9 January 2013

My journal for HAMLET



  • This week we are cheek by jowl with Hamlet’s study guide and the play of Hamlet. I learned information from general overview of Hamlet’s plot, characters etc…There are two generations as old and young. Youngest ones represent humanism. Hamlet and Fortinbras is in this generation. Although Hamlet hesitates to get revenge and questions everything, Fortinbras gets revenge. I didn’t understand where humanism is in Fortinbras. If I don’t consider this, I can say that they resemble each other. After their fathers’ death, both have nothing.


  •         In general view, Hamlet resembles to Oedipus. In both plays, heroes try to find out the murderer of their fathers. At the beginning of the resolution of events, they become suspicious for the murderer identity but they wanted to prove that. To talk about the difference, Oedipus makes decisions quickly but Hamlet is thinking to take revenge during the whole play and he cannot decide.


  •          One of the most interesting things in Hamlet is “acting” as thematic focus. There is a play within the play. Besides that, the actors don’t show the roles of their characters. For example, Gertrude is acting like loving wife and Claudius is acting like a great King. When I thought these acts, I found Hamlet so cleverly  written work and thinking deeply.


  •         In the wedding ceremony, I admit that Hamlet has right on his side. He is in melancholy. He used such words that affected me in act I, scene II, line 10, “defeated joy”, “dropping eye”, “mirth in funeral”. Hamlet’s father has died but that there is a wedding is very contradictory and disappointing. The other contradiction is Leartes comes for the wedding but Horatio comes for Hamlet. We can understand that who is in the part of good or bad side. Moreover, Claudius doesn’t want to understand Hamlet’s sorrow. He threatens Hamlet like a kid. He says in act I, scene II, line 94 “Tis unmanly grief”. Claudius is not gentle enough to understand this event.


  •          In Hamlet’s first soliloquy, he talks about death and committing suicide. With these soliloquies, Shakespeare can easily show the characters inner thoughts to the audience or the reader. Therefore, at the almost beginning of the play, I can conclude that Hamlet is questioning his environments and some thoughts. If there weren’t a rule about committing suicide, it is forbidden in the religion and he didn’t know it was a way of going to hell, Hamlet would take his own life.


  •           It is so weird that King Hamlet doesn’t want to revenge on his wife. He says to his son: “Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive/ Against thy mother aught” in act I, scene V, line 85. King Hamlet also mentioned that she will be judged in heaven. However, Hamlet is so hung up on her mother’s sexual relationship with Claudius that he always mentions about this as incestuous.


  •          In act II, we meet with Hamlet’s madness. It is intentional and I think he can hide his feelings and sorrows by wearing a mad mask metaphorically.. Therefore to collect proof to find whether Claudius is the murderer of his father or not becomes easier by acting like a mad. It  is a very good idea.


  •          I understand Hamlet’s feelings and he explains his feelings by giving suitable examples from life. He says Denmark is like a prison, in act II, scene II, line 245. Sometimes, people like me may feel that this country or this living place is like a prison. It is because of hopelessness and loneliness. Also when I miss the control of my life, I feel like I’m a prisoner. Maybe, Hamlet may think that his life is out of his control because he doesn’t want all of these: death of his father, leaving the kingdom to Claudius or marriage of his mother etc…


  •          In act II, Hamlet arranges a play which is about one brother kills the other. Hamlet and Horatio watch Claudius' reaction and they prove his guilt with this play. I found this idea very wise. Therefore even here I can conclude that Hamlet cannot be really mad because a crazy person cannot think any of this. Moreover, in this act, Horatio is remarkable for me. He is the person who is trusted the most in the play by everybody. That is, he is witness of seeing the ghost of the King and he doesn’t tell anybody. Moreover, he is witness of seeing Hamlet’s uncle’s reaction. Unexpectedly Claudius trusts Horatio. To illustrate, in act IV, scene VII, after Leartes and Hamlet fight during the burying Ophelia, Hamlet walks away and Claudius says to Horatio look after Hamlet.


  •          After Hamlet was questioning death, now he starts to question existence by sating “To be or not to be…”in act III, scene I. He doesn’t know which the best choice is : to continue to suffer or killing yourself.  After some self discussions, he is questioning why we choose to suffer. A few years ago, I read something on the internet which is related to this suffering. There is Buddha who says life is suffering. We have both physical and physiological suffering . Because of being life imperfect and complex, we have power to deal with these sufferings. However, according to Hamlet, its reason is that we don’t know what happens after the death. In act III, scene I, line 79, He says: “The undiscovered country…” Death resembles an unknown country. This is a very nice example while understanding his thoughts.


  •           Does Hamlet really love Ophelia? I wondered that because I recognized there are some distance between Ophelia and Hamlet. I think they are supposed to love each other. However, they don’t have any dating or specific romantic dialogues about love. To illustrate, When Polonius asks his daughter her thoughts about Hamlet, she says nothing positive. Also Hamlet rejects Ophelia by criticizing her make-up in act III, scene I, and line 145. This nominal love can be caused by parents, because Gertrude says on the graveyard of Ophelia: “I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife” in act V, scene I, line 240.


  •          Recognition scene is the excellent. It is during sword fighting between Hamlet and Leartes. Finally Hamlet tastes what the death looks like. While he is dying, he says “the rest is silence”. I think the silence here may represent that he is about to die and he cannot say anything anymore.