Das programm

Ladies and Gentlemen, London Nautical is a prestigious Naval School founded, as we know, in 1915 after the sinking of ‘The Titanic’. Now, since then, many of we headmasters and teachers have passed through the school- the unfortunate, grotesque and downright bottom of the food chain. We thrive on results, prey on the disobedient and predominantly fret over the ‘ethos’ surrounding our students. This precious goldmine of a substance fills the bones of every student to have stepped into our community. It is not a secret that our ethos has taken a hit in recent years, and unless we come together now to sort it out then our following generations could have to suffer in the worst possible manner- to agonise under the absence of our obsolete prestigious commandments! Thus I have taken my time with (paid) leave to contemplate the actions that must be taken for the future and success of our boys.

To begin, and most importantly, having the London Nautical ethos is the greatest thing to happen in your life. Therefore we must only be associated with the similar counterparts who, regardless of creed can become our countrymen. The case of infiltration would only result in our boys being represented in an orderly and gentlemanly manner.

Every child loves the rewarding sensation of his hard work being acknowledged. The School shall above all undertake to ensure that every pupil shall have the possibility of triumph through the classroom system. This will be implemented and a self motivating award of a ‘watchmark’ merit shall be given. The pride this reward gives makes a child value his own success and see that he is working ahead of the group. However, this is absolutely scandalous as we all know that all students should be valued the same. Therefore the value of the rewards given must be null, making the pretty, signed, gold paper about as relevant as a bathing suit at a nudist colony.

We demand the union of all boys in London Nautical School on the basis of high standards maintained within the school community and all peoples. They are expected to follow this code whenever they are on the school premises, on a school journey, attending an off-site venue, on their way home, on vacation, attending a new school, finished with the LNS education system or living a new capitalist life in a conquered land.

Becoming part of a school community can be a challenge, especially learning to work with new people and finding other creatures of equal class to associate yourself with. To ensure that students can have a realistic introduction into the fairness of the outside world we must make sure every boy is treated with the same discourtesy and inequity that they shall experience once they have graduated our blessed system. Inevitably it will not be possible to meet the needs of all pupils, meaning aliens to the system (neglected lower ability students) must be expelled to ensure that only the top achieving are entitled to the privilege of being taught what they already know.

Taking this further, a fundamental issue with the education system right now is the belief that students still questioning society should mix among possible successes of the future. Teaching an ill-educated student who has their own view on the world is worthless, this catch 22 has led us into focusing on just those that don’t particularly need the help. I am creating a program of intelligent, un-questioning beings under the code-name ‘fast track’. They shall follow orders and hoover funds and resources taken from the other common students. The specialised force will be used in operations such as the example class for an Ofsted inspection or trial for a new teacher that we could potentially capture into our society. Once made, any further immigration of pupils into LNS society fast-track master race must be prevented to promote an oversubscribed entrance to the school. A lack of teaching to the unfortunate remainder of students will make sure the top tier remain superior.

Those undistinguished pupils shall live in the school as foreigners and must be subject to the law of aliens. We see clearly that this conflict could only end with the extermination of our very best Nautical peoples, or that the intruders must disappear from our midst and academic sector to return to their primitive slums.

I am setting these rules as necessities for our society and they shall be followed. The commandments can only be undermined by a swarm with the intent to attack an intact system. They shall be removed! London Nautical shall strive and become perfection in the eyes of George Osborne himself!

This is not a proposal but a blessed command onto this sacred school. Despite its perfections the disciplinary system must be struck through every school half term to ensure that the pupils are not able to adapt to and manipulate causing any further trouble. I welcome you to a new future of this school and to every new future that shall come each half term.


Shakespeare and the Literary Heritage Controlled Assessment: ‘The Grave Reality of Death’

Shakespeare and the Literary Heritage: Through the texts of studied poetry and the play Hamlet, present different opinions and understandings of forces beyond our control, especially fate and death.

