Great Literature: A MidSummer Night’s Dream & Hamlet

Week 15: Great Literature: A MidSummer Night’s Dream & Hamlet

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Read K – 5: A MidSummer Night’s Dream by Bruce Coville

6 – 8: A MidSummer Night’s Dream AND Hamlet both by Bruce Coville

Discuss:

  • Shakespeare was famous for his comedies (funny stories), tragedies (sad stories) and histories.  Is A MidSummer Night’s Dream a comedy, tragedy, or history? (comedy)
  • What problem are Hermia & Lysander faced with at the beginning of the story? (They love each other but Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius.)
  • Who loves Demetrius? (Hermia’s friend, Helena.)
  • Who is the comedy figure in this story? (Bottom)
  • What happens to him? (Given the head of a donkey.)
  • What magical creatures cause mischief throughout the play? (Fairies; a hobgoblin)
  • Why do you think the play is called “A Mid Summer Night’s Dream?” (Problems begin after the characters go to sleep, and end after they awaken a second time believing the night’s adventures to be a dream.)

Questions for grades 6 – 8:

  • Is Hamlet a comedy, tragedy, or history? (tragedy)
  • What problem does Hamlet face in the story? (His father is dead and his mother quickly married his father’s brother. A ghost of his father tells him that he was murdered by his brother, Claudius.)
  • This line, “To be, or not to be. That is the question.” Is a famous line from Hamlet. What does it mean? (He is thinking about killing himself.)
  • How does Hamlet plan to find out if the ghost spoke the truth? (He has actors act out a scene similar to how his father died to see if Claudius would react with shame and guilt.)
  • Was Claudius guilty of murder? (Yes)
  • Did Hamlet’s plan help matters or cause more trouble? (More trouble: He killed the father of the woman he loved by accident (thinking it was Claudius), then the woman he loved, Ophelia, went mad with grief; later she drowned.)
  • How does the play end? (Queen mistakenly drinks poison. Ophelia’s brother was stabbed with a poisoned sword. Hamlet too was stabbed with a poisoned sword. Finally the king also was stabbed with a poisoned sword and forced to drink poison.)
  • Did listening to the ghost end Hamlet’s grief or make it worse? Explain. (answers will vary)
  • What makes this such a popular story? (ghosts, swordplay, murder, revenge)

Activities:
K – 2: Art: Draw picture from the story or color this coloring page: http://www.grandmasgraphics.com/graphics/golden/golden191.jpg
3 – 5: Complete the MidSummer Night’s Dream Crossword puzzle: Midsummer Night’s Dream Crossword
6 – 8: Choose one of the following essay topics:

  1. All of the characters in Hamlet had major flaws. Who do you believe is the greatest villain of the story? Why?
  2. Do you believe Hamlet is a madman? Why or why not?
  3. Taken from a Christian perspective, how does this play show the destructiveness of sin and sinful decisions? Could the ghost in the beginning of the play be the devil? Why or why not?

Copyright December 18th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Reformation, Renaissance

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