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HAMLET

William Shakespeare
On a dark winter night, a ghost walks the ramparts of Elsinore Castle in Denmark. Discovered
first by a pair of watchmen, then by the scholar Horatio, the ghost resembles the recently
deceased King Hamlet, whose brother Claudius has inherited the throne and married the kings
widow, Queen Gertrude. When Horatio and the watchmen bring Prince Hamlet, the son of
Gertrude and the dead king, to see the ghost, it speaks to him, declaring ominously that it is
indeed his fathers spirit, and that he was murdered by none other than Claudius. Ordering
Hamlet to seek revenge on the man who usurped his throne and married his wife, the ghost
disappears with the dawn.
Prince Hamlet devotes himself to avenging his fathers death, but, because he is contemplative
and thoughtful by nature, he delays, entering into a deep melancholy and even apparent
madness. Claudius and Gertrude worry about the princes erratic behavior and attempt to
discover its cause. They employ a pair of Hamlets friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to
watch him. When Polonius, the pompous Lord Chamberlain, suggests that Hamlet may be mad
with love for his daughter, Ophelia, Claudius agrees to spy on Hamlet in conversation with the
girl. But though Hamlet certainly seems mad, he does not seem to love Ophelia: he orders her to
enter a nunnery and declares that he wishes to ban marriages.
A group of traveling actors comes to Elsinore, and Hamlet seizes upon an idea to test his uncles
guilt. He will have the players perform a scene closely resembling the sequence by which Hamlet
imagines his uncle to have murdered his father, so that if Claudius is guilty, he will surely react.
When the moment of the murder arrives in the theater, Claudius leaps up and leaves the room.
Hamlet and Horatio agree that this proves his guilt. Hamlet goes to kill Claudius but finds him
praying. Since he believes that killing Claudius while in prayer would send Claudiuss soul to
heaven, Hamlet considers that it would be an inadequate revenge and decides to wait. Claudius,
now frightened of Hamlets madness and fearing for his own safety, orders that Hamlet be sent
to England at once.
Hamlet goes to confront his mother, in whose bedchamber Polonius has hidden behind a
tapestry. Hearing a noise from behind the tapestry, Hamlet believes the king is hiding there. He
draws his sword and stabs through the fabric, killing Polonius. For this crime, he is immediately
dispatched to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. However, Claudiuss plan for Hamlet
includes more than banishment, as he has given Rosencrantz and Guildenstern sealed orders for
the King of England demanding that Hamlet be put to death.
In the aftermath of her fathers death, Ophelia goes mad with grief and drowns in the river.
Poloniuss son, Laertes, who has been staying in France, returns to Denmark in a rage. Claudius
convinces him that Hamlet is to blame for his fathers and sisters deaths. When Horatio and the
king receive letters from Hamlet indicating that the prince has returned to Denmark after pirates
attacked his ship en route to England, Claudius concocts a plan to use Laertes desire for revenge
to secure Hamlets death. Laertes will fence with Hamlet in innocent sport, but Claudius will
poison Laertes blade so that if he draws blood, Hamlet will die. As a backup plan, the king
decides to poison a goblet, which he will give Hamlet to drink should Hamlet score the first or
second hits of the match. Hamlet returns to the vicinity of Elsinore just as Ophelias funeral is
taking place. Stricken with grief, he attacks Laertes and declares that he had in fact always loved
Ophelia. Back at the castle, he tells Horatio that he believes one must be prepared to die, since
death can come at any moment. A foolish courtier named Osric arrives on Claudiuss orders to
arrange the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes.
The sword-fighting begins. Hamlet scores the first hit, but declines to drink from the kings
proffered goblet. Instead, Gertrude takes a drink from it and is swiftly killed by the poison.
Laertes succeeds in wounding Hamlet, though Hamlet does not die of the poison immediately.
First, Laertes is cut by his own swords blade, and, after revealing to Hamlet that Claudius is

responsible for the queens death, he dies from the blades poison. Hamlet then stabs Claudius
through with the poisoned sword and forces him to drink down the rest of the poisoned wine.
Claudius dies, and Hamlet dies immediately after achieving his revenge.
At this moment, a Norwegian prince named Fortinbras, who has led an army to Denmark and
attacked Poland earlier in the play, enters with ambassadors from England, who report that
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Fortinbras is stunned by the gruesome sight of the
entire royal family lying sprawled on the floor dead. He moves to take power of the kingdom.
Horatio, fulfilling Hamlets last request, tells him Hamlets tragic story. Fortinbras orders that
Hamlet be carried away in a manner befitting a fallen soldier.
SONNET 130
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are
dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her
head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
The Passionate Shepherd to his Love
By: Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle,
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs,
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning.