The texts as a collective tell us so much about how the circumstances and society around an artist change the way they react to the inevitable. From a development in beliefs where science has taken over the reassuring foundation for a life after death, facing death has become even more of a never ending, burdensome question. This makes expressing emotions about death, loss and fate near impossible- other than through the uses of the arts (whether this be writing, visual art or music). Reading these texts has made me come to the understanding that in the face of death, the decision about the worth and value of life causes a state of ambivalence in the mind of a ‘mortal sentient’.

Throughout the texts, on the subject of ‘free will’ there is a common use of the supernatural to control the future path of a character or a writer, especially regarding their death. In some cases (such as Shakespeare) this is presented through the Christian religious beliefs of: the characters in the play; the writer himself and the ordinary audience of the time. Around 1600 when the text was being written, the majority of Britain was Catholic or Protestant. Due to the large conflict between the two, many people that did not fit the ‘correct’ religious profile were accused of being witches and other supernatural beings. Most accused at the time were not even suspicious, however the general public still believed so. From this we can see that it is not a surprise that Shakespeare used supernatural characters in his plays, to please the audience and expand on their suspicion for such beings. In Act 1 Scene 5 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the main character has a visit from his late Father in the form of his ghost. ‘I am thy father’s spirit’ the ghost says, a pretty simple indicator that he is what others correctly rumoured to be. The grave reality of his Father’s death is revealed, by his Brother’s hand.  The ghost also tells Hamlet to ‘Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.’ This is a use of an imperative remark to instruct Hamlet that he has to kill his new father/uncle. Coming from a supernatural sent from God this makes it his destiny or fate. It also seems to be an action that must be taken for the peace of Denmark: in the famous quote ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ the ‘rotten’ signifies that there is a problem at hand that needs to be resolved. This uses a metaphor as Denmark is represented as a ripe piece of fruit that loses is attraction and sweetness as time passes. The fate of a whole country is put in Hamlet’s hands, this could be regarded as personification for the country- or a representation of the people in the country, a single fate of a nation. The idea of a collective ending for millions is given by Shakespeare- a break from the constant reference of uncontrollable forces through only the main characters. Throughout the play Hamlet pursues this instruction, constantly battling with himself whether to take action or not. Hamlet worries so much about actions (that he did not have the power to change) and it begins to consume him and even make him debate the value of his own life. Another interesting quotation from the ghost is ‘My hour is almost come’ which could indicate that the higher supernatural (God) has set a time, a direction and job for his poor ‘banished’ soul. His possession of time with ‘My hour’ is a good suggestion that Shakespeare wanted to show the Ghost as a figure whose purpose is to travel and change the future- to resolve and stop actions that could potentially happen or to make them occur. This means that Ghost of Hamlet’s Father does not have ‘free will’ either because he has been given a job and task to do. Shakespeare uses the supernatural as a way to explore the concept of higher beings, of course highly fictional, but even so often believed in at the time.

The Poem ‘On My First Sonne’ also demonstrates the presence of a defined fate with the metaphor ‘Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.’ It is again referenced to a supernatural or higher power, this time his conflict with the Gods above. One word that perhaps describes the uncontrollable forces best (other than the tabooed ‘fate’) is ‘just’. The implication of this is that the day on which his son died was correct, meant to happen. Although this seems cruel on Ben Johnson- that God and fate decided that his young son should be taken away so soon- it is apparently what was written from the beginning. Another very interesting metaphor is in ‘Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay’. Not only does it juxtapose his son to an inanimate object to be lent, bought and sold, but implies that the Gods had control and possession of his son. After all when something is lent to you, at no point does it belong to you and it must be returned. This idea of Johnson not having a lifelong entitlement leads him onto the opinion that you do not have control over the things in your life- even your most precious belongings. On the subject of fate and free will, this absolutely strengthens the idea that some supernatural being- this time in the shape of the Gods, decided what would happen in the character’s life, therefore sealing and deciding their fate.

‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ contains elements and expressions of fate as well, less blatant but still there. The recurring line containing ‘against the dying of the light’ as well as ‘at the close of day’ create a semantic field of a defined ending and are also euphemisms for death. The words ‘dying’ and ‘close’ show this. The word dying is talking about a light that is a metaphor for life. This is juxtaposed to the end of a day, one day representing a whole lifetime. This supports my idea that the texts show a dedicated time for death just like how there is a defined time for the end of a single day. This is a force beyond anybody’s control. However, although this is the same as the other examples and texts, it does not include the idea of a supernatural being or God that decides a person’s future. Dylan Thomas was a strict Atheist and therefore did not believe in a higher being. We can clearly see this implemented in the writing of this poem as most other poets and authors whilst talking about fate would include or at least mention religion. It is interesting however that he agrees that people have a defined ending- I would not have predicted this to be his thoughts regarding his Atheism. This is a difference from the other texts that I have looked at but still contains the main idea that there is a set time for your death.

Following on from this theme of the deceased and dying links the thought of an acceptance of fate or most commonly in this case, acceptance of somebody’s death. This time the opinions from the writers are quite different. ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ has the idea (and also the purpose of the whole poem) that you should not readily accept death and that you should go down fighting fate until the end. The title of the poem, which is repeated throughout, nicely sums this up with another euphemism of the ‘good night’. To not ‘go gentle’ simply instructs that you should not let fate overpower you to bring you to the grave. This could perhaps suggest that this meant he would not accept fate and the idea of a fixed time for our deaths. But again by fighting the idea and concept you are in-explicitly admitting its presence. It is not certain whether Dylan Thomas intentionally implied this. This is shown again with ‘Though wise men at their end know dark is right’ which says that even the wisest understand that they must die. After this comes ‘Because their words had forked not lightning they…Do not go gentle into that good night’. Using the same structure with different examples Dylan Thomas implies that the reason they fight against the ‘darkness’ is that they think that they have not impacted enough on the world or deem to have had a fulfilled life. Perhaps Dylan Thomas uses ‘words’ in this quote to mean their life’s accomplishments regarding his profession. Being a poet, words and writing are his life and so it makes sense to assume his writing defines what he has personally accomplished. The ‘lightning’ is the definitive impact that Thomas has had, a nice little ‘strike’ metaphor. Interestingly lightning strikes the earth roughly once a second, but I’ll let that pass.

Hamlet contemplates this whole matter for a soliloquy in Shakespeare’s most famous ‘To be or not to be’. The ‘whips and scorns of time’ is a powerful phrase which outlines the reasons for Hamlet to be contemplating taking his own life. The past actions in the book such as those from his ‘Uncle Father’ make it hard to imagine the reasons for which he would want to keep living in the world. The ‘whips’ and ‘scorns’ present make up a cacophony of harsh sounds, to describe the humiliations that life has simply thrown at him. The whips give off very negative connotations, torturous devices used to deliver pain to Hamlet. The ‘Scorns of time’ part of the quote is interesting while again looking at the idea of his fate. He contemplates the troubles and hardships that time itself gave him. This makes him (during the monologue as whole) debate whether his torturous existence is worth living for. The unanswerable rhetorical question of: if, how and why some higher being would do this help to bring him to his knees. The monologue debates an irreversible action that would be taken if Hamlet thinks that it is all not worth living for. ‘Take arms against his troubles and by opposing end them’ uses a euphemism as for ending his troubles which implies killing who they belong to- himself. Compared to the other poems Hamlet is actually fighting himself for his life. Where the others rely on just the higher being[‘s’] decision to decide his time of departure, Hamlet is attempting to deny the Gods of their duty to decide his own time to leave the earth. Of course here could come a large philosophical debate over whether the gods actually decide for him to take his own life, or even that they forced him to take his own life with their actions. But either way we know that Hamlet looks into the face of death himself to fight the ‘sea of troubles’ and take revenge for the sake of his Father and country. This is similar to Dylan Thomas as he tries to fight and fend off his seemingly inevitable death.

