Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

extent accon. "lished. All the keys are by no means here, "since"to quote from the lines on his monument at Stratford

“* * * * * all that he hath writ

Leaves living art but page to serve his wit.” Balance and Proportion are two of the main ideas wrought out in the Tragedy of Hamlet. The first example of this idea is in the ethics of the play, when God is weighed in the balance with Philosophy-materialism versus spiritualism, belief in immortality versus disbelief: reliance upon providence versus howl. ing under fate; the finite versus the infinite.

There is an example of balance and proportion which taken alone, would show Shakespeare's genius in the delineation of character. It is Hamlet's father, mother, uncle, and himself, constituting one family group, versus Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, constituting another.

In the first group we find a family who at the beginning are the happiest and the most trusting one could imagine. A King, Queen, and Prince-all things being equal one would never suspect even a shadow of sorrow; but when the fiends Ambition and Lust come, brigand-like, demanding and forcing entrance, then we find the home broken, a father gone, a mother's fair name tarnished, a son's heart rent in twain, and in the midst of this once happy home sits the man who scruples at nothing,—then suspicion lurks, guilt cowers, murder is rampant, virtue dies, reason is almost o'erthrown, deception flourishes, honor is only a name, and all the fury of hades is let loose.

To give this picture equipoise we have that of Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, we have here paternal, filial, and fraternal love, We also have trust, obedience, reverence, honor, generosity, in fact everything that is in contradistinction to the other family group.

With one other example of the balance and proportion in the tragedy I will leave the student to work out the rest.

One of the strongest contrasts, perhaps, in the play is the death of Ophelia versus the death of Gertrude. In death Ophelia's features were calm, peaceful, placid, while Gertrude's wore that drawn expression and frightened stare found in a poisoned chalice.

Throughout the play we see Hamlet full of the desire to do, without the will power and force to execute. He is full of that

[ocr errors]

blue light that iridesces from a smoldering firemno heat at first, but at any time it may burst into a consuming blaze.

We feel the etherealness of Ophelia, we know her nature is like the gossamer thread hanging from the sky of azure which the lightest zephyr catches and takes where it listeth. She is

like the snow flake on the river-a moment seen, then gone forSea is: ever. But with her going we feel ace WC

"Joy; joy forever! imme

Her task is done
The gates are pass'd
And heaven is won"

ught e

[ocr errors]

ion

imsel aertes

Mrs. Charles Tidwell Phelan
Organizer and Leader of the Dallas Shakespeare Followers;
Chairman Department of Literature of the Dallas Woman's FO-
rum; Third Vice-President Dallas Federation of Woman's
Clubs, and Director of the Dallas History Club.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Paper-The Ghosts of Shakespeare.
Paper-The Historical Setting of Hamlet.
Paper—The Development of the English Drama.
Paper-Shakespeare the Man.
Paper-Shakespeare the Poet.
Table Talk-Incidents from Shakespeare's life.
A Sketch-Denmark.
Paper-A group of Norwegian Myths or The Religion of the

Northmen.

Scene Work—(memorized and acted)-Act I, Scene V.

Dramatis Personae Ghost-Hamlet.

Paper-Analysis of the Myths in the Tragedy of Hamlet..
Scene Work-Act II, Scene I (memorized).

Dramatis personae-Ophelia-Polonius.

One Minute Concepts-Ophelia's love for Hamlet.
Character Sketch-Polonius as Father, Statesman and Man.
Table Talk-Ophelia's Defections.
Paper-The Law in Shakespeare.
Discussion—The Supernatural versus The Natural in the Tragedy

of Hamlet.

Memorize Scene V, Act IV–Dramatis Personae-Queen, Gentle

man, Horatio, Ophelia, King, Laertes.

A Comparison-The Gertrude of History—The Gertrude of

Shakespeare.

Paper-Character Contrasts in the Tragedy of Hamlet.
One Minute Concepts-Hamlet's relation to King Claudius.
A Sketch-Horatio.

Pantomime-The Grave Diggers Scene.
Reading—The Ghost.
Table Talk-The Mental, Moral, and Vital side of Hamlet's

nature.

One Minute Concepts—The Puns in the Play.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

1-To what period of Shakespeare's work does Hamlet belong? 2–To what class does it belong? 3—Why is the play of Hamlet forever suggestive and never

wholly explicable? 4-How does this obscurity become a vital part of the play? 5–Of what history is this play a dramatization ? 6—What incidents in that history did Shakespeare use in his

play? 7-To what German play is Hamlet supposed to bear some re

semblance? 8—Where is the scene of this drama laid? 9-Into what parts is a drama divided ? Define each part. 10—What is the central point in the play of Hamlet? 11—How did the creation of Hamlet come into being? 12—Did Shakespeare feel the significance of external nature as

the environing medium of human passions? 13—Give reason for your deduction. 14-Can man be independent of the social and moral conditions

under which he lives? 15—Apply your deductions to the play of Hamlet. 16—What was the first great call made upon Hamlet concerning

the world in which he lived ? 17. Was Hamlet an Idealist? 18–Was he a pessimist? 19—How was Hamlet's power of acting crippled ? 20-How old was Hamlet at opening of the play? 21—Hamlet received every kind of culture except one-what

was it? 22—To what may this be attributed ? 23—Note throughout the entire play Hamlet's inability to adjust

the infinite part of him to the finite and ascertain, (a) the effect upon his nature, (b) the effect upon his mind, (c) the effect upon the spiritual side of his being.

« ElőzőTovább »