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"And these few precepts in thy memory. See thou character.
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Ethan Hawke as Hamlet
To Be or Not To Be...

Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!"...... William Shakespeare. ACT I, Scene III: HAMLET


  • Questia- HAMLET
  • The New York Times A list of resources from around the Web about Hamlet as selected by editors of The New York Times. Hamletworks; Commentary, links, essays. ...

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Possible Hamlet Assignments

Students will be required to improvise a scene from the play and translate it into modern day English. Sharing these translations will allow students to better understand the events of the play, the characters and their motives. It will also allow the character's language to be simplified. Students will choose topics for written/oral/multi-media/creative projects and demonstrate an understanding of the play by relating it to their own lives in the 21st Century.


1. It has been said that Hamlet is a play in the interrogative mode. Like Hamlet himself, the play raises more external image question-mark3a.jpg
questions than it answers. Hamlet's dilemma is whether to suffer his extreme misfortune or
to oppose it. Discuss this dilemma and other questions that are raised in this play.

2. Think about Hamlet's erratic behavior. What things motivate him to take action in the face of moral wrongdoing? What things keep him from taking action? Explain

3. How is Hamlet different from Horatio, Laertes, and Fortinbras in his capacity for action?

4. Debate one of the following propositions: a) It is nobler to suffer one's troubles than to opppose them;
(b) Thought generally interferes with action; (c) Revenge cannot be justified.

5. Do you think Hamlet is truly mad? Why or why not? Explain using evidence from the play.

6. Do you think Hamlet is right to kill the King? Explain

7. State what you believe is one of the important themes in Hamlet. Explain.

8. Could Hamlet have handled his situations a bit better if he had the proper help? What 21st Century advice would you give him?

9. In what ways do you connect with Hamlet? Explain

10. Examine the stylistic devices employed in this drama. How do these devices direct the reader's perceptions of certain characters?