As before, you will be making at least TWO postings for full credit: your first contribution will be your response to the tasks listed below (you will do each of these tasks in that one posting).

You may wish to construct this posting in a Word document so you can work on its different parts separately, and then paste it into the forum when you have finished.

For the second contribution, make at least one reply to a colleague’s submission that interests you most.

Many students find it useful to print out the instructions to the activities so they can refer to them easily as they complete the tasks.

For an idea of what a good length would be for your First Posting on an activity, look at the sample forum posting in the ‘Assignments’ folder on CANVAS.


Taint not thy mind nor let thy soul contrive

Against thy mother aught. Leave her to Heaven,

And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge

To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once…

2. 85-88

Hamlet receives these final instructions from the Ghost just before the first visitation is concluded. But what do they mean, and how might they colour our understanding of the characters and their actions later in the play?

Task 1:

Give a short but detailed interpretation of the lines above, using specific reference to the Ghost’s language. How might they be significant for our understanding of Gertrude and Hamlet’s treatment of her afterwards?

Feel free to refer to other lines within the Ghost’s speech or wider scene if this context is useful to your point. Don’t forget to cite the reference for any quotations (see your guidelines ‘Using Drama’).

Task 2:

Now re-read (what, in most editions of our text will be) Act III, scene 4: the confrontation between Hamlet and Gertrude in her bedchamber – starting from: ‘Enter Queen and Polonius…’, and ending with: ‘Exit [Hamlet] lugging in Polonius’.
How does this scene contribute to your own interpretation of Gertrude’s character, position, and behaviour in the play? What parts of the scene are particularly important in supporting your point of view, and how exactly do they do so? Which other parts of the play provide interesting additional perspectives on the issues that you see being played out here?

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