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William Shakespeare

Theme 1

Renaissance and Shakespeare’ tragedies

Task 1

Read the following passages. For each passage, write a single paragraph answer of approximately 100 words in which you do the following:

1. explain why the passage is important to the plotof the play;

2. explain how the passage reveals the personalityof the speaker(s);

3. explain how the passage relates to the themesof the play.


William Shakespeare

1. Hamlet (1600–1601)

Hamlet: Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong,

But pardon’t, as you are a gentleman.

This presence knows, and you must needs have heard,

How I am punished with a sore distraction.

What I have done

That might your nature, honor, and exception

Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.

Was’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.

If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away,

And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes,

Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it. (V. ii. 227–237)

2. The Tempest (1611)

Miranda: At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer

What I desire to give, and much less take

What I shall die to want. But this is trifling;

And all the more it seeks to hide itself,

The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning,

And prompt me, plain and holy innocence!

I am your wife, if you will marry me;

If not, I’ll die your maid. To be your fellow

You may deny me; but I’ll be your servant,

Whether you will or no. (III. i. 77–86)


3. Hamlet (1600–1601)

Hamlet: Ecstasy?

My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time

And makes as healthful music. It is not madness

That I have uttered. Bring me to the test,

And I the matter will reword, which madness

Would gambol1 from. Mother, for love of grace,

Lay not that flattering unction2 to your soul,

That not your trespass but my madness speaks.

It will but skin and film the ulcerous place

Whiles rank corruption, mining3 all within,

Infects unseen.

(III. iv. 140–150)


4. The Tempest (1611)

Alonso: Whe’r thou be’st he or no,

Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me,

As late I have been, I not know. Thy pulse

Beats, as of flesh and blood; and, since I saw thee,

Th’ affliction of my mind amends, with which,

I fear, a madness held me. This must crave

(And if this be at all) a most strange story.

Thy dukedom I resign and do entreat

Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should


Be living and be here?

Prospero: First, noble friend,

Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannot

Be measured or confined.

(V. i. 111–120)


P.s. Follow the Sample

PLOT •Prospero has finally revealed himself (in his former costume, as Duke of Milan) to the man who sanctioned Antonio’s coup.

• Alonso, having experienced a change of heart as a result of recent events, begs Propero’s pardon. By returning the dukedom to Prospero, Alonso makes possible the happy ending, including the marriage of his son to Prospero’s daughter.

PERSONALITY• Alonso, an elderly ruler, fears the loss of his mind.

• Essentially a just and sensitive man, Alonso reveals his guilty conscience at having participated in Prospero’s exile.

• Prospero reveals his affection for (and forgiveness of) Alonso.

• Gonzalo reveals his amazement at meeting Prospero.

THEMES •Alonzo and Gonzalo exhibit a sense of the miraculous at the past’s coming back to life.

• Alonso and Prospero show that charity and forgiveness are necessary to create harmony in human affairs.


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 689

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