Monday, December 12, 2011

Hamlet Act 5

93 comments:

  1. Class, with the final essay tomorrow, and one of the questions being about honor, do you think Hamlet is an honorable person?

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  2. Class: Do you think Hamlet ever was actually crazy? Or was all of his actions completely justified? How would they be justified?

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  3. Ben, I believe Hamlet was an honorable person in the end. Hamlet had to do what he had to do to revenge his father but through that process he did it in an honorable way.

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  4. Jack, I was thinking about it last night, doesn't it seem not honorable to kill someone?

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  5. BenB: yes I do think that Hamlet is a honorable person. this whole story is about him honoring his father, he seems to be the only honorable one in the book, Hamlet kills people to avenge his father but everyone else is trying to kill Hamlet to get rid of him based on that Hamlet is honorable.

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  6. Alexa, I was a firm believer that Hamlet was crazy but after the whole fight scene and how the play ended I think all of his actions were justified. He was a man with a plan and he executed that plan by killing the people necessary to avenge his father's death.

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  7. Ben: Yes, i do think that Hamlet is an honorable person. Throughout this entire play we see him struggling with so much in his life, yet he stays strong throughout the entire play. Okay, yes it is arguable that he is a bad person because he was out to kill. But the only reason as so that he could avenge the death of his father. I think it is completely honorable that he stuck to his goal, and fought against everyone who didn't want him around. In the end, he ended up winning the battle, he died a hero.

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  8. Ben-
    I think that Hamlet's Intentions are extremely honorable but his actions may not always been so honorable. Laertes and Hamlet absolved each other from their deaths but how is Hamlet absovled from killing Claudius? Like how is that ok unless we're thinking that he's defending his and his family's Honor. So I say intentions yes actions not always.

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  9. Drew, let's talk about what honor is. Is honor doing something for someone else or is honor, honoring yourself and your beliefs?

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  10. Ben: I think that Hamlet is probably one of the most honorable characters we have read about this semester. He was diligent to the cause of getting revenge for the murder of his father. He knew how much he could lose and he practically gave his life to make sure that justice was found. If he did not have honor he would not have strived so hard to do what was right by his father. He could have easily given up at any time, but he did not. He was truly honorable.

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  11. Alexa: I think that a lot of Hamlet's actions were justified especially considering the circumstances of his situation, so I don't think Hamlet was completely insane. Referencing Hamlet seeing the ghost, though, and for that reason I don't think he was completely sane either. I think a lot of his actions become unjustified based on the readers view on the ghost, whether it is real or not. I personally think that Hamlet was well on his way to insanity throughout the entire book, but considering his situation, I don't think he was ever truly crazy.

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  12. Ben, like Mitch said about The Canterbury Tales, the Knight kills people but still is an honorable person. I think it is the way you look at the situation.

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  13. BenB; honor is a very broad topic anything can be seen as honorable based on the circumstances.

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  14. Ben; I think Hamlet is an honorable person because he didn't just kill someone because the ghost of his father told him to;Hamlet waited for proof of the treachery and eventually acted upon it by taking the lives of the corrupt and himself. (If Hamlet didn't die at the end my answer would be different).

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  15. Ben, In the end Hamlet dies honorable man, he avenges his fathers death. I don't think Hamlet would be honorable if he had not of killed Cladius, he would of died with Polonius's death on his mind.

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  16. Ben I do not feel that Hamlet is honorable because he committed murder twice. Yes it seems that Hamlet is obligated to avenge his father's death but if he is planning on going to heaven he cannot kill. There are other ways to avenge his father's death like exposing Claudius to the people and having him put in prison but he did not have to kill and then would not accidentally killed Polonius. Fortinbras didn't kill the people who killed his father and he is the only one who survives.

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  17. Madeline, good point. But did Hamlet really stay strong through all of his struggles? I feel like he didn't.

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  19. Alexa. I think that Hamlet was not crazy. Throughout the entire book Hamlet has always be ingenious with his action. He has manipulated the situation in his favor every time. And yes, his actions were always justified.

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  20. Alexa-
    I've Always said that Hamlet has been completely in control. Never at once did I see any actions by hamlet being crazy. Everything he did from the pointed remarks to the King and Polonius, to the final murder of the King. Hamlet was never crazy.

