High School
English Language Arts

Bring Hamlet to Life: Supplemental Materials

There is no doubt that Hamlet is a difficult play to teach; however, I have found that adding supplemental material builds interest in the play and the main character. While we read and perform, I expose my students to a number of supplemental materials that expose them to universal themes and conflicts in the play. This shows the students that literature does not exist in isolation. Instead, it transcends time.
A Collection By Melissa Mirabello
  • 5 Collection Items
  • 5 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Bring Hamlet to Life: Supplemental Materials
  • huffingtonpost.com

    9 Things You Can Learn From 'Hamlet'

    6 minute read
    Melissa Mirabello says:
    This is a great article that shares what can be learned from Hamlet on a practical level. From not blindly trusting friends to the detrimental effects of shame, this article argues that Hamlet can teach us a lot about everyday life and the errors we make.
  • scribophile.com

    Here's to the Crazy Ones poem

    4 minute read
    Melissa Mirabello says:
    This short article that includes Jack Kerouac's poem, "Here's to the Crazy Ones," is fun to share with the kids. While reading Hamlet, we get into many debates about the definition of crazy. Hamlet certainly seems "off" at times, yet there is a method to his madness as well. Sometimes "crazy" helps improve life, inspires healing, brings levity to dark days. Students explore how conventional sanity may be over-rated and craziness might not be worthy of such a bad reputation.
  • Melissa Mirabello says:
    While reading Hamlet, I discuss the controversy over Hamlet's state of mind. Is he sane? Insane? Is he pretending to be crazy? This Ted Talk is perfect for the discussion. In it, Ronson suggests that what we think is crazy may not be, and what is crazy may appear normal. Thus, is there any true way to identify insanity? We apply Ronson's psychopathic test to Hamlet.
  • ShakespeareFlix

    Melissa Mirabello says:
    This article and embedded videos showcase a common activity for students studying Hamlet. Because the play is so long, students often lose their focus. I challenge my students to portray the play in 15 minutes. That means condensing FIVE acts into 15 minutes! Before I have them rewrite the play in modern English and perform, we read this article and watch the clips.
  • nytimes.com

    How Oedipus Wrecks

    5 minute read
    Melissa Mirabello says:
    How Oedipus Wrecks proposes the idea that the Oedipal Complex is not only alive in Hamlet, but it also exists in some of our famous leaders. Students are usually disgusted with the entire notion of the Oedipal Complex, but once they apply Freud's theory to the play and to actual actions by today's leading men, they see that Freud's ideas have some basis in literature and reality.