PROBLEMS IN HAMLET
You will be required to investigate a "problem" in HAMLET that has occasioned critical controversy. In completing this project, you should be aware above all of the text. Good scholarly editions include:
The Arden Edition
The Oxford Edition
These include extensive introductions, appendices, and F-Q correlations.
Film presentations include the Olivier, the Gibson, and Branagh versions. They vary substantially in terms of directorial interpretation ranging from the melancholic Hamlet of Olivier who "could not make up his mind," to the action orientated Gibson, and of course to the uncut Branagh production. The problems identified thus are variously interpreted:
Gibson's ghost reminds the viewer of one's kindly grandfather,
Branagh's ghost most likely originates from hell.
You will need to...
1. take a position regarding how the problem ought to be resolved
2. locate at least two critics that have taken positions on the issue using books, articles, and on-line resources
3. analyze the primary source, integrate the critical material and present a position
4. write a paper that "decides" the issue from your point of view.
1. Dr. Nighan's Hamlet and the Daemons (an ebook: click here)
2. Student Curriculum Links for the Renaissance: best web sites
3. Student Currilulum Links (web sites) for the Seventeenth Century
4. Print resources for Hamlet of course would fill volumes just to index. Some studies include:
1. is the ghost from heaven
2. is the ghost from hell
3. is the ghost from purgatory
4. Hamlet's relationship to Ophelia
5. Hamlet's relationship to his mother
6. the question of delay
7. the question of what humor seems to dominate the play
8. the problem of any one of the soliloquies
9. the meaning of "To be or not to be"
10. the dumb show
11. the ghost and "selective" appearances
12. what happened "before" the play opens
13. the question of Hamlet's sanity
14. the nature of the ghost's commands
15. the problem of who overhears whom and when
16. theories of literature within the play
17. Gertrude's relationship to her former husband
18. Gertrude's relationship to Claudius
19. what did Gertrude know and when did she know it?
20. the problem of Ophelia's sanity
21. the kind of king Claudius is
22. any motif
23 a topic of your own
Submit your findings in a paper accompanied by the research. Present an opinion in the thesis paragraph that your textual analysis and research substantiate. There will also be an oral presentation component.