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  21. Class; If you base Hamlets sanity off of his intentions rather than his actions would you still consider him sane/insane?

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  22. Alexa: In my opinion, Hamlet was never truly insane. Yes, i could agree that he was crazy. Crazy meaning he was distracted by something for a prolonged period of time. Insane meaning he had mental issues. We have discussed this before. Hamlet never had mental issues, he was only focused on killing Claudius no matter which way he was going to do it. But he never got to the point where he was making irrational, insane decisions. When we compare him to ophelia, he looks more normal than the blue sky. Ophelia was INSANE. She danced around singing, changing her mood almost instantaneously, and not listening to ANYONE, but making her own, completely irrational decisions. Hamlet had logic, and reason. But he was definitely distracted from everything else with trying to kill Claudius. So yes he was crazy, but he was never insane

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  23. Class, was there any symbolic reason why the King dropped a pearl in the wine instead of something else?

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  24. Anna, I agree with you.

    To everyone else who answered my first question, were Hamlet's actions of murdering really for honoring his father's request or was it for some other reason, maybe just to keep himself alive?

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  25. Kati: I think the fact that he saw the ghost and the ghost gave him information that was actually fact and really did happen means that he was not insane when he saw it. If it had been an illusion that happened because he was crazy, it would not have given him true facts.

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  26. class: Claudius asks Gertrude not to drink from the cup and she refuses. Has she ever disobeyed Claudius before?

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  27. Connor: if you base his sanity completely off his intentions then he is for sure insane. He is obsessed with killing a person that is a little crazy.

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  28. Connor: I think that based on Hamlet's intentions he would be sane because he was just trying to get revenge and his intentions aren't really very crazy.

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  29. Ben (in regards to your question to drew): I believe that honor has to do with honesty. Honesty with yourself, and with others. So honor doesnt just have to do with other people OR yourself. It's both. It is staying true to your morals, while also being a humble, fair person to others.

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  30. Jack: I'm not sure if there is any significance dropping the pearl merely just a sign of the wine being poisoned

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  32. Mitch, If I recall I can't remember Gertrude every disobeying Claudius before this point. So I am not sure where you were going for with this question.

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  33. Alexa, Throughout the play we see that Hamlet does some unjustified things, a few things I would say someone crazy would do. Hamlet had no reason for killing Polonius, and did it out of anger rather then to avenge his father.

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  34. Mitch- Or is it that every time a woman stands up to a man, she is killed off?

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  35. Ben-
    I find your point of keeping him self alive interesting because I feel like he was trying to stay alive up untill the point of meeting Fortinbras on his trip. After that I think he no longer cared the out come as long as he took care of Claudius.

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  36. Connor, yes Hamlet has remained sane if you look at his intentions. He was very smart in that he was able to keep people guessing about what he was up to because they thought he was crazy. It seems that this part of his plan was very well thought out which suggested that he is smart not insane.

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  37. Madeline, so based off of what you just said, Hamlet ignores his morals in the end, in the beginning he considers how he cannot kill anyone, but then he goes and kills both Polonius and Claudius. Wouldn't that make Hamlet not honorable?

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  38. Mitch: In this situation, I do not really think that it was necessarily Gertrude disobeying Claudius in this scene. I think that it was the heat of the moment that made her not listen to Claudius. Think about it. It was a huge gathering, of fun, lots of people, and just a good environment that made her take the sip. Cheering to the occasion. She did not disobey him in anyway.

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  39. Ben, I think that it might have been a mix of both. Hamlet killed Claudius to avene his father, but he might have also done it to stop the death attempts by Claudius.

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  40. Jack: I think the pearl kind of represents royalty and riches. It is ironic that the glass was tainted by this beautiful little symbol. It is kind of a long shot, but I think that the pearl is like royalty and the want for royalty is what tainted Claudius and made him do such horrible things. It comes full circle when the pearl poisons that cup and it is his last attempt to keep the riches and royalty.

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  41. Cory, I like what you're saying. So after Hamlet encounters Fortinbras I feel like he doesn't even care about honoring his father's intentions. So I would argue he no longer is honorable because his intentions for killing people was not to honor his father but just to kill.

