Where earlier in the speech does Claudius make a similar point?
  5. What does Claudius’s repeated insistence upon death as an everyday occurrence imply about Hamlet’s character?

Lines 105-106 

  1. What is the impact of the repetition of the word “fault” in lines 105–106 on Claudius’s depiction of Hamlet?
  2. What is Hamlet’s “fault”?
  3. Against what and whom is this fault committed?

Lines 107-110

  1. To what concept does Claudius appeal in lines 107–110?
  2. In line 107, how does Hamlet’s grief appear “to reason,” according to Claudius?
  3. What is the reasonable attitude towards death, according to Claudius?
  4. If you could translate the speech so far into one sentence, what would it be?


Finish The Group Work on Your own.

Reread Lines 90-110 and address the following writing prompt

  • To what standards is Claudius holding Hamlet? Cite at least two pieces of textual evidence to support your claim.



Quick Write- Answer the following prompt in about a paragraph.

How do specific word choices in Claudius’s monologue impact the development of Hamlet’s character?

  • Look at your text and notes to find evidence


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