English IV:
Drama Unit

Hamlet: Prince of Denmark

Instructor: Jaimie Crawford

Introduction to the Unit: Many students dislike Shakespeare, and most will admit it's because “Shakespearean language” is not their own. It is dry, funny-sounding, aloof, dead, stupid, boring stuff on a page--a page which looks more intimidating than the last Calculus test they took. But Shakespeare was never meant to be read; his plays are just that: plays--dramas to be given flesh and blood on a stage (or in a classroom). This unit attempts to bring to life the bard's most famous tragedy, Hamlet, utilizing the internet, film, and student presentation.

Time Allotment: Six Weeks

Texts: An Introduction to Reading and Writing (Roberts and Jacobs) , Handbook of Current English (Corder), Writing Prose (Kane and Peters), Success with Words (Peterson).

Teaching Aids: Folger Library's Shakespeare Set Free series; Ross McDonald's Shakespeare Reread; Davis and Salamone's Teaching Shakespeare into the Twenty-First Century

Unit Structure :

Week Five:
SWW-15; Introduction
You are responsible for
presenting your
group project
on the day of your scene.
FYI: Hamlet
Text Online
Hamlet Act I, scene iii, iv (mon)
Hamlet Act I, scene v; Quiz (tues)
Hamlet Act II, scene i, ii (weds, etc)
Reading Day; Vocab Quiz
Week Six:
SWW-16; WRITE in class on soliloquy
Hamlet Act III, scene i
Hamlet Act III, scene ii
Hamlet Act III, scene iii
Reading Day; Vocab Quiz
Week Seven:
Hamlet Act III, scene iv
Hamlet Act IV, scene i, ii; Quiz
Hamlet Act IV, scene iii, iv
Reading Day; Vocab Quiz
Week Eight
Hamlet finish Act IV
Hamlet Act V, scene i
Reading Day; Vocab Quiz
Week Nine:
Hamlet Act V, scene ii, iii
Hamlet V, scene iv; Quiz
Finish Hamlet
Reading Day; Vocab Quiz
Week Ten:
Film; SWW-20
Vocab Quiz

Group Shakespeare Projects

You may work in a group of no more than 3 people.

To prepare, follow the DIRECTIONS below:

1. Choose one scene from Hamlet. No two groups may choose the same scene; they will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.

2. Reread the entire act of the play from which your scene was taken.

3. Give the class a brief summary of this scene including a character sketch; plot synopsis; and the general tone and mood of the scene. Include discussion of least two critical articles on your scene .

4. Find at least two versions of the scene on video (from Pine Crest video library : Mr. Williams, Blockbuster, Broward County library). Compare the tones, themes, styles, actors/actresses, costumes etc.. of your scenes.

5. Practice acting out the scene with your group--when performing for the class, be ready to discuss the actors' motivations, moods, situations, and purposes.

6. Analyze the mood, situation, motivation, purpose, style, syntax, diction, imagery, tone, etc.. of one particular monologue or dialogue in the scene.

On the day of your presentation:

1. Give the class a brief summary of the play and act.

2. Act out the scene you are presenting. Before acting it out, discuss the character(s)' mood, situation, motivation, and purpose.

3. Analyze the dialogue or monologue's tone, diction, syntax, theme, imagery, irony, and any other literary techniques you may find.

4. Show the class two excerpts of films. Lead a discussion comparing the two.



Hamlet Text Online
Hamlet: Notes, Characters, Performances
One Page Modern Summary
Short Course on Hamlet
Hamlet Notes
More Notes on Hamlet
Murder Mystery using Lit. Criticism on Hamlet
Movie Reviews of Branaugh's Hamlet