DELIVERING SPEECHES Everywhere we go; in an interview, seminar, public assembly or any other social errands, delivery of speech has always been an integral part of our personality expression and moulds our traits in front of the media. So the main question arises how to geat your collars up for those deliveries?? Answer is Self-Confidence. So Peeps let’s get started with an illustrative speech example on self-confidence: - “Everything has changed except the way we think, good morning respected principal Sir, teachers and all my dear fellow mates today I am here to deliver a speech on the topic self-confidence. Do u know that one of the most important keys to success is self-confidence, with this key it is easier to achieve success, improve relationships, have better health, enjoy happiness, satisfaction and inner peace. Self-confidence is very important as it helps us to deal with all kinds of hardships wisely and therefore in this process one becomes more mature. Self-confidence does not always mean to be happy always or always have a smile in your face, it is much broader concept than this. It is wisely said that every dark cloud has a silver lining in it which means that the road to our success *the path to our success* (2) will be full of difficulties but we will surely reach our destination, remove all those stones and with all the boosted up self-confidence we will surely reach our Destination. As said by sir Rabindranath Tagore Ji that (Bengali language) *Jodi tor daakshune kaeu naa aasche, tobe akeola chalo re* which means that if no one responds to your call then go your own way alone, then go your own way alone.” Easy it is….. isn’t it?? Delivering speeches is a cup of tea for everyone and with platforms like Viden.io these all becomes very easy and even jack can become a maestro in this….. So fasten your skills and get your things done.
HAMLET BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: AN ANALYSIS
1. HAMLET, AN ANECDOTAL INTRODUCTION In the second Act, Scene 2 of the play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by Shakespeare,Hamlet narrates to a set of 'players' (playwrights) the initial part of "Aeneas' Tale to Dido" from Aeneid by Virgil. In this tale, Aeneas, a hero from Troy, is on his way from ruined Troy to the soon to be founded city of Rome. During his journey, he narrates a tale of revenge to Dido, Queen of Carthage, who is his lover. The tale narrated by Aeneas to Dido is about Pyrrhus, who is seeking revenge from Priam, the King of Troy, whose son Paris has murdered his father, Achilles. Pyrrhus hides in the Trojan horse before murdering Priam. Hamlet narrates the story only till here, and from this point, the player takes over, describing Pyrrhus killing Priam and the consequent grief of Priam's wife Hecuba. This story is extremely relevant to the context of the complex character of our protagonist, Hamlet, who may be compared both to Aeneas, the main protagonist of Aeneid, as well as to Pyrrhus, the protagonist of the tale within the tale. Hamlet's comparison to Aeneid may stem from the fact that akin to Aeneas who now has the huge responsibility of founding a new city (which goes on to become the city of Rome) after the destruction of Troy, our Hamlet also has to create a new order in Denmark after his father, King Hamlet's mysterious death. Also, both seem to want to escape their responsibilities, and are trapped due to their inability to do so. Conversely, Hamlet may also be compared to Pyrrhus by virtue of the fact that Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost which directs Hamlet to avenge his death by killing his brother (Hamlet's uncle and also stepfather, since he illicitly marries Hamlet's mother, Gertrude) Claudius. Similarly, Pyrrhus, in the tale, is visited by Achilles' shade which asks him to seek revenge. Also, both Hamlet and Pyrrhus end up attempting deceptive forms of revenge. One may also find in this scene (as also in this play in general) a great amount of foreshadowing, or prediction of further events that may take place as the play progresses. For instance, the actor, describing Pyrrhus killing Priam, suggests that Pyrrhus pauses like a thunderstorm that is briefly interrupted by silence before thunderbolts strike. He suggests that Pyrrhus is "doing nothing" but the wind created by his sword is enough to make Priam fall. Then, he goes on to suggest that Pyrrhus's sword falls hard on Priam's head. This pregnant pause suggested by the actor may be akin to Hamlet's constant indecisiveness and unwillingness to kill his uncle Claudius. Also, the foreshadowing is established by the fact that despite Pyrrhus's inaction, Priam meets his end; strikingly similar to the last scene of Hamlet, where Hamlet murders Claudius almost by accident, only after he has himself been stabbed by Laertes, another character we shall address shortly. 2. HAMLET, OUR EDUCATED CHARACTER 'Aeneas' Tale to Dido' forms a subtly important part of this drama because of its relevance to the main plot and character of this play. It highlights the character of Hamlet as possessing the tragic flaw, or hamartia of indecisiveness and overthinking. Hamlet may be seen as an extremely complex, conflicted and well-educated character who possesses immense knowledge on Greek mythology and mythical characters. This is apparent from the fact that in the very first scene of Act 1, he compares his deceased father, King Hamlet, to Hyperion, a Greek mythical character who is often referred to as the God of watchfulness, wisdom and light; while at the same time, he completely brings down the stature of Claudius by comparing him to Satyr, who, in Greek literature, is one of a troop of ithyphallic (one with a permanent erection) male companions of Dionysus. Referring to Claudius as Satyr suggests that Hamlet sees him as possessing an illicit sexual desire towards his mother, the Queen. Hamlet's disdain towards his mother for having hurriedly gotten married to her brother-in-law weeks after her first husband's death is very apparent and overt, even before he discovers about his father's murder. He suggests in Act 1 that his mother