This activity assesses your ability to analyze a passage in Shakespeare and translate the language into modern English. Your ability to translate Shakespeare’s English, and work to understanding it on it’s own merits, is instrumental to analyzing and enjoying Hamlet.
Again, this activity depends on your reading Acts I and II with great care. In particular, you should pay attention to where advice is given. Most notably, advice is given in the following passages:
King Claudius to his step-son, Hamlet: Act I, Scene ii, lines 87 – 117
Laertes to his sister, Ophelia: Act I, Scene iii, lines 1 – 51
Polonius to his son, Laetres: Act I, Scene iii, lines 55 – 81
Polonius to his daughter, Ophelia: Act I, Scene iii, lines 115 – 135
Selecting ONE of these passages, summarize the advice given using modern English. If you need a refresher on summary, please see the brief article in the Purdue Online Writing Center (OWL) on summary.
After selecting and summarizing the text, reflect on the nature of the advice. If the speaker in your selected passage was speaking to you, how would you respond? Would you be offended? Would you take this advice – why or why not?