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  42. Jack, The pearl seems to be a sort of honor from the king. It represents the kings blessing to show Hamlet that he want Hamlet to win, But not really. At the time, I would think this would be a regular happening.

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  43. Ben: Okay I see your point, I do not know how to say this without contradicting myself. Well, i think that yes honor is about sticking to your morals and staying true to yourself. And yes, Hamlet does get off track from what his morals are. But, also honor can be described as fame, glory, or high-esteem. Therefore, here is my point. I think that Hamlet has stayed honorable throughout the entire play. He began with the honor of staying true, and honest, then he moved to the honor of fame and glory.

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  44. Ms. Smith
    I have this feeling that Shakespear feels that once women start standing up to men there is a real threat to society. Which is funny considering there are a lot of things in Society that women do way better than men. But I feel like Shakespear is afraid of the day that women start standing up to men.

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  45. Jack: I think that there is no symbolism behind the pear other than the symbolism laid out in the story

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  46. Mrs Smith: that's a good point, I think that it could go either way. I think that Shakespeare would have killed off Gertrude in the end no matter what. Gertrude has followed Claudius's every move and done whatever he has said, with the marriage and covering up the murder of Polonius. This tells me that when she disobeys Claudius it ultimately leads to his death.

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  47. Alexa: I don't believe he was fully crazy. He appeared crazy in the eyes of other characters in the play, but as onlookers, it is apparent that his plans were all thought out. His actions were justifiable I think. The only thing not planned out would be the killing of Polonius. He acted solely on intuition, but that doesn't make it unjustifiable. He also has the ability to think beyond what is apparent. He talks about how when Alexander the Great died, he returned to dust, which is dirt, and dirt makes mud, and mud is used to stop holes. Horatio told Hamlet he was thinking too much. Clearly, Hamlet has superior cognitive functions and can make observations beyond what is seen by others. He was never actually crazy.

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  48. Madeline, how can honor be described as fame, glory, or high-esteem? Is it a definition? I would think that the want for fame and glory is more greed than honor?

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  49. Jack: I agree with Mr Brumley, that wasn't the best question that's been posted, but I like the idea. Is there any factual support to that point or just and idea?

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  50. Ben-
    So you're saying that as soon as Hamlet starts leaving his mind to Bloody thoughts, he no longer is honorable. But in the end of the play he states to Claudius that he is killing him for Killing both his father and his mother. So is that not in a way that he is honoring his father.

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  51. MitchB; I agree I feel that Jack has the potential to post questions of a higher caliber.

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  52. Ben: Yes the WANT for all of those things is greed. But the characteristic is Honor. Think about a prince, a prince is honorable because he is glorified and famous. But possibly, consider a duke. A duke could be wanting fame and glory and that could be Greed. I think that in the end the "honor" that Hamlet has is not an earned honor, it is just something that has been in place all along. The honor in the beginning when he was still true, was an earned honor.

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  53. Mitch, Just a thought Mitch, I was just trying to get the juices flowing in the classroom. Class, Did Leartes deserve what he got in the end?

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  54. Jere; I agree with you, i think the pearl was a royal blessing for good luck. At the same time it was a clever way of placing the poison in the wine because the King did it in front of everybody assuming they would think that no man was stupid enough to commit murder in front of an audience.

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  55. Corey- Not sure what you understand of Shakespeare's own life, but he was fearful of his own wife thus he moved away from Stratford upon Avon to London to be away from her. Also consider the other Shakepearean plays with "tough" women... Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, etc...

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  56. I think he says he is killing Claudius,not because of his father and mother, but because he wants to kill someone, he is already in pursuit of killing Claudius, so why not kill him. When Hamlet states he wants all his thoughts to be bloody, that signifies the change from his honor to his greed.

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  57. My last comment was towards Cory.

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  58. Jack: ok ok, i like it. And I think that Leartes did get what he deserved because he died trying to do something wrong with Claudius, but he also got the chance to exchange forgiveness with Hamlet thus sending him to heaven

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  59. Connor: Hamlets intentions to kill Cladius to avenge his father remains throughout the play. The only time his actions seem crazy his intentions were to kill Cladius. In the end when he does kill Cladius it wasnt his plan. His chance fell into his lap, I feel like when he kills Cladius his intentions are to revenge more then avenge.

