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Final Essay The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

by William Shakespeare
As you read on your focus sheet there are many interpretations of Hamlets character. In fact, you may have developed some thoughts about his character on your own over the course of reading this play. And in truth since Hamlet is both a round and a dynamic character and we come to know him through the features and limitations of the dynamic/objective point of view, the most accurate interpretation is most likely a melding of several of these interpretations. Your assignment then is to determine what you believe to be the most fitting interpretation of Hamlets character, and trace the growth and development of these traits using a minimum of three of his soliloquies to support your interpretation. You may also quote lines he speaks when alone in Horatios presence since Horatio is his confidant and the only person over the course of the play that he fully trusts. We will use just the soliloquies and these lines since this is when Hamlet offers his most private, personal, and therefore seemingly genuine thoughts; however, you may paraphrase other events as needed to justify your evidence from the soliloquies. You MUST use textual evidence from these soliloquies in order to prove your assessment of Hamlets character. Weave the quotes in smoothly; do not let them become speed bumps for the reader. This paper should be 2-3 pages, typed, and formatted in MLA. (Use the correct heading and page numbers, as well as the proper formatting for quotations and citations). If you only cite from Hamlet, you do not need a Works Cited page. This assignment is due by 3:45 p.m. on Friday, December 7th. Note that this is a B-day, so getting the hard copy to me is something that you need to plan. You need to bring me a hard copy and submit a digital copy to Turnitin.com. REMEMBER TO ANALYZE! Use summary briefly and only as a springboard into analysis. Any statement that retells a part of the play should be followed with an explanation of why or how that detail is significant. The soliloquies are listed below with estimations for line numbers (taken from my edition of the play). Use the quoted dialogue to make sure you are looking at the right speech. The quotes represent the first line of the soliloquy. Act 1 scene 2 lines 129-159 (O that this too too sullied flesh) Act 1 scene 5 lines 93-113 (O all you host of heaven!...) Act 2 scene 2 lines 549-606 (Ay so, God bye to you, now I am alone. / O what a rogue and peasant slave am I) Act 3 scene 1 lines 57-91 (To be, or not to be) Act 3 scene 2 lines 365-376 (Tis now the very witching time of night) Act 3 scene 3 lines 73-96 (Now I might do it pat) Act 4 scene 4 lines 33-67 (How all occasions do inform against me)