How to Read Hamlet

There are many resources that will aid in your understanding as you read Hamlet. We recommend using the Global Shakespeare Series for your study of Hamlet as that is a very student friendly version.

  1. Take note of the Questions for Consideration at the end of each chapter. Reflecting on these questions will greatly assist you in understanding the content of the Act you have just finished reading. You may also look at the questions before you read and then again at the end to see if you have grasped the content.
  2. There are numerous sidebar explanations of terms used in the play which will definitely enhance your understanding of the dialogue as well as the character and times of the play.
  3. To gain an overall understanding of the play, go to your nearest library, take out the video of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, and read the play alongside watching the video. This will benefit your understanding of the characters and the plot.
  4. Create a Character Tracking Sheet to draw connections between the major characters and what their traits and motivations might be in the play.
  5. Use the Plots and Plans table to trace the major events in the play, characters involved and their motivations, and what the outcome of each event is. Taking time to do this will help you to not only understand the play, but keep track of all the major events and characters involved in it. Completing your assignments will be much easier as a result of this foundational work.


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