September 2007 Archives

"Give Us This Day, Our Daily Mask"


Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Stoppard

EL237--Writing About Literature


Never...Never in my academic career have I read a play that took three acts to reason why our dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are merely pawn in Hamlet's game. The are too busy overanalyzing every situation they come across that it takes until the very end for them to realize that they were being set up to be killed by the influence of King Claudius.  One quote that had stuck with me throughout this painful reading of this play was "Give us this day, our daily mask". Just like in Hamlet everyone had an agenda, everyone was not who they claimed to be. Most of this seem to go over Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's heads as they babble on and on about spiritual, philosophical, and just pain arbitrary stuff. Everyone else is proudly wearing a mask that our beloved friends don't see. 

That is what continues to plague them...they think too much. Just like Hamlet, their intellectual thought process overcomes their gut intincts. But this thought process helped Hamlet in the end, but it did not do the same for our dear friends. If they held off with the rhetoric would they have forseen that they were being used?

The Keys to the Gate


Writing about Literature, Roberts
EL237: Writing about Literature

I know that we have read two chapters in this book however something in Chapter 5 had struck me when I read it. There has to be a dilemma in a story in order for it to work. In Hamlet, we see that there had to be a problem in order for a story (or drama) to advance. The dilemmas that plagued our "sweet prince" is clues to an overall structure of the plot. For each problem, there was another one building to it. Daniella stated that if it wasn't for these problems, Hamlet would be a pathetic one act play.

Hamlet had accepted the possible dilemmas that was put forward to him. Point to a any soliloquy and it basically states that he will do what he has to do to avenge his father. As long as we focus on the dillemas it will be only a matter of time before we can discover what is the meaning of it all.

The Sick Genius Known As Hamlet


EL237-Writing About Literature

Hamlet, Shakespeare


I've been on hiatus since early August and I know it sounds funny but I'm ready for the blogging again.

Now back to the subject.

Since I'm reading Hamlet in my Shakespeare class in the present moment and time, I feel pretty excited to blog about it. When we discussed Hamlet, we discovered that there are different reasons why characters perceived Hamlet as being crazy. The see Hamlet as they see themselves acting towards other. This "formula" that Father Honeygosky showed us is as follows:

  1. Since Gertrude is grieving (somewhat) for her late husband, she thinks that Hamlet is insane due to grief.
  2. Since Ophelia is deperately in love, she thinks that Hamlet is insane due to love. (Polonius thinks this way, too)
  3. Since Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is looking for ambition, they think that Hamlet is insane due to ambition.
  4. Since Claudius is paranoid, he thinks that Hamlet has paranoia.

Unfortunetly for those folks, they have no idea that Hamlet is simply playing to their emotions and thoughts. He is using people as musch as they are using him. The weird thing about Hamlet is that no one fufills the desiny that they want or at least expected. For example, Hamlet thought that he could just kill Claudius and avenge his father. Instead, he killed Polonius, Laertes, Claudius and died in the process and then there is the question of for revenge or just for rage. I definetely did not know why Horotio said to the dying Hamlet "Good night, sweet prince" when he manipuated everyone in the entire play.

This play is all about perception. In Act 3 scene 4, Hamlet questions Gertrude about Claudius and asked her "Have you eyes?" Basically telling her how could she choose Claudius over Hamlet, Sr. Of course, what we (the audience) see is the truth and the characters see the charade. In Hamlet's case he had to or face death by a paranoid King Claudius. So I doubt that the overdramatic acting by Hamlet was needed to even get close to the crooked king. 

Do you think that Hamlet would have avenge his father if he would have killed Claudius immediately?