Now comes the contrary to these two above- ‘On my first sonne’ displays the thoughts of acceptance and appreciation for the life and time that somebody was with you. ‘Rest in soft peace, and, ask’d, say, “Here doth lie Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.”‘ these two beautiful lines are heartfelt and meaningful for the poet. Jonson pays respect to his deceased son and similarly to Dylan Thomas refers to the most proud thing in his life (his son). The impact he has had on the world from his writing and poetry is also referenced. ‘His best piece of poetry’ uses himself as the subject changing into third person present tense. Becoming an outsider to the action Jonson looks upon his son as the great work that he had brought to the world. The poet talked previously about ‘having too much hope’ his son, blaming himself for the distress and troubles. He implies that instead of worrying about what could happen to a loved one in the future, you should make the most of their time that you share together- even though it may be short. ‘Why should I not accept if he had a good seven years’ is how he expresses his opinion that he shouldn’t about such a precious gift that gave him such joy for seven years. In effect Jonson admits that you should not fight what is destined, but savour what you have been given.

All of these texts display a desperate struggle and dilemma from personal loss- whether it be a loved one or in themselves. It is so hard to comprehend the unimaginable, such that you often find yourself screaming ‘It shouldn’t be me’. I understand how this feels, events can seem so far from reality you start questioning who set out to harm you of all people. Getting past this and trying to communicate these thoughts is precisely what these writers have done, for us to read and study. It gives these pieces such importance in English literature and makes them so very influential.


Now and then

You’re still waiting for her to finish, squealing through every note. Some godly foot stamps on the cat’s tail again and again unleashing a new round, verse, chorus or whatever the hell this is. The worst thing is that you know who should be up there performing for the crowd- cheers should rattle the tinder roof. Instead the ceiling cowers and trembles. You break a sweat when the jarred vibrations squirm through your ears to greet you. Look at the dirt and dust on this side of the curtain, or how that girl’s costume strikes your eye with sharp creases. The others must manage to distract themselves somehow, mustn’t they? Or maybe you’re the only one to feel this. Backstage tenses and flexes for a long while after the first appalling act of the rehearsal goes by. You begin to recall your whole piece now and notes bounce across your lap, of course only ringing out inside your own head. Lord help the soul who makes a noise louder than the pulse escaping their tempted mouth. The notes sustain, drop and flow to create your personal sound-scape. You pray to the musical gods of Tchaikovsky, Chopin and modern day pop trash.

A new hopeful participant enters on the endless factory line- almost a possibility of impressing, their flute glides through the hall. Now this is more like what you play for, sweet symphonies and cadences. Back when you were 9 things seemed to be pure, music and a seamless household connected. This compares with the unhinged reality of mess from the past few weeks. The percussionists strike a strange timbre and you are brought back to a tight squeeze in what was mellow silence- maybe mixed with a little humid air and a pinch of odour to complement.

He sat in the empty rows of the silently applauding audience and sighed, for at least a moment had passed from the last glance at his cheap, scratched Casio watch. He made a mental note to clean the curtain which was dirtily smudged. It must have been since the last time he washed the ancient pride and joy of the stage. Finding jobs to do in this trash-filled palace was easy enough and needed to be done to make sure the musical façade stayed intact. At worst he could scream out to anyone that could listen and express what was hidden beneath the solid concrete ground, behind the velvet curtain, trapped so dearly. He pictured the notes now, staccato and jolting, the pretty and graceful tune they once played echoed around the hall.


Bare vexed letter to the editor

Isabelle Kerr manages to contradict (and outright embarrass) herself while writing a critical piece commenting on the use of slang by the youth of today. Her criticism and negative manner towards colloquialisms is demolished by her own hypocritical use of the language. The logic of her arguments are absolutely faulted by contradicting herself, an ironic disaster.

Isabelle Kerr obviously does not comprehend what fantastic things have come out of language diversity. From colloquialisms and invented words English has evolved to become a captivating and beautiful language. The use of poetry through the language can follow a mesmerising tone with words that slip off the edge of the tongue. Ironically some of these are words that have been shortened through the ages, such as an example of a piece of vocabulary from the ‘era of great language and literary triumph’ that Isabelle describes. This is of course the word ’twere’, a contraction of the phrase ‘it were’. Has Kerr realised that that this was originally a term derived from ‘slang’ and was using this to pull our leg, or is she just unaware of insulting us with her insolence? She follows by saying ‘or worse, shortening…already perfectly good words.’, coming directly after the praise for her ‘archaic’ and ‘reminiscent’ word twere. Her lack of knowledge and ability to continuously undermine her own argument is a spectacle (so much so that I think it should be used for students to study how to not to write an article).

