Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Two night-watchmen at the castle at Elsinore have seen a ghost they believe to be the former king of Denmark, the father of Prince Hamlet. The soldiers entreat Horatio, Hamlet's confidant, to wait with them for the ghost's appearance during the night watch. Horatio is horrified by its resemblance to the dead king. The men ask Hamlet to join the watch, and when the ghost appears, it reveals to Hamlet that he is, indeed, the spirit of his father. Then his father's ghost informs Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius, the current king of Denmark.
Claudius, Hamlet's uncle and brother of the former king, has not only usurped the throne of Denmark through foul murder, but has also taken Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, as his wife. Hamlet vows to avenge the death of his father and says he will put on an "antic disposition" to distract others from his genuine purpose.
Hamlet's indecision and his madness—feigned or real—will result in tragedy for himself and all those around him.
Progeny Press' Hamlet English/Language Arts PDF curriculum will provide your High School grade student with:
English/Language Arts credit: Complete this high school-level Literature curriculum, earning a one-quarter credit.
Author Biography: Learn about the life and legacy of the legendary playwright, William Shakespeare.
Background Information: Learn about the Anglo-Saxons, the Christian roots of the Viking chieftain Canute, and Denmark’s control of Northern Europe in the early 1000’s. Find out about Kronborg Castle and the inspiration behind the story.
Before-You-Read Activities: Choose from fun and engaging activities, such as exploring European geography, delving into informative reports and research about depression, ghosts, and travel through engaging videos, and gaining deeper insight into Shakespeare's own biography.
Vocabulary:Navigate the language of the novel through a variety of activities designed to enhance vocabulary retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Analyze literary techniques like words within context, explore character studies, encounter couplets, asides, and soliloquies, uncover instances of foreshadowing, master the art of summarization, delve into synonyms and paradoxes, engage in dialogue analysis, interpret dumb shows and end-rhymes, experience the power of choruses, compare and contrast elements, appreciate moments of comic relief, distinguish between main and minor characters, dissect conflicts and complications, identify protagonists and antagonists, recognize tragic flaws and hamartia, unravel thematic layers, explore the structure of tragic plays, and delve into the realm of revenge tragedies.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Reflect on themes, including weakness and sin, the complex interplay between revenge and justice, humanity's place in the world, the struggles of fear and indecision, the inexorable nature of death, the significance of prayer, the weight of guilt, the blurred line between sanity and insanity, the pursuit of reason and honor, the concept of spiritual fate, the tragic consequences of suicide, and the enduring value of friendship.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Embark on explorations of biblical ghosts and witches, delve into the concept of Purgatory through research, unravel harbingers of moral decay, decode the symbolic meanings behind plants and flowers, immerse yourself in well-known lines and phrases, bring drama to life through performance, create timelines that capture the essence of the narrative, explore a multitude of essay topics, and ignite your creativity with a plethora of opportunities for imaginative writing.
Suggestions for Further Reading: Dive deeper into the world of Shakespeare with an extensive list of plays by the same author(s) and discover additional books that resonate with or parallel the themes found in William Shakespeare's iconic work, Hamlet. Movie suggestions that complement the narrative are also included.
All of Progeny Press' language arts PDF download unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!
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