For my english class, I have to write a cause and effect essay, but I don't understand how. I also don't know what she means by audience.Select one speech from Act IV and write a cause and effect...

For my english class, I have to write a cause and effect essay, but I don't understand how. I also don't know what she means by audience.

Select one speech from Act IV and write a cause and effect essay for how it targets its audience. You may choose a target audience of any context or production of the play - the original Elizabethan, or a later dramatic version. If you choose a later dramatic version (Branagh’s version, Gibson’s version, or Olivier’s version) you must deal with all the interpretive evidence of the version you choose. You have to be true to the evidence. Please provide a link to the reading or clip you are using for your teacher, or provide correct bibliographical information to the particular film version you are choosing. However, one should not have to see your version to judge or understand your essay. You, however, should have seen and studied it to write your essay.

Asked on by kcurran16

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The meaning of "audience" in this context refers to the probably audience of the play during the time in which it was performed. For example, an Elizabethan audience would react differently than a modern audience, and so modern/classical interpretations and performances of a play would differ accordingly. Remember, the intent of the play is to evoke a response in the audience.

What you need to do is examine the speeches in Act IV of Hamlet and examine how it was written/performed to appeal to its target audience; Kenneth Branagh's modern performance of the play has a different cause/effect to its audience than Olivier's earlier version. Who was the audience and how is the speech tailored to appeal to them? What is the cause of the speech, either in the play itself or in its writing -- that is, what prompted Shakespeare to write the speech the way he did, and what prompted Olivier/Branagh et al. to perform it the way they did? Examine the cause of the speech both in the play and in the performance, and research how audiences of the appropriate time would react. Check the following links for more information and good luck!

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