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The theme of family in the tragedy of hamlet by william shakespeare

Have a suggestion to improve this page? To leave a general comment about our Web site, please click here Share this page with your network. Weidmann What if your uncle killed your father?

What if you found this out because your father rose out of the grave as a ghost? It was actually some foot soldiers and a schoolmate that saw him first and this is testing your religious faith, which has been strong in the past.

What if your mother married that same murderous uncle? This betrayal makes you look at your mother in a new negative light. Your affection for your girlfriend had been a happy distraction until family got involved. Your rage at your mother made this accident happen! What would you feel? How would you act?

  • Students should be able to identify and analyze these performances by looking at evidence in the text;
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim s , reasons, and evidence;
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Here lie major plot events and resulting temporal moods in Hamlet. When the play is presented in this way, twelve and thirteen year olds should be intrigued. A theme my students will address from the get go will be: The loss of a family member prompts us to think of the worth of our own lives. These emotional complications shape their choices. We mostly see these choices through the eyes of the shaken prince, Hamlet.

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At this vulnerable time in his life he feels and then performs the emotions of hysteria, melancholy, woundedness, vengefulness, everything but thumbs-up. Even if Hamlet is truly feeling these emotions, he may be acting out what this behavior looks like. Students should be able to identify and analyze these performances by looking at evidence in the text. The textual structure of this play addresses family and loss through events and devices, such as the ghost sightings and the play within a play.

The plot events pelt us with familial complications, the agony of loss, and the arbitrariness of life. Characters deal with this differently. Horatio appeals to reason. The Ghost of Old Hamlet commands. The text provides us with questions, coping mechanisms, and the play.

I plan to present the story of Hamlet to students as a series of traumatic life events, creating a buzz of interest in the room. Let me not think on't -- Frailty, thy name is woman!

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! These words show the character mourning the loss of a parent. He remembers how much his father loved his mother.

He considers what a strong and vibrant man his father was. His anger towards his mother bubbles up. It is these personal connections that will motivate them to persist when the text is a struggle. This past year my school has witnessed a great deal of loss. Current and former students have lost parents to illness and tragic accidents. Our community has lost members due to gun violence and gang activity.

As educators we see our students for many more hours than their families do during the waking hours of weekdays. Hence we have become the emotional backbone for this recent period of time, modeling ways to cope.

In some circumstances, however, we may not know how to help students dealing with loss. Loss and the complexities of familial ties bring out all sides of a person—and not just these students, after all. There is an instability that informs choices large and small and we are all forced to perform somehow in order to get by.

This basic human fact happens to be at the heart of Hamlet. I have taught at National Teachers Academy NTA for four years now and will continue in the fall, my fourth year in my current position as seventh grade reading, writing, and social science educator. As the school website describes, in 2002 NTA opened under the direction of a consortium of 15 school partners including universities in an effort to deliver strong professional development for teachers at a neighborhood school.

NTA became a Training Academy for neighborhood schools, training residents. These schools are not turnarounds schools that have been taken over by AUSL trained teachers but were opened with the purpose of developing highly effective teachers for the challenging urban environment. We have 600 students in grades Pre-K through eighth.

There is high gang activity in and around our neighborhood, which is at an apex between Chinatown, McCormick Place, Downtown, and Bronzeville. Gentrification on the northeast end of our community has brought changes with it. The RGC started in kindergarten, added first and second grade for the last two years and will have a third grade classroom as well this coming school year.

The RGC brings in a more diverse population that is new to our school and a topic of great interest to our middle school students who are used to being the face of NTA. I mentioned that there were a number of students dealing with loss and familial complications during this past school year.

There is one student in particular that inspired this unit, though. I share his story because I believe it is one that a lot of us know. When Will pseudonym became a student of mine this year it was our second go around. As a fourth grader he had been comparable to his schoolmate, Chris pseudonym: His father visited with ear to ear smiles each quarter to check in at conferences.

He had also grown immensely and now looked like a behemoth man at the age of twelve. During one of the weekends away Will was taken advantage of sexually by one of the coaches. This happened the summer before he went to school last year. Around the same time his mother had an affair which resulted in his gaining a baby brother who turned out to be a terror. His father left his mother and moved in with a white teacher lady. That couple in turn broke up and then he began dating another white teacher lady who talked down to Will frequently in their home space.

By the time I began to teach him again, he had had little to no counseling about being molested. He decided that he outright hated his mother because he believed she hated him.

  1. Activities involving technology are great for engagement, but more importantly this is an opportunity for students to shine.
  2. The scene continues based on the choice the audience makes.
  3. These family relationships--the complications of them and the changes they go through--sustain the character of Hamlet in the time of the play. Stand and unfold yourself.
  4. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. What is the equivalent to breaking the fourth wall in real life do you think?

His mother had no idea how to interact with him anymore so their relationship fell apart. He lived with his dad and the new woman.

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This new woman, his last year teacher, and the previous woman his father had dated all treated Will in such a way that he had an extreme aversion to white teacher ladies like me. He acted out by keeping his hands in his pants during class, saying overtly sexual things to girls, making overtly sexual jokes to his friends who were guys, and shutting down in the class by sleeping or refusing to do any work. Some days he looked at me and talked to me with such contempt that I went home feeling psychologically battered.

Will began to tell the counselor at school that he was hearing voices. When he made poor choices in class he said he was told to do those things by the voices. His written responses to essay questions became personal accounts of his mother disowning him and hating her for what she did. Of course he felt this way. I currently feel that Will is performing the role of a schizophrenic to deal with trauma.

This is one young person in our world dealing with all of these issues at the age of twelve. We all know him or someone like him in some ways, or perhaps we are him.

How does the character of Hamlet change throughout the play? Are there systematic changes in his persona? Character could be a discussion of type or the individual. In Shakespeare character blends type and individuality. Character, any of his individual characters, might be a type on the surface but have uncharacteristic tendencies and depth.

How far does Hamlet come, emotionally, from the beginning to the end? What is the equivalent to breaking the fourth wall in real life do you think? He is called by the Ghost to avenge this murderous act. His mind still questions whether this apparition is his father in purgatory or a devil and yet he cannot deny the horrible facts that have been revealed.

Character in Hamlet: Family & Loss

He is in a distracted state after this information and the characters around him beg to know what went on but he cannot tell them. He teeters between agony and hysteria. No one has ever said that Hamlet is stable. His temporal behaviors are a sort of neuroses. In Act II he is not just down but in a mania of a kind.

He is indeed an intellectual so maybe he is on an intellectual high of sorts. He toys with Polonius. He plays intellectually with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who are interchangeable and then is angered by their lack of authenticity--knowing that they were sent for by the king. He is, again, infuriated with himself at this time in the play. He calls himself a coward.

He still needs proof that the murder he is about to commit is true revenge and justified.