And in some perfumes is there more delight


Than in the breath that from my mistress
reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the
ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
Translation
If you come live with me and be my lover,
Ill show you all the wonders of nature.
We will sit on rocks and watch the farmers
tend to their animals,
where the songbirds sing by the streams.
Ill give you flowers of all types,
and make lots of pretty clothes for you to
wear.
Ill give you a gown out of the finest wool
from my prettiest sheep,
and give you the finest and best fair lined
slippers for the cold,
which have buckles of the purest gold.
Ill give you items that I cant even afford,
if this pleases you,
come live with me and be my lover.
All the towns boys will dance and sing for
your delight if you wish it,
but only if you come live with me and be my
lover.

Literary Analysis
This poem is NOT a sonnet, unlike many of the poems we have studied.

The poem is made up of 6-4 line quatrains.


The rhyme scheme is AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHIIJJKKAA.
The first two lines of the stanza rhyme and then the second two lines of the stanza rhyme as
well.
The only alteration to this pattern is the AA sequence that is repeated for the last two lines.
The poem contains both end and approximate rhyme.
The end rhyme is shown in lines , , 5/6, 15/16, 17/18, 19/20, 21/22. 23/24.
The approximate rhyme is shown in lines 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, and 13/14.
The poem is very heavy in imagery. Throughout the piece, Marlowe appeals to our senses
through his descriptions of the environment. For example, line 7/8 are prime examples of
imagery. By shallow rivers, to whose falls/ Melodious birds sing madrigals.
The poem is also full of alliteration. One example of the authors use of alliteration comes in like
21. The line reads, The shepherd swains shall dance and sing.
There is also an example of enjambment in lines 13/14, causing us to have to read on to the next
line to get all the information.
The speaker of this poem is speaking directly to his love. He is trying to get his love to be with
him forever. His tone is very romantic and also hopeful that their love will agree to be with them.
The Nymphs Reply To The Shepherd
By: Sir Walter Raleigh
If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every Shepherds tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move,
To live with thee, and be thy love.
Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold,
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complains of cares to come.
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields,
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancys spring, but sorrows fall.
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Translation
If the world was more Eden-like,
and you speak of the truth,
Then the nice, fine gifts you offer might
tempt me to go live with you and be your
lover.
But the winter comes and moves your sheep
from the field into the pen,
The cold sets in the river and rocks,
making all the songbirds leave,
While everyone starts to complain of what to
expect this coming winter.
Winter comes and ruins the fields,
Which is unfortunate for you since you love
spring, and hate fall since the crops rot.
All the gifts you gave to me.
They will have come to nothing but regret
with age.

Thy belt of straw and Ivy buds,


The Coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

Even the things that are really expensive,


They dont compel me to go live with you
and be your lover.

But could youth last, and love still breed,


Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee, and be thy love.

But if the world was more Eden-like,


and the spring and summer always last,
Then what you promised me might move me
to go live with you and be your lover.

Literary Analysis
Not a traditional sonnet- The poem is 24 lines long while traditional sonnets are 14 lines.
The poem is broken up into 6 quatrains.
The rhyme scheme is AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHIIBBJJBB.
The poem contains examples of both end and approximate rhymes.
The end rhyme is located in lines , . 9/10, 11/12, 15/16, 17/18, 19/20, 21/22, 23/24.
The approximate rhyme is located in lines , , and 13/14.
There are also multiple examples of enjambment.
The poem is FILLED with alliteration. Some examples are lines 3, 9, and 16 among many others.
The speaker of this poem is a young nymph speaking to the shepherd. Her tone is kind of
sarcastic. The Nymph essentially blows off the Shepherd implication that her love can be won
with material things.