How could I write an obituary for one of the deceased characters in Hamlet?

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When writing an obituary, you want to announce the death of the individual, listing her name, when she died, and, perhaps, how she died. Next, offer a short biographical sketch of the deceased person. You might include things that she enjoyed doing in her life, any causes that were very...

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When writing an obituary, you want to announce the death of the individual, listing her name, when she died, and, perhaps, how she died. Next, offer a short biographical sketch of the deceased person. You might include things that she enjoyed doing in her life, any causes that were very important to her, what she was like, and so forth. Typically, obituaries only say nice things about the deceased, so you should probably leave out any flaws you feel the deceased had. Next, you can discuss her family, providing the names of the family members she has left behind (or who preceded her in death).

For example, if you are writing an obituary for Ophelia, you might say that Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, died yesterday (or whenever) when she fell into the river. Then, write a brief biography, as per the above. Finally, write that she is preceded in death by her father and leaves behind one brother, Laertes.

You could finish by making up information regarding funeral services —for Ophelia, for example, you'd probably say that they are private since her death was hushed up. You could make up the name of a funeral home as well. Be creative! Maybe use something having to do with the setting of the play: Elsinore, Denmark. Finally, if you think the deceased would rather have donations to a particular cause than funeral flowers from mourners, you could mention this as well. Give some thought to what cause the character would want to support: Ophelia might want folks to donate to some environmental cause (since she likes flowers), but there are lots of other possibilities.

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Just curious - Was it your assignment to read the play, or to just watch the movie?  Your question mentioned that you had only watched the movie...I would think that writing an obituary for one of the characters would be a whole lot easier if you had spent time reading the play.  And which movie version did you see?  I can think of 4 (Olivier, Branagh, Gibson, Ethan Hawke), and only choosing one to watch could definitely make a difference in how you view and understand the characters.

Please read the play, even if that wasn't your assignment.  Use the eNotes links to help you understand.  But a movie version isn't ever going to give you all the information and great stuff you can get from a read of Shakespeare's own words.

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First, you need to choose a character.  For instance, Ophelia.  Next, you need to find qualities that define his/her character-physcial description, motives, things they say, believe, do which help you to "know" them as real people.  It would help if you skim through the play and find the places where the character you've chosen is mentioned by other characters or is on stage performing.  Just as in real life, we know a character in a play by how he dresses, what he says, what he does, how he reacts to others, and what others say about him.  Make a list of all the things you can find about the character you choose, and then from that, write your obit.

For Ophelia, we know she is young, beautiful, of noble birth, in love with Hamlet, a dutiful daughter, loyal sister, and she loves flowers.  I would probably put a twist on things and write her obit with flowers...each one has a different meaning just as she gave them for "remembrance," etc. 

Check the link here for a few places to look for the meanings of flowers, or go back to enotes and check the character analysis to choose another character whom you like better for your obit.

http://www.enotes.com/hamlet#

http://www.aboutflowers.com/floral_b5.html

http://www.800florals.com/care/meaning.asp

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