Hamlet

The character of hamlet is the largest literary instance of what Max Weber meant by charisma, the power of a single individual over nature, and so at last over death. What matters most about Hamlet is the universality of his appeal…

[Bloom, Harold. Hamlet. Bloom’s Major Literary Characters. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004. p.2]

As with any Shakespeare play, you will quickly arrive at the fact that it’s a renaissance text written for a different audience using, at times, quiet archaic language. You will need to read and revise Hamlet so you can fully understand what’s happening in the play to fulfil the first area assessed in Module B for Advanced English, to demonstrate an informed understanding of the ideas expressed in the text . This will help you then deconstruct your ultimate HSC question in 40 minutes, as you don’t have much time for guess work during the exam. Understanding the play means you can pick out the most relevant sections including for example the context of the Elizabethan era, the themes associated with the king’s regicide, as well as the characters themselves without forgetting techniques, of course. Translating your knowledge of Hamlet into readily applicable knowledge for the HSC English Module B question can be difficult in its own right, but getting it right means you’re on your way to a Band 6 response.

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