Hamlet Journal - Intro & Act 1

Madison Lee

Literary Genre

Revenge Tragedy

Plot Points

  • A secret Murder
  • A ghostly Visitation
  • A decent into either real or feigned madness
  • An eruption of general violence at the end

Ghosts in Shakespeare's Plays

The vision or purely subjective ghost.

  • Seen by mentally ill

The authentic ghost who has died without the opportunity or repentance or vengeance

  • Influenced by Catholicism
The false ghost which is capable of many types of manifestations.

Major Themes

  • Revenge
  • Mortality
  • Corruption
  • Madness
  • Doubt


  • Hamlet
  • Bernardo
  • Francisco
  • Marcellus
  • Lartes
  • Cornelius
  • Horatio
  • Ghost
  • Gertrude
  • Ophelia
  • Claudius
  • Polonius
  • Reynaldo


  • The ghost's name was King Hamlet.
  • He told him that Claudius was the one who poisoned him.
  • Hamlet Swore that he would get revenge.
  • He made the two guys that were with him swear that they wouldn't speak of what had happened.
  • Then after Claudius killed King Hamlet his wife then married him.
  • But King Hamlet said that he didn't want anything to happen to her, he just wanted revenge on Claudius.

Plot-Rising Action

News comes from Norway regarding Old Norway's response to Claudius, then Hamlet plans a play to reveal Claudius guilt. Polonius send a servant to spy on Laertes; Ophelia reports a "break-in" by Hamlet, then Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report to Hamlet that his favorite players are coming to Elsinore. Then the players arrive and rehearse some of Hamlet's favorite soliloquies about the Trojan war.


The ghost of King Hamlet visits to "whet [Hamlet's] almost blamed purpose", then Hamlet denies that he ever even loved Ophelia; meanwhile they are spied on. Then, A play occurs to which Claudius reacts and reveals his guilt of murder. But then hamlet has an opportunity to kill Claudius while he prays but decides to postpone so he'll go to hell.Then Gertrude attempts to coax Hamlet what the matter is, Hamlet kills Polonius unknowingly.

Plot- Falling Action

Gertrude lies to Claudius regarding her knowledge of Hamlet's sanity, Hamlet is then shipped off to England. Ophelia behaves insanely in the midst of Claudius, Gertrude and Laertes. Ophelia kills herself, and is pronounced dead. Claudius calms Laertes and they organize a plan against Hamlet.

Important Quotes

  • "TIll then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o'erwhlem them, to men's eyes." - Hamlet

He is saying that things will get bad enough to where it won't matter anymore. He is telling this to him self because he was thinking about taking his life.

  • "Frailty, thy name is woman" - Hamlet

He is saying that all women are frail, that it is the same thing.

  • "How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fish monger. He is far gone. And truly, in my youth, I suffered much extremity of love, very near this."

Polonius - When he was looking at the audience. He didn't recognize them, he called him a fishmonger, he suffered unrecognized as a child too. Or he is focused on love.

  • "Why, then, tis none to you. for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. To me, it is a prison."

Hamlet- When he ripped down the camera , he feels like a prisoner in his own home.

  • "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving,how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a God! The beauty of the world! The Paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"

Hamlet- What is the point of humanity its just a collection of matter.

Paragraph Pair-Up Activity

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