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What lessons can be learned from the play Hamlet?I am explaining how the theme of...

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cara12792 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 27, 2010 at 4:29 AM via web

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What lessons can be learned from the play Hamlet?

I am explaining how the theme of hamlet can be applied to today's life and the lessons that can be learned from the play. I chose the theme "Things are not always what they seem."

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 27, 2010 at 8:25 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the major, perhaps the most major, incidence within the play of something not being as they seem, is the real nature of the monarchy in Denmark.  The play opens with some hint of this strangeness with the appearance of the ghost, but then the action moves to the great celebration of the marriage of the king and queen and the great celebration of their union.  The happiness and excitement remain on the surface however as it is clear that Hamlet isn't the only one that sees that something is amiss.  Marcellus himself is the one that suggests that "something is rotten in the state of denmark!"

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muddy-mettled | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted December 4, 2010 at 8:00 AM (Answer #2)

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One passage in the play that plainly pertains to both your theme and the question is Hamlet's "meet it is I set it down / That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain. / At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark"(1.5).  Polonius is a tedious old fool, yet some of his lines are worth studying.  The "To be, or not to be" monologue seems to be a soliloquy, yet the context is such that it may be directed at the King(Immediately after Polonius offers his plan(2.2), Hamlet enters and seems to be reading a book). The King's response to the play within the play seems to indicate guilt, yet we don't know until he speaks a soliloquy:  "O, my offence is rank"(3.3).  Samuel Johnson's intro to Shakespeare is interesting and in the discussion board there's a good note from June 10 of this year.

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