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  60. Mitchell- and it is important that she dies for not listening to Hamlet. Think of other women in the play who listened and also met their peril.

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  61. Jack: I think when the king dropped the pearl in the wine, it was used only as a decoy. He said he dropped the pearl in there for Hamlet for his health. A non-tainted pearl is just a luxury that a royal family has.

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  62. Class: does Hamlet not feel for the death of R and G because it is all a question of honor? They didn't honor his friendship and to Hamlet, honor is the held in the highest regard?

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  63. Jere; I agree. I think Hamlet is completely sane, the actions Hamlet took compared to his intentions seem to be astray from one another.Intentions=sane Actions=hostile/insane.

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  64. Jack: I feel that he did get what he had coming to him based on his plot with the king, but in the end as Mitch said he made it right by confessing to Hamlet and asking for forgiveness.

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  65. Think about a prince, a prince is honorable because he is glorified and famous.

    Madeline, I feel like I'm attacking you, I don't mean to. Going off of your sentence about the prince, I feel like a prince's honor is not caused by glory and fame, rather he is coerced into being honorable because he is of nobility. Hamlet seems to ignore this obligation to be honorable when he says he wants all his thoughts to be bloody.

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  66. Smith: He said that he did not feel ashamed of his death because they got involved with his plot. The didn't honor his friendship at all and completely betrayed him and went behind his back so he felt no quilt whatsoever.

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  67. Jack: I think that was a great question! The pearl definitely has a lot of symbolism. Don't listen to Mitch and Drew. Onto your next question: I think that Laertes definitely did deserve to die in the end, because as we saw he partnered up with Claudius to murder Hamlet, even though he had no REAL reason to do it. I think he deserved to die because he was not a good person. He didn't have any reason to kill hamlet other than the fact that hamlet was in love with his sister. That is the worst excuse ever. And also, i really didn't see ANY point what so ever for the fight between the two in the grave. Sure, it was Hamlet expressing his eternal love for Ophelia, but it was definitely out of place and didn't make sense. It is a horrible that Laertes could just come home and hate Hamlet SO much after only hearing a story or two. So yes Laertes deserved what he got.

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  68. Mrs. Smith, so how is it honorable to kill R and G? He's just doing the same thing, not honoring the friendship.

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  69. Jack: I dont think Leartes deserves to die in the sense that he did anything wrong, but he deserves to die to be with his family. Laertes avenges his fathers death and he repents before he dies and dies honorably.

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  70. I agree with Alexa, if my friends did that to me and went behind my back I wouldn't feel for them at all anymore. Once they turned their backs on him Hamlet, Hamlet had no problem turning his back on them.

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  71. Mrs Smith: I think that Hamlet does not feel for killing R and G, like you said in the question honor and integrity is one of the highest values for Hamlet. His whole goal throughout the play was to honor his fathers death. In the same aspect, he expects people to honor him as well. R and G did not honor their friendship and this ultimately resulted in there death.

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  72. Smith, I think that reason is exactly why Hamlet disregarded their death. It seems that honor to other people is what he is really passionate about but not honor to faith or God. Hamlet was willing to break his ties with his religion because he felt a stronger obligation to honor his father.

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  73. Jack, I guess I'll ask you because Smith isn't paying attention. So how is it honorable for Hamlet to kill R and G? He's just doing the same thing, not honoring the friendship.

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  74. Mrs. Smith:
    Yes, I think Hamlet does not care for the death of R and G because they went behind his back in a time when friends are a crucial emotional support system. In terms of Honor; Hamlet felt R and G didn't deserve his sympathy because they didn't honor his fathers death.

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  75. Jack: So is it the right thing to do, to turn your back on your friends when they've done it to you? No, not at all. Think about how life is, when something terrible happens between you and your friends, do you completely stop being friends with them and attack them worse than the attacked you? No, you don't, because they're your friends. Think about the quote "Don't fight fire, with fire", you wouldn't make things worse, because in the end it would make you more miserable. And any person would not want to ever be miserable if they could help it.

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  76. -Smith
    I think that it was a deal of honor that Hamlet killed R and G. They betrayed his friendship by spying on him, and Hamlet felt like his honor was betrayed so he used them as a trade out to be killed in England instead of him.

