ENG 4U: Advice to the Troubled

Today, we will watch the remainder of Act IV Scene V. Recall that in the first half of this scene, Gertrude and Claudius attempt to placate young Ophelia, who has gone mad due to her father’s death (or perhaps due to being so badly treated by Hamlet).  Complications ensure when Laertes returns halfway through the scene, hell-bent on avenging his father.

Following this scene, will write own own advice columns. One good paragraph should suffice.

Dear Advice Columnist, I am obsessed with thoughts of revenge. Should I seek vengeance and, if so, when is the best time to do so? Sincerely, Haunted by Ghosts.

Dear Advice Columnist, I am about to return home from Christmas break. I’ve been at university for a while, and I can’t wait to have a decent meal!

Anyway, the word on the street is that home has, well, changed. My sister has gone a little crazy; she does nothing but talk in bizarre rhymes and pick flowers. I am not sure why. It may be that guy she used to see; he may be a little unstable, too.  Apparently, the break-up wasn’t pretty.

I’ve also heard that this same guy wronged my father in some way. I don’t know the details, but it may have started with the guy in question calling my dad a rat. A shame. I used to trust this guy; I just hope he didn’t stab my dad in the back.

I have a two-part question: how do I deal with all this madness, and should I confront this guy who keeps wronging my family?

Sincerely, Leery of Lunacy

Dear Advice Columnist, A friend recently told me a secret: my current boyfriend sabotaged my previous relationship to be with me! I am shocked (and, to be honest, a little flattered). I know what you are thinking. I should leave him, right? Unfortunately, this really isn’t an option for me. People don’t ”leave” each other where I am from. I don’t know what to do. My friend has advised me to keep a safe distance from my boyfriend, and wait for events to unfold.  The problem is that my friend isn’t exactly stable. In fact, he has been seeing things. Odd things.

Should I listen to my crazy, yet loyal, friend? Sincerely Sanity vs. Sabotage

We will conclude with scenes vi and vii. Well, in truth, we will skip scene vi: it is a very short scene. In this short scene, we learn that the ship bound for England (with Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern aboard) was attacked by pirates. The pirates let Hamlet go; R and G continue to England.

In scene vii, Claudius uses all of his manipulative skills to bring Laertes into his confidence. Remember our discussions of the serpent and the garden; remember, that there is more than one way to pour “poison” into someone’s ear.


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