After that, Mrs. Smith asked the class to take out their Hamlet books and notes. She told the class to start a new page in our notes titled "Hamlet's Monologue" where we had room to take notes on the meaning of his phrases. She had us make these subpoints under his monologue: Why does Hamlet admire the child actor, Hamlet's feelings about himself, Hamlet's plan, and Hamlet's feelings toward the ghost.
Then we put the notes aside. Next, Mrs. Smith turned on Gibson's version of Hamlet and played movie clips of the scene where Ophelia discusses to her father about her terrifying encounter with Hamlet when he sighs to her. After we finished watching the scenes, Mrs Smith asked us what we noticed that was different in the movie than in the book. We concluded that:
- in the movie Polonius witnesses the encounter between Hamlet and Ophelia. Ophelia never revealed the situation to Polonius. In the book, Ophelia explains the encounter between Hamlet and her.
- Polonius didn't even react to the encounter. We felt that a father would probably step in during that situation.
- We noticed that Ophelia was first excited to see Hamlet, but then became frightened. The book never explained how she first reacted to him.
Next we began to read on p. 99 on line 309 as a class with Michael acting as Rosencrantz, Emmy acting as Hamlet, and Andrew acting as Guildenstern.
While reading we discussed:
-First we stopped on p. 99 and discussed lines 311-315. We concluded that in these lines, Hamlet means that man is complicated. Hamlet states that not even women excite him which showed how depressed he is.
-Next we stopped on p. 103 on line 360. This was where we were introduced to the child actors that perform great plays. We discussed that the child actors are popular because they write plays with terrible things about people who they don't like. This causes everyone to be very kind and nice to the actors so that the actors don't write plays about the people.
- Then we stopped on p. 103 on line 368. We talked about how King Claudius is suddenly being idolized. King Claudius was criticized by some people when he first became king, but now he is being idolized and compared to the child actors. We also compared this to the world and how some people become bandwagons and like what is popular.
-Next we stopped on p. 103 on line 385. This is an extremely important part of the book because Hamlet reveals to the audience that he is still faking his madness. He is being a madman most of the time, but hasn't turned into one.
- Then we stopped on p. 105 and analyzed the lines 402-408. We realize that once again Polonius is trying to act like a "know it all" as he discusses plays. Hamlet responds to Polonius by referring to him as Jephthah. We learn that Jephthah is a biblical figure who sacrifices his daughter for his benefit. We then recognized the significance of Hamlet calling Polonius Jephthah as Polonius uses his daughter as well for his the benefit of his reputation.
- We stopped on p. 109 during Hamlet's encounter with Polonius and the First Player (child actor). Hamlet tells them about a good play involving a greek son named Pyrrhus. In this play, Pyrrhus killed a king, called King Priam, to revenge the death of his father during the Trojan War. We realized that the reason why Hamlet was attracted to that play was because he wants to revenge the death of his father.
- Then we stopped on p. 111. Here the first player is reading the play of Pyrrhus. The first player emotionally acts the role of the King's wife as the King gets killed. We find out here that Hamlet really admires the child actor because the actor can make himself feel what he is acting and also make the audience feel the same way.
- Next we stopped on page 113 because Hamlet reveals part of his plan on this page. Here we learned that Hamlet had planned for a play called "The Murder of Gonzago" to be performed the next day. The play is about a King who is murdered by his cousin and then the cousin marries the queen (this sounds familiar). Hamlet also asks the First Player to add in about 15 lines into the play that Hamlet comes up with.
Then Mrs. Smith asked us to take out the notes page for Hamlet's monologue because that was the last part we were going to learn. After the monologue, on page 115, we concluded:
- Why Hamlet admires the child actor? - He admires the actor because the actor can make himself feel what he is acting and can also make the audience feel the same way.
- Hamlet's feelings toward himself? - He feels very depressed and sometimes can't feel sad when he feels like he should be. He feels like an idiot because he feels like he keeps on failing.
- Hamlet's plan? - His plan is to observe Claudius during the play so that he knows if Claudius is guilty by his reaction to the play.
- Hamlet's feelings toward the ghost? - Hamlet feels that the ghost could possibly be a demon tempting him to sin.
We had completed the reading after discussing Hamlet's monologue. Then Mrs. Smith played the same Ophelia scene as the beginning of class, but of the Branagh version. We noticed that in this version Ophelia is the one who explains her encounter with Hamlet to Polonius. This concluded class.