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  77. Ben- read Mitchell's comment- that's what I wanted to say...

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  78. Smith: I believe Hamlet cares about honor the most. He tried fighting for his father's honor. He also cherished friendship, but obviously not his friendship with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He made a speech to Horatio saying that he held Horatio in his "heart of hearts" because he was a true friend to him all along. He is master of his emotions and that leads him to be honorable in friendship and the rest of his life. It seems apparent that Hamlet didn't care about the deaths of R and G because they tainted their friendship by being traitors.

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  79. -Class
    Kinsey brought up and interestin point. Throughout the play, has Hamlet gotten more sane as he killed more people?

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  80. Class- I think that is why Hamlet uses Ophelia too. She betrayed his honor when she agreed to stay away from him and spy on him for her father and Claudius.

    I think her death though finally triggers something in Hamlet though and he sees life is a much bigger deal than honor.

    Maddy- the point of the two men fighting in the grave is to show love. Finally we see men affected by the love they have for the same woman although they both treated her like crap and used her for their own means

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  81. Smith, I get what you're saying, or what Mitch is saying. But if Hamlet holds honor and integrity so high wouldn't you think that he would ask himself, "is it honorable to kill R and G? Ya, they didn't honor the friendship, but because I hold honor so high, it would be honorable to not kill them".

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  82. Olivia- I think being true is very important to Hamlet; so why then does he grieve over Ophelia's death when she betrayed him as R and G did? Is it because he knew she was used? Women in this play are pawns?

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  83. Sean, I think he did get more sane as he killed people because he was closer to avenging his fathers death. But his sane wasn't very sane if you understand what I am trying to say.

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  84. Sean: If you look back at the stages of a hero's journey , in stage three the hero comes in contact with death and is no longer innocent. From the death the Hero comes out with more wisdom and experience.

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  85. Ben- look at the definition of honor- very interesting. Look at it as a noun versus as a verb.

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  86. Ben- If he's still pursuing the death of Claudius then why is that not still considered Honorable? Where is the distinction drawn? Can you really call his thoughts being bloody greed it shows that he is finally willing to act.

    Smith-
    You say Lady Macbeth is "tough" and I agree but I don't ever remember ( and correct me if I'm wrong) Lady Macbeth ever making a definitive stand against Macbeth. I remember her prodding him along when he's indecisive, but never making objection to his will. Therefore it doesnt seem like " lets kill her off senario"

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  87. Sean: I'm not sure he would necessarily be more sane after killing more people. He isn't less sane either. Once he kills Polonius, he is no longer a man of inaction. He doesn't think through what he is doing near the end, but he finally finishes his deed that he dragged out this whole time. I don't think it is a question of sanity.

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  88. Smith: Hamlet definitely used Ophelia as a pawn. Even though he loved her, he used her because she used him. It seems like he believes in "an eye for an eye". That explains also why he didn't care about R and G's deaths. They were traitors, so he decided to be a traitor. He was sad when Ophelia died though because he realized his love for her conquered his anger towards her.

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  89. Smith, I don't get your point. Here's what I'm seeing as definitions;
    noun
    1.
    honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor.
    verb
    1.to hold in honor or high respect; revere: to honor one's parents.

    Based off of these definitions, I feel like Hamlet is not an honorable person, he just looks for others to honor him and he is just selfish. He thinks honor is important, but he does not even honor his own thoughts. He acts on selfish impulses without considering what is the most honorable action.
    I want to keep discussing :(

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  90. Hey Smith woukld it be possible to get a response on here? I'd really like to continue this conversation.

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  91. Cory, I feel like a nerd posting on this after the fishbowl. Hamlet is still pursuing killing Claudius, but his intentions for killing him are not about honoring his father's request. His willingness to finally act has taken over his thought of honoring his father's request. He no longer thinks of killing Claudius as an honor to someone else, rather he thinks that killing Claudius will give him self-satisfaction because he finally acted on something, there is no honor in that.

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  92. Ok ok I yield you've convinced me that he isn't honorable in killing claudius. Although I do feel that he has gain some measure of honor with his exchange with Laertes both of them relieving the other of the crimes commited against each other.

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