Friday, January 16, 2009

Shakespeare--Subtext assignment

Subtext assignment (due as hard copy and Wednesday,January 20):
Go to Download act 3, scene 4 from the beginning to the stage direction "exit Ghost" (line 156 in the Folger edition). Delete everything beginning with the Queen's line "this is the very coinage of your brain."

1. Turn this scene into a word processing document. It will be several pages long. If you don’t know how to do this step, ask someone who does.

2. Keep the entire text as it is, except change the name Queen Margaret to Queen Gertrude
at the beginning of the scene (a mistake on the web site).

Write a paraphrase of Polonius’ first speech (lines 1-7). A paraphrase contains
exactly the same meaning as the original, only in literal, everyday language. Don't change person for pronouns.

4. Identify as much subtext as you can. This is the most important part of the assignment. Subtext refers to all the meanings not directly contained in the text. Specifically, as we discussed in class, the subtext contains implied stage directions, the character’s thoughts, feelings, and motives as the lines are being spoken, as well as notes indicating tone of voice, movements, and
gestures. Put in everything Shakespeare left out.

5. Make your paraphrase and subtext easy for us to
identify by putting them in a different type face from the text itself. For example, set your additions in bold face to make them stand out from the characters’ lines in the text. Or use a different color, or do something clear and easy to follow.

6. N.B. This is an individual assignment, not group
work. Any scripts whose similarities cannot be reasonably explained as
coincidental will be dealt with according to the school’s honesty

7. assignment may be found under the title "Hamlet Subtext 2010."