High School Literature: Hamlet


Tuesdays at 2PM

Price: $400US

To register, call (215) 987-2655.

Course Description

We will be exploring the timeless play of ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare, with its universal themes of guilt, ambitious, revenge, mortality and madness. We will be
reading the play in its entirety and following the Prince of Denmark in the 12 th century as he goes on his tragic journey of revenge. Students will be considering how Shakespeare’s use of language, imagery, structure and dramatization has created a work which still resonates with a modern audience. Students will be challenged to consider how Shakespeare was influenced by his own context of Jacobean England,
with its religious beliefs, superstitions and the centrality of the institution of monarchy. This is an intensive and intellectually challenging course, requiring weekly
study and application. Students will develop their critical analytical skills through formal essay writing and they will learn to appreciate the talent and skill of one of the masters of the English language.

Learning Objectives


1. To read, understand and respond to texts. Students should be able to maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response. They should also be able to use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.

2. To analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.

3. To show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.

Aimed at students from 13 years and up.

Textbooks and Other Resources

Most resources will be provided by the instructor.

Anticipated Assignments and Exercises

Instructional Format: Two classes will be held each week in real-time, using the
Zoom web conferencing system.

Anticipated Tests and Quizzes


Regular online quizzes
Homework tasks (research, oral presentations, analytical writing)
Essay 1 and 2 (500 words)
Essay 3 (1000 words)
Quizzes and Homework tasks: 40%
Essays: 40%
Participation / Attendance: 20%


A* – F
A* – 90%
A – 80%
B – 70%
C – 60%
D – 50%
E – 40%
F – 30%
U – below 30% (unclassified)