ENG 4U 2013: Literary Schools and Ghost Writing

Since Literary Schools figure heavily in your Hamlet Assignment, I thought we should consider some relevant theories today. Once we have gone over the basic theories, we will consider the implications these theories have for your assignments. The basics of the Hamlet assignment are outlined below:

Medium Requirements
scripted dialogue
  • You will produce a dialogue in which each student argues for a particular interpretation of Hamlet based on one of the schools.
  • Throughout  the dialogue, students will make clear and specific references to the theory and to relevant elements of the play
  • The tone may be informal and playful; this is a discussion, after all.
  • Each student must make five specific and detailed references to the play in the context of her literary school.  This means that the assignment will be approximately 8 pages long.
  • In text citations will be handled in a conversational way. For example:  “Okay, but what about the portrayal of Ophelia? In The Trouble With Ophelia, John Smith argues that…..”
Video/ documentary
  • Create a short film that explores one of the literary interpretations of the text. You must use some  voice-overs and, because of the nature of the documentary, footage from existing film/television shows
  • The film should illuminate five specific points in the text from the perspective of the literary school. You need to ensure that the viewer can clearly see the connection between Hamlet and the literary school


Graphic novel/ Scrapbook
  • Graphic novel: speech bubbles will be used for the lines from the play, and the narrative bubbles will be used for analysis of these lines
  • Scrapbook: each page needs to have clear references to the play and the literary school. You need to make regular and consistent connections between the school and the play.
  • The graphic novella/scrapbook will be 8-10 pages long, with an average of 3 images per page. The images may come from any source; remember, however, that images you do not take yourself must be cited. The narrative bubbles must clearly and accurately assess the text from the perspective of your school


…and Ghost-Writing

Congratulations! You have collectively been hired by a TV executive to produce a made-for-TV version of Hamlet. Sadly, because you are high school students, the studio can’t give you credit; instead, you will be ghost-writers, writing for others while they take the glory. Sound good?

Still, if you are disappointed by the lack of recognition, take heart. The project looks promising: Michael Cera is the indecisive Hamlet, Russell Brand is the long-winded Polonius, Emma Watson is the sheltered Ophelia. The show has hit written all over it.

The problem, however, is that the entire broadcast can only be half an hour long. Thus, you have been asked to shorten the first act down to a handful of lines. Here are your guidelines:

  • Each table will take one scene (we may have some duplication here)
  • You can write no more than 2 pages of dialogue for the scene (everyone must write the lines)
  • You must use common language. No Shakespearean language allowed.
  • You must concentrate on the big plot points and development. What is essential?
  • If you feel really creative, you can rewrite the characters to represent the casting choices outlined above. This step is optional.
  • Don’t worry too much if the lines don’t seem to flow together. Making sense has never been television’s strong point.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. eryn says:

    Lindsey and I are starting our project and Holly is supposed to be in our group but I not here for the next week. Should we write her part of the dialogue for her or…??

  2. jimpedrech says:

    Holly will be working on her own document; Holly and I discussed her options last week. Eryn, you and Lindsey can create your own.


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