Existentialism Critical Studies HSC English
Welcome to our critical studies video on Hamlet.
This section would be suitable for Year 12 English Advanced students that have Hamlet as a set text as part of Existentialism Critical Studies HSC English. So what do you need to know about Hamlet? Contextual Values, Themes, Possible Genres, 5 Act Structure of a Tragedy, Dramatic, Techniques, language Techniques, and Critic’s Essays. We covered lot of those in previous sections, so what we are going to focus on today.
- Contextual Values, Themes, and at the end given some links to Critics’ Essays.
- Contextual Values of Elizabethan England. So it is a bit of crazy time, there were lots of violence going on.
- The warring between Protestants and Catholics is evident in the play through the mixed religious references.
- The Ghost mentions purgatory and being buried without the last rites, which are Catholic beliefs.
But Wittenberg University is the site of Martin Luther’s protestations against Catholicism.
- The contrast between older Medieval ‘eye for an eye’ values and the newer notions of Christian forgiveness are also evident in Hamlet’s revenge dilemma.
- Renaissance values are shown by Hamlet acting against Claudius based on reason and evidence.
- Philosophical ideas are also shown e.g. “Nothing is either good nor bad but thinking makes it so.”
- Universal Themes, Existentialism, revenge, parent and child relationships, dilemmas, loyalty, corruption, and appearance vs reality.
Existentialism means to question life’s meaning and to wonder why we are here and what our purpose is – if there is any purpose at all.
- Existentialism may involve the questioning of identity, choices or actions and involve experiences of depression, madness and suicide.
- In Hamlet, the Act III, Scene 1 soliloquy “To be or not to be” is very existential.
- Hamlet wonders not only about his own choices and pain, but the everyday painful experiences of the common man: “who would fardels bear to grunt and sweat under a weary life.”
- Existentialism is the major theme of the play.
- It autobiographically reflects on Shakespeare’s personal experiences: his son, Hamlet, died at the age of 11 at the time this play was written.
- The soliloquy reflects Shakespeare’s own depression. Hope you enjoy this video, and more videos for Existentialism Critical Studies HSC English will come available soon.
The presenter of this video is Tegan, who is taking most of the English classes, including HSC English Advanced, Standard, Year 11 English Advanced, Standard, and Year 10 English in Prime Education. Join Prime for an intensive English tutoring!