Kerr’s next flaw in her letter to address colloquial problems is that she has clearly not researched into the fight against ‘slang’, or even some of literature’s greatest writers. “Shakespeare will be turning in his grave” was a phrase used to make the reader think that language used today would be loathed by a past writer, an extremely important figure related to the developing of the English language. Unfortunately William Shakespeare, writer of many famous plays including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet and many more happened to be very well known for creating his own words which were consequently added to the dictionary. The list includes words such as nervy, rancorous, puke and assassination- which at the time would have been considered colloquial terms and a separate dialect from the standard English language. After all why should we not follow a great master of the English language when we can instead listen to a 20 year old analysing concepts far out of her depth who is a mis-representative of her generation. Her hypocrisy is irritating and so is to believe that people would attempt to speak about this ‘generation’s feeble etymological contribution’. I would love to see some of Kerr’s great contributions (other than her skill to lie about not knowing the definition of twerking- of course to impress others that she has been living in a cave her whole life).

Taking a shot at the Dictionary Kerr manages to mess up the difference between the online and physical dictionaries. Kerr states that by including some of these new words online, ‘the Oxford dictionaries are awarding these dismal words a degree of permanence’. Now other than her personal opinion about how useless these words are (which is perfectly acceptable) she refers to a ‘permanence’ about the online dictionary. We know that what is defined on the internet is far from the definitions of what is accepted formally into our language, so by saying that by putting words such as ‘twerking’ online keeps them forever is blowing the action completely out of proportion.

Our Isabelle questions why these slang words have been elevated to a level of permanence and authority. My question to you is: why has somebody elevated Isabelle Kerr to a level of permanence and authority inside the Telegraph to be allowed to publish this horrendous article.

Prep for Touching the Void


‘I lifted a heavy weight with me, and almost solid feeling of dread that crept through me’. This personification is an example where Joe Simpson has turned fear into a being that haunts the climbers. This despair is refereed to throughout the text with foreshadowing, personification of their surroundings and this fear/dread. Joe and Simon’s unfamiliar companion develops through the book. The ‘unseen’ character is a symbolism for the danger on the mountain. Beginning as premonition the phrase ‘I had sensed something would happen without understanding quite what it would be’ Joe tells us his feeling that he knew something was going to happen. This anxious feeling is effectively foreshadowing or the similar feeling or ‘sixth sense’ that somebody is watching your every move. When Simon is alone trying to get off the mountain he describes the mountains as ‘holding their breath’. The mountains watching personifies them and strengthens the fact that even though someone is watching they make no effort to help him- he is asking in his struggles. The heavy feeling of dread changes the personification to the feeling of fear that is said to ‘creep’ through Simon. This metaphor can be said to show how Simon could have gone crazy from being left alone and helpless. The ‘heaviness’ shows the weight of despair pushing down on him.


‘[Watched] the leading Japanese climber fall outwards and backwards arms outstretched in surprise.’ Joe Simpson uses phrases such as this to describe the reality of how the Japanese climbers fell off the mountain. Rather than use elaborate linguistic devices the description is to the point. Simple words like ‘fall’ capture this reality. His arms are ‘outstretched’, as he is caught off guard. This represents danger as abrupt and very real.

Chapter 1 and 2: Touching the void

Uno: Starting inside a tent in the middle of the Peruvian Andes Joe and Simon are on an expedition to ascend an unclimbed face of a mountain. Richard, who is no climber is introduced. He was travelling alone and they found he would be useful to protect their gear while they climb and so was invited to join them. To test the weather the first day they spent exploring, later finding a hut lived in by two girls that exchanged food for them. To check out the weather further the next day they began a trip to Siera Norte, only for 4-5 days- however Richard was worried. They would assess how they would approach climbing the final mountain.

