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Shakespeare's Plays: Questions and Answers

analytical Essay
3287 words
3287 words
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1. According to Braunmuller, Hamlet presents several “questions both common and insoluble.” Give an example, citing act, scene, and line numbers. Explain what is “common and insoluble” about the question.

One of the most well known examples of a question that is both common and insoluble within Hamlet is “To be, or not to be” (III.1.56) where he is contemplating the value of life. This question is common as many people think about the reason for life and if they have a specific purpose or simply to explore the realities of life. Many people also begin to think about the afterlife and what happens once someone dies. This is what makes this question common but it is insoluble because no one truly knows the answer to the purpose of life or what happens once you die. Everyone has a different interpretation for the reason or purpose of living from theories created from religion or spiritual beliefs are all different from those created in each individuals mind. Then when it comes to the afterlife no one has any way of truly telling what it is like once you die. Some people have near death experiences but in that time period it is hard to say if they simply went on a journey in their own mind or if they truly went into the afterlife and returned. These uncertainties are what make the question of the purpose of life and the inquiry of the after life so insoluble.

2. According to Braunmuller, Hamlet explores “the labyrinthine ironies of human purpose and human error.” Explain. Give an example, citing act, scene, and line numbers.

Hamlet explores the same ironies of human purpose and human error as most humans in that he is searching for the reason of his existence and on that journey he makes several mistakes. Hamlet seems to find his reason for living once he speaks with his fathers ghost and decides that he must avenge his father’s death by murdering Claudius. On this journey Hamlet begins to formulate a very intricate plot to achieve a rather simple goal, which is one error that many humans engage in. Many people tend to over think, over analyze, and over complicate their situation which then leads them to further human error. When he goes to confront his mother in her chambers and hears someone behind the curtain he again overcomplicates his situation by immediately stabbing through the curtains rather than taking the extra few moments to ensure that it is Claudius.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that braunmuller's hamlet presents several "common and insoluble" questions, citing act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's question of "to be, or not to be" is both common and insoluble because no one knows the answer to the purpose of life or what happens once someone dies.
  • Explains that braunmuller's hamlet explores the labyrinthine ironies of human purpose and human error.
  • Analyzes how hamlet explores the same ironies of human purpose and human error as most humans in that he is searching for the reason of his existence.
  • Analyzes how king lear explores the labyrinthine ironies of human purpose and human error.
  • Analyzes how king lear explores human purpose and error through his hubris, which leads him to the ironic ending of madness in the storm.
  • Explains braunmuller's view that hamlet is highly self-reflexive, citing act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how hamlet is highly self-reflective throughout the play. he is reflecting on his plan to force claudius to give a reaction showing his guilt after the mousetrap and then again when he is pondering life.
  • Argues that both history plays are highly self-reflexive. explain. provide textual evidence from each play, citing act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how the ghosts of the people king richard had killed began to haunt and curse him in act five scene four. clarence's conscience caught up to him and forced him to reflect upon his actions.
  • Analyzes how prince hal begins to reflect upon his decision to hang out with the drunkards and criminals such as falstaff and poins.
  • Analyzes how gertrude's marriage to claudius affects hamlet' s concept of women and ophelia in particular.
  • Analyzes how gertrude's marriage to claudius so soon after the death of her husband affects hamlet’s perception of women and his willingness to trust them.
  • Explains that shakespeare explores cultural stereotypes about women in most of his plays. demonstrate the stereotype, offering textual evidence or specific detail, citing act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how king lear's reaction shows that it is frowned upon for women in this time period to stand up against their male counterparts.
  • Analyzes how laertes tells ophelia that hamlet's "will is not his own."
  • Analyzes how laertes tells ophelia that hamlet is still trapped in his social standing and obligations to his family.
  • Describes the plays we've read this semester. in which one, besides hamlet, do we find another character whose “will is not his own”?
  • Analyzes how lysander, in a midsummer night’s dream, is under the influence of the love potion. his actions are not his own but those of oberon, puck, or simply the love potion.
  • Analyzes how laertes' words hold true for the prince in hamlet. they suggest a situation that does not directly involve ophelia.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's actions could arguably not be his own. he didn't mean to kill polonius and it was never a part of his plan.
  • Analyzes how polonius tells ophelia, "i do know/when the blood boils, how prodigal the soul/lends the tongue vows."
  • Analyzes how polonius warns ophelia to be wary of anything that hamlet says as it may just be a front in order to sleep with her.
  • Describes hamlet's situation, scene, and line numbers in the play, which does not directly involve ophelia.
  • Analyzes how hamlet's words hold true for him after he killed polonius in his mother’s chambers.
  • Analyzes how hamlet tells gertrude to pretend "virtue." explain the act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how hamlet confronts gertrude about her relationship with claudius and tells her that she should not believe that he's mad, but rather consider the fact she has sinned.
  • Explains who in the play experiences regularity of action that culminates in a quality of being. provide textual evidence and cite act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how laertes in hamlet displays his true qualities as a person. he acts very quickly when he hears the news that his father has been murdered.
  • Explains the double meaning of hamlet's lines in terms of the play’s action.
  • Analyzes how hamlet refers to the king as the one that enforces the laws of his land, but that the idea of the king is separate from the body that sits on throne.
  • Argues that the "king is a thing..." in at least two other plays we have read. choose two plays and explain citing act, scene, and line numbers.
  • Analyzes how the quote of a king being the king of nothing can also be applied to henry iv and king lear as they both learn that they really do not hold any true power.
  • Analyzes how king lear is a king of nothing when he gives his power to his daughters goneril and regan.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare uses parallel action in most of his plays, focusing on king lear and the tempest.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare uses parallel action in king lear and the tempest to examine and reveal a concept in further detail to himself and his audience.
  • Analyzes how prospero loses his position as the duke of milan at the hands of antonio, who gathers enough forces and casts him to an island with only his daughter. they examine the importance of not allowing hubris to take the best of them.
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