Saturday, February 28, 2009

The End

Hamlet and Horatio return to the castle. They are in a room when someone comes in and invites Hamlet to fence with Laertes. They mess around with the messenger but in the end agree to fight Laertes.

The fencing match takes place next, in the castle. They begin and it is a fair fight until Laertes takes off the nub and proceeds to stab Hamlet. He thinks nothing of it at the time and begins to get very violent with Laertes. Meanwhile, the drink that was meant for Hamlet is consumed by Gerturde. The King tries to get her not to drink it but he fails and she is poisoned. Hamlet switches the swords and stabs Laertes and pushes him off a balcony. While Laertes is laying on the floor dying, he tells Hamlet that he is poisoned and only has limited time to live. Just then Gertrude falls over and dies because of the poison wine. Hamlet then attacks King Claudius, forcing him to drink the rest of the poisoned wine.

Fortinbras then storms the castle with his army and walks in only to see that most of the people have already been slain. Hamlet tells Horatio to live on to tell what really happened here. Fortinbras decides to take the throne and give Hamlet a hero's funeral like he deserves.

What do you think his funeral will be like? What is the purpose in knocking down the statue in front of Elsinore?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Laertes and King Claudius plot to kill Hamlet. They decide Laertes will challenge Hamlet to a fencing match. They plan to dip poison on the sword so when Hamlet is stabbed it will kill him. The nub will be removed so it will actually stab Hamlet and poison him. The King adds that they will poison a glass of wine and give it to Hamlet in case he doesn't get stabbed.

The Queen comes in and announces Ophelia's death. She died by drowning. It is unsure whether it was accidental or suicidal. Upon hearing this news, Laertes is unaffected by her death.

Hamlet goes to the grave of Ophelia with Horatio. He talks with the grave digger about his job and the people who he is digging up. He then comes to find out that one of the skulls is the skull of his old jester Yourik. He is greatly saddened by this.

Ophelia's secret funeral takes place and Hamlet gets into a fight with Laertes about who loves her more. They fist fight and then the episode ends.

Do you think their plan will work? Do you think that Ophelia's death was accidental or did she do it on purpose?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ophelia's Song

Hamlet has left for England, leaving Ophelia going crazy. She wants to speak with the Queen, so Gertrude goes to talk to her. When she gets there, Ophelia is singing random songs and dancing around and cannot even put together a comprehensible sentence. King Claudius comes and attempts to speak to Ophelia, but she leaves only to return at a later time.

Laertes seeks revenge on his father's murder. His body is found and Laertes is upset with the fact that there was not a proper service for Polonius. He demands that his father receives an extravagant service.

Meanwhile, Hamlet returns to Denmark. A sailor who spotted him tells Horatio.

Why do you think Ophelia went crazy? Do you think Polonius should receive a proper service? Why do you think Hamlet returned to Denmark?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hide and Seek

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern continue their search for the body of Polonius. They speak with Hamlet but only get games in return. Hamlet jokes around with them until they cant take it anymore and run back to the king for help.

The king demands to know where the body is but Rosencrantz and Guildenstern cant tell him anything. When the King confronts Hamlet about the body, he responds with: "Not where he eats, but where 'a is eaten." and also tells him the following: "In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him i' the' other place yourself."

Fed up, the King tells Hamlet that he is to go to England under the supervision of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Hamlet leaves and Claudius tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern what they are to do once they get to England.

On their way to the ship, Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, encounter Fortinbras, the nephew of the King of Norway. Fortinbras tells his Captain to give his best to the Danish King. The Captain stays behind and talks to Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern about why they are marching through to Poland.

How long do you think it will take people to find the body? Do you think that the Captain is telling the truth? What do you think his speech at the end of the episode means?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Truth

In this episode many things happen. Hamlet goes to his mother, and while speaking with her, he tells her what is really going on and accuses her of her wrong doings. He is very rough with her and that causes his father's ghost to appear and remind him of the task at hand and not to hurt his mother. As he is talking to his mother and instructing her to allow Claudius to be intimate with her so that Hamlet can kill him, he hears the tapestry, which Polonius is hiding behind, rustle. Thinking it is Claudius, he stabs right through it, killing Polonius.

Now usually when someone kills another person they feel bad, but Hamlet had no remorse at this point. He then goes on to say that he must go to England, and that he knows what Claudius' plan is and that he will reverse it so that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and the ones who end up dead.

He brings the dead body into another room and while he is doing that the Queen tells Claudius the he killed Polonius so the King sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find out where the body is.

What do you think Hamlet is going to do on the trip to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? What does Hamlet's speech about the letter lead you to believe?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Murder of Gonzago

This is when the play which Hamlet altered takes place. Hamlet puts on his usual act and further insults Ophelia and also the King and Queen. He narrates the play to the people around him. When the actors get to the altered part, which resembles the way Claudius supposedly killed Hamlet's father, the King rises and orders the play to a halt. He leaves immediately with others.