Dos: They begin the ascent and begin to get into the climb, after Joe was feeling the cold from the freezing temperatures. They come across tough terrain and narrowly dodge being hit down the mountain from loose boulders. They continue up but start to worry where they are going to sleep as the weather has begun to get dark, and realise it could take time to find a good snow-hole. They have a stroke of luck as a ready formed shelter is found. Joe still despises bivy’ing as he recalls a previous experience of a near death encounter because of a simple night under shelter. The ledge itself had fallen being only made of snow- only holding them from their safety lines. They make sure to pin them in.

Hamlet summaries

Act 1: Scene 1

Laertes is planning to leave and is giving advice to his sister about loving Hamlet. He is then talked to by his Father about life lessons such as: ‘borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.’ He describes that it ‘loses both itself and friend’. Polonious in this quote is asking if Hamlet actually loves her or if he is just saying so to ‘get down her pants’. Everyone is warning against Hamlet and that there could be a different side to him.

Scene 2

At night Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus are on watch and at midnight canons go off. Hamlet thinks his Father drinks too much and this behavior shames their family. “Do you believe his tensors?” The Ghost appears, doesn’t speak but beckons toward Hamlet. “Go on, I’ll follow thee” Marcellus also says “there is something rotten in the state of Denmark” and is an example of foreshadowing.

Scene 3

They then see the ghost of the dead king and he tells them about how he really died. ‘Poison in the ear’ is a phrase used in conjunction with the biblical reference with a ‘serpent in the orchard’. He was poisoned by his own brother who then married his wife. He describes hell as indescribable and Hamlet agrees to seek revenge. He then makes the rest promise by God that they will not speak a work of what had happened to anyone.

Act 2: Scene 1

Polonius is talking to his servant and requests him to go to France to effectively spy on his own son, Laertes. “Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth” means that polonius wants Reynaldo to tell lies about Laertes to people who know him, to gain any truth or rumours about him. “Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarreling, drabbing-you may go so far.” Reynaldo is allowed to tell any of these lies to gain knowledge.

Reynaldo exits and Ophelia enters. She speaks about Lord Hamlet and says that she is worried about him and his state. “with a look so piteous in purport.” And shortly “he comes before me.” Ophelia describes that Hamlet came to her and-blank faced-stared at her face for a while. Polonius then suggests that it is because he is madly in love with her and apologises for himself boibting Hamlet. “To lack discretion. Come go we to the king.”

Scene 2

The scene begins with Claudius talking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who are two of Hamlet’s school friends. Polonius asks them to keep an eye on Hamlet and effectively spy on him, he asks this as a question and he rather rudely replied “Put your dread pleasures more into command than to entreaty.” They both leave and Polonius enters. He believes to know the reason why Hamlet has gone mad. “Oh, speak of that. That do I long to hear.” – Claudius. Ambassadors Voltemand and Cornelius from Norway talk with the King and speak about matters of war. The King of Norway was apparently horrified when he discovered plans from Young Fortinbras to attack Denmark (After the death of Old Fortinbras due to Hamlet). Voltemand claims they are going to attack Poland and would like a safe passage through Denmark with their troops. “And at our more considered time we’ll read” is the lazy and not interested reply from the King. Gertrude and The King read a love letter from Hamlet to Ophelia that is shown by Polonius, “At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him.” Polonius agrees to allow Ophelia to see Hamlet. Hamlet enters, reading a book and putting on an act of a madman. He pretends not to know or recognise Polonius and calls him a fishmonger, all the others agree he has gone crazy with love.

Rozencranz and Guildenstern enter and after a cheeky bit of banter Hamlet questions if they are here on their own accord or whether they have been sent for. Being long time friends Guildenstern admits “My lord, we were sent for.” Hamlet speaks for long about the world being a prison for him and everyone is not exciting. The others then say there is a show being put on for him by actors that Hamlet used to enjoy. Hamlet admits that he is only acting mad by saying “I am mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly”. Shakespeare references him competition in the world of acting and even his own globe theatre. The Play within a play is to begin.

