Sixth Form Hamlet Workshop
Published on 06/02/19
On Tuesday 29 January the A level Literature students took part in a workshop on Hamlet provided by Mr Mike Haldenby who regularly contributes to the English Review magazine. The focus of the session was the character of Claudius who kills his brother, the King of Denmark, to take the throne and to make his sister in law his wife. Mike encouraged the students to see that Claudius was a true Renaissance man who was familiar with Machiavelli’s The Prince and who was a politician and a thinker as well as being a lover. The students were challenged over whether Claudius is always a villain throughout the play and if Shakespeare is advocating a removal of the monarch from England’s throne.
It was a helpful and informative session, one in which the students were encouraged to contribute their views and develop their opinions backed up by evidence from the text as well as critics and context. They have been well prepared for a question on Claudius should it appear in the examination.