After they leave, Hamlet meets up with Horatio to discuss what they think they saw of the King's reaction. They both decide that he must be guilty or else he would have not been so angered by the play's events. Polonius interrupts them by telling Hamlet that his mother wishes to speak to him.

Hamlet is on his way to his mother's room when he sees Claudius kneeling with his back to him praying. Hamlet is very close to killing him but decides that he wants to catch him in a sin and kill him then so that he is sent to purgatory instead of straight to heaven.

The King then meets with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and orders them to take Hamlet to England. They, easily swayed by money, oblige without constraint. Polonius talks with the King and tells him that Hamlet is on his way to see his mother and that he will hide in the room to hear what Hamlet is saying to his mother.

Do you think that Claudius is guilty? What do you think Hamlet will tell his mother?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


In the fourth episode of our mini-series, Ophelia is used as bait to catch Hamlet. The King, Queen, and Polonius think that he will break when he is confronted by his love, Ophelia. Hamlet meets Ophelia and has a conversation with her that turns into insults very quickly. Hamlet knows that he is being set up and he has to continue with his crazy act. He quickly makes her uncomfortable so she leaves and he is left alone with Polonius and Claudius spying on him. He really beings to plan out his revenge but is confused about what he should really do. His uncertainty brings about this speech to himself.
"To be or not to be, that is the question; Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them."
What do you think the two "to be's" are and what do you think he will choose and why?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hamlet's "Madness"

In this episode, Ophelia recalls to her father what happened in her bedroom the day before. Hamlet came into her room half-dressed, dirty, and crazy-like. He said nothing, but sighed loudly and walked out staring at her. Ophelia is scared that he is mad in love with her and is obsessed. Polonius gets mad and goes to the King and Queen. He tells them what Ophelia said, but of course he makes it worse than is was. They order Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find out what is wrong by pretending to be nice to Hamlet, they are supposed to be his friends.

Polonius then talks with Hamlet. Hamlet pretends not to know who he is, mean while "inadvertanly" insulting Ophelia. This convinces Polonius that he is completely insane.

Some actors arrive to put on a show and Hamlet drops his crazy act for a little and intercepts them before they get to the castle. He tells them who he is and that he wants to adjust their play. He gives them lines that could incriminate the King. He starts to put his plan into play.

Hamlet realizes he is a coward through his meeting with the actors.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here, but in a fiction, in a dream of passion, could force his soul so to his own conceit that from her working all his visage wanned, tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, a broken voice, and his whole function suiting with forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! For Hecuba!

What do you think Hamlet will do at the play? What do you think will happen when Claudius hears the new lines put in the play? Will he act normal, or will they make him uncomfortable?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Late King of Denmark

This episode sets the tone for the whole show. The ghost of Hamlet's father, which he was told about, finally appears to him. Against the direction of his friends, he follows the beckoning ghost away. When he is alone with the ghost, he is told of his fathers brutal murder. Hamlet asks why and who. His father's ghost tells him "But know, thou noble youth, the serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown," meaning the new King Claudius. His father's ghost asks him to promise to get revenge for his murder so that he can proceed to heaven instead of living in purgatory in the flames. Hamlet obliges but not before the ghost can strongly tell him not to do anything to his mother and to let her suffer her own way.

Hamlet reunites with his friends and after some persuasion and swearing on his sword, he tells them what he has just experienced. He also tells them that he will find a way to see if the ghost is really telling the truth and then he will figure out what to do from there. He also tells Horatio that no matter how crazy he acts, not to be worried and that it is just antic disposition and he is just "acting."

Hamlet already not liking Claudius is just more ammo towards his revenge, what do you think Hamlet will do now that he has more possibly true information? How do you think Hamlet will see if this is all true or not? How will he uses antic disposition in his favor?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

After the Coronation

In the first ever episode of The Secret Life of Hamlet, we find out the background of the whole show. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears to Horatio, Hamlet's best friend, and two sentinels. They dont know what it's appearance means and they decide that Hamlet should be told about it.

The marriage of Queen Gertrude to Hamlet's uncle Claudius takes place, as well as Claudius' coronation as the new King of Denmark. Hamlet is still deep in the grieving process and does not know why others are not. His feelings bring about a soliloquy in which he tells how he really feels.
Towards the end of this part, Horatio tells Hamlet that he saw his father's ghost. and Hamlet asks some questions about him.

This episode is also where Polonius and Laertes have a talk with Ophelia, who is Hamlet's girl friend, about Hamlet. Laertes tells his little sister all about boys and what they really want from girls which is anything but good. He sort of scares her into a state of disbelief. Her father Polonius thinks that Hamlet is crazy and warns her that she better not see him anymore. She listens to his whole speech and agrees not to see him. Lets see how long this lasts, seeing as Ophelia is head-over-heels in love with Hamlet.

Why do you think his father's ghost has returned? What is your reaction to his soliloquy and what do you think will come of this? How well do you think Ophelia will follow her fathers new rule about not seeing Hamlet?