Act 3: Scene 1

Claudius decides with Polonius that they will test if Hamlet is mad with love by using Ophelia as bait. Rosencranz cover up for Hamlet by only suggesting slight madness “He does confess he feels himself distracted”. The King and Polonius hide and Hamlet enters to make his famous ‘To be, or not to be’ speech. In this he contemplates taking his own life if he is too little of a man to do anything about his treacherous uncle. Ophelia enters and confronts Hamlet about his apparent love for her. However he denies this and tells her multiple times to “go back to a nunnery” he is continuously rude to her and sarcastically states she is too good for all men. After they exit and Polonius reports back to the King, who now suspects that Hamlet knows the truth and that is why he has gone crazy. Polonius attempts to assure him that all he said was due to his mad love for Ophelia, however the King makes plans to send Hamlet on a ship to England to collect money they owe him as “haply the seas and countries different” the trip would be suitable for his depression.

Scene 2

Hamlet begins by speaking to three of the players about how to act. Firstly not to over act and then “not too tame either”. Rosencranz and Guildenstern are in on the plan to keep looking at the King and see if he reacts when the players play the death of Hamlets father and murder by his uncle. He jokingly asks if he should lie at Ophelia’s lap. During the play the King angrily storms out after the player king pours poison into the old King’s ear, as was said to have happened in real life by the ghost.

Horatio agrees that the King is guilty because of his actions “upon the talk of the poisoning”. Guildenstern and Rosencranz enter and Hamlet describes his uncle as dis-tempered, with anger and not drink this time (alcoholism had not even been thought about in that period of time). Guildenstern is asked continuously whether he plays the flute and then asks why, if he can’t why he decided to play Hamlet instead. Polonius tells Hamlet that his Mother would like to have a private word with him in her bedroom.

Scene 3

The King has a conversation with Rosencranz and Guildenstern to plan to send Hamlet away from Denmark. Then after instructing Polonius to spy on Hamlet and his mother’s conversation “Behind the areas I’ll convey myself” the King tries to confess his sins on his own. Hamlet arrives, draws his sword and in usual fashion proceeds to say a monologue and give excuses to himself for why he should wait to kill the King. This time it is because he sees his uncle confessing his sins and thinks that if he kills him there his uncle will go to heaven because he has wiped his sins clear with a confession. He says he needs to murder him “when he is drunk asleep…or in the’incestuous pleasure of his bed.”

What he does not realise is that the King does not believe he is clean from sins while he is still gaining from killing his brother- while he is still on the thrown. So by dramatic irony the audience realises that Hamlet could have killed him then and there.

Scene 4

Polonius and Gertrude enter and Polonius instructs the Queen to speak firmly to her son and hides behind a curtain “I’ll silence me even here”. Hamlet enters and is promptly told he has offended his father. “Mother, you have my father offended” is replied referring to Hamlet’s dead father. Hamlet continues to confront his mother about her guilt for marrying the King’s brother. Hamlet says “you may see the inmost part of you” where it could mean looking into to her soul or something meaningful on those lines- but Gertrude thinks that he is referring to murdering her. Polonius shouts out and Hamlet stabs through the curtain and kills Polonius. “Is it the King” he asks hopefully, however they realise it is Polonius. After more of Hamlet accusing the Queen the Ghost enters, only for Hamlet to notice. He comments on how Hamlet was set out to kill the King but now rests killing Polonius and shouting at his mother. Assuming he will be sent to England Hamlet agrees to himself he will man up and do the deed, then drags Polonius off stage.

Act 4: Scene 1

The King, Gertrude, Rosencranz and Guildenstern are gathered to hear the Queen give the news about Polonius being slayed by Hamlet. The Queen says “bestow this place on us a while” indicating to the others who then leave. “Whips out his rapier, cries ‘A rat, a rat'” the Queen then describes the killing as by Hamlet’s madness although the King full well knows that Hamlet intended to murder Claudius as he thought he was the one concealed behind the curtain. The King says that Hamlet would be a liability to keep in the country so they must keep his killing of Polonius secret- and he will send him to England. Guildenstern and Rozencranz are sent to fetch Hamlet and find Polonius’ body.

