Finally! A response. While I am a student studying Hamlet, it is not for means of simply "doing my homework" that I ask these questions! Most teachers, including and seemingly especially mine cite Hamlet as Shakespeare's best; I wanted to figure out why. These are just questions I asked to develop my thoughts. Thanks for the response! Now here's a bit of homework help. How do you feel about nature vs nurture in context of generational issues within the play? This is the premise of my paper.
Yeah, my apologies, you really had to wait for a response quite long. I’ve been insanely busy with uni lately. Thanks again for the questions! I really had fun answering them.
I don’t know why Hamlet is Shakespeare’s best work, or whether or not it actually is (I can’t claim to have read all his plays). But what fascinates me so is the feeling that Hamlet, the character, is always hiding something from us. It’s like there is something important he knows, but can’t or doesn’t want to tell the rest of the world what it is. The play is not bad plotwise, but it really is the main character’s charm and wit that draws me to it.
As for the nature versus nurture aspect, I think it might be interesting look into the discrepancy between the nurture Polonius offers his children (his many gracious speeches on how to behave, To thine own self be true and Neither a borrower nor a lender be) and his actual nature (scheming, self-important, foolish). So perhaps comparing Laertes’s and Ophelia’s characters against these two sides of Polonius might bring up something worth a while.
HAMLET: So, gentlemen, With all my love I do commend me to you: And what so poor a man as Hamlet is May do, to express his love and friending to you, God willing, shall not lack.
Where it comes from: Up until the advent of Facebook, friending was one of the odd words Shakespeare invented but never quite caught on (like dispunge, mirable, or relume). When Shakespeare used it, it didn’t have the same connotations as it does today — though one can imagine the Elizabethan equivalent of Facebook would be pretty damn baller. In this sense, friending merely means “friendly feeling.” [source]
As for the word friend itself, it arrived in modern English from the Old English word freogan, which meant “to love” or “to favor.” As anyone with more than six friends on Facebook will tell you, the amount of love and favoring we do for our 500,000,000 friends on Facebook is minimal.
Many thanks for these questions, dear anon(s). (Although I can’t shake this nagging suspicion that I’ve been cleverly tricked into doing someone’s homework for them. But thank you nevertheless. These are the most interesting asks I have ever received.)
My answers ended up a bit wordy, so making these into a text post & hiding them under a read more.