Scene 2

Hamlet says “safely stowed” before calling within, with Rosencranz, Guildenstern and some others entering. They ask him where the body is stowed and that he has to come back with them in front of the King. “Take me for a sponge my lord?” Rosencranz asks Hamlet. He says that the at the moment he is soaking up the rewards from the King- but once he has been used, he will be squeeze him out “and, sponge, you shall be dry again”. Then he goes on to say that the King is a thing, the crown passing from person to person. ” the body is with the King, but the King is not with the body” suggesting that his father is not a real King just taking the place of another. They exit.

Scene 3

Back with the King, Claudius debates the Danger of Hamlet. Rosencranz tells the King that Hamlet will not reveal where he has hidden the body of Polonius. Hamlet enters and insults the King using plays on words. “Your worm is only your emperor for diet” and also “two dishes for one table. That’s the end” as he plays on the fact that in the end everyone ends up in the same grave. “A king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.” He says he should search in hell for Polonius or if easier look under the stairs. The King sends Hamlet to board a ship hastened for England. Further than that he plans on killing Hamlet in England “the present death of Hamlet. Do it England”.

Scene 4

As Hamlet is leaving for England he stumbles upon Fortinbras and his army coming through Denmark to supposedly get to Poland. He asks a captain what they are planning to do in Poland and is replied “

On my first son modernisation

Goodbye son, and light of my life

My own mistake was having too much hope in you, I am also to blame

You have gone after only seven years and now the gods have asked for you returned to the heavens, and taken you.

If only I could escape all thoughts of fatherhood

And take his place

To escape the pains of the world.

At least he did not feel the pains of old age.

Rest in peace, “Here lies my best piece of work I brought to this world.”

From now on I will not love something the way I loved my son,

As I have learnt from loving my son so dearly there is always a price to pay.

The whips and scorns of time

In the famous soliloquy ‘To be or not to be’ Hamlet uses metaphors to negatively perceive time and life itself. Using the word ‘whip’ gives off a negative connotation along with linking to torture of ‘dispriz’d love’ and a great pain that Hamlet believes his fate is bringing him. That and the belief that there is a higher being controlling us, are questions which bring Hamlet to his knees in the Monologue. It is effective in the phrase ‘whips and scorns of time’ (another metaphor) to present the humiliations that life brings upon us all with ease. The sentence as a whole roughly translates to the the question “Who would want to hold the problems and burdens, face the humiliation of the world we live in?” This reflects the monologue because as a whole, rhetorical questions and doubts from Hamlet are what creates most of the dialogue and substance, he effectively repeats the same point over and over again. This is that there is so much wrong caused by life it would be easier to ‘take arms against his troubles and by opposing end them’.

This presents Hamlet throughout the play as well as just this scene. Being a contemplative fellow his role is continuously asking questions about everything. In Act 3 Scene 2 Hamlet similarly makes a metaphor while speaking to Guildenstern: “You would play upon me”. Referring to himself as an instrument- a pipe or recorder, Hamlet confronts Guildenstern who has been speaking in favour of the King. This phrase presents himself as being under control and being toyed with. ” with your finger and thumb” is also a similar phrase to having someone ‘under your thumb’ meaning again that Guildenstern thinks that he can control Hamlet. This could possibly also be relating to the fact that Claudius is using Rozencranz and Guildenstern. He continues along this metaphor further by using musical terms over course of the next few lines e.g. pluck, lowest note, organ. At the end he even makes the pun of “though you FRET me” making Hamlet more than a simple hero character- he has an interesting use of language and hilarity, created by Shakespeare. Hamlet turns into a complicated character that the reader or watcher can empathise with.

Comparison with poem:

The chosen comparison is with ‘Come on come back’ a poem about the reluctance of somebody- an acceptance of death. Vaudevue has Escaped from a concentration camp ‘M.L.5…of all human exterminators’ which has brought her great harm and torture, just like the ‘misfortunes’ of Hamlet’s life. There is however an obvious difference in Hamlet is merely debating taking his own life in comparison to Vaudevue having already accepted her fate and walks ‘into the icy waters’.