would hang on to his father to such an extent that the more she would be with him, the more she would want of him. He further adds that she had mourned his death with her tears, just like the character of Niobe in Greek mythology, who had been the Queen of Thebes, and who had continued to weep even after she had been turned into a rock at Mount Sipylus when her children had been killed by those of another woman, Leto, to whom she had boasted. However, he laments that within less than a month, she had left her mourning behind and married Claudius.His anger towards his mother and uncle, as well as the situation as a whole, is evident in his quote: "...the funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables." Here, he uses 'meat' to emphasize the very short duration between his father's funeral and his mother's marriage to his uncle. In Act 1, Scene 2, Hamlet refers to Claudius as: "A little more than kin, and less than kind." Here, 'kin' may refer to cousin (nephew). Kind may have three connotations: firstly, Claudius is less than a direct blood relative, or "kind". Second, "kind" may refer to natural; thus, less than kind may be an allegory to his unnatural relation to him. And thirdly, "kind" may mean "considerate", so possibly he means that Claudius is not a good soul. 3. AT THE THRESHOLD OF NORMALITY AND INSANITY The play also seems to constantly attempt to balance itself on the threshold of insanity and normality. It discusses the various conventions of supposed normality via all other characters apart from Hamlet, who seem to view others' words and actions in one literal perspective. However, Hamlet often seems to challenge the singular perspectives to viewing life. He speaks of life and death in ways perhaps unimaginable for those around him. Undoubtedly, his strange ways of thinking and speaking strike the others around him as insane and meaningless. Ironically, it is interpreted by Lord Polonius, the faithful (and secretly power-hungry) advisor to the King, and also the father of Ophelia (the woman Hamlet courts for a brief period of time), as the result of rejection by Ophelia. Polonius then goes on to extract evidence for the same from Hamlet's words. However, Hamlet is often seen as troubled more due to his unexpected encounter with his father's ghost, and the nagging responsibility on his shoulders. Ophelia's loss of sanity post the murder of her father Polonius is also extremely significant in terms of the theme of normality and insanity. Ophelia, in her insane state, hums a series of seemingly meaningless hymns before the King and Laertes. However, if read closely, these hymns also seem to reveal her sense of dejection resulting from Hamlet having deserted her after a possible sexual relationship. 4. WOMEN IN HAMLET: A DISMAL CONTRAST The women in some of Shakespeare's plays, such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing and MacBeth, are known to be extremely strong characters who often defy the strict gender roles and stereotypes. Speaking about the same, Helen Zimmern suggests: "...so different are they, as a whole, from the ideals of the feminine type prevelant in the literature of his day." However, Hamlet tells us a different story. In this play, neither Queen Gertrude, nor Ophelia (the only two female characters in the play) seem to have a say in their own lives, which are strongly dictated to them by the men. Let's consider the case of Ophelia first. In the play, Ophelia’s life is completely dictated by her father, Polonius, and brother, Laertes. This is evident right in the first Act, scene 2, when Laertes, before leaving for France, advises Ophelia not to engage in a relationship with Hamlet. He suggests that Hamlet, in all probability, would take decisions with the entire state in mind, rather than his personal happiness alone. He describes Hamlet’s love as “Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting…”. He speaks of the “loss of honour” that would be caused to her, were she to lose her heart, or her “chaste treasure”, to his temporary feelings of lust. The fact that Laertes believes that it would be his sister’s honour that may be lost, even if it’s her lover who deceives her, points to the patriarchal beliefs of that time. Also, her chastity is viewed as a treasure, which, when lost, would imply loss of her dignity in society. Moreover, Ophelia seems completely unperturbed by the fact that her life is being completely moulded by the men around her. This signifies how women were (are, too, in some contexts) made to internalise the gender roles and accept themselves as the ‘weaker sex’. It may be seen in the play that Hamlet often directs a number of subtle as well as overt insults at her, and Ophelia either responds in a very subdued manner, or doesn’t reply at all. She, in fact, addresses him as ‘My Lord’, indicating her so-called inferiority not only in terms of her gender, but also with regard to her position. In the play, Hamlet often not only seems to view his mother as a characterless, frail and deceitful woman, but he also typically generalises this view to every other woman. For instance, in the first act, Hamlet says about his mother: “Frailty, thy name is woman!…”. Here, although he directly aims at the Queen, he seems to be making a more general statement that all women are but the same, i.e., the “weaker sex”. Hamlet also directs a number of insults and puns at Ophelia to her father, Polonius. For instance, in Act 2, scene 2, when Polonius goes to converse with Hamlet with the intention of proving his point that Hamlet is upset because his daughter has rejected him, Hamlet ends up implicitly insulting Polonius, but without his knowledge. He tells him that honest men are a rarity, and that the sun would breed maggots with a dead dog because its flesh is good enough to be kissed by the sun. Here, he implicitly suggests that Ophelia’s womb is like a dead dog’s flesh - men may impregnate her because of her outward appearance. He further adds: “Conception is a blessing: but not as your daughter may conceive.” If one is to view the fiasco from Polonius’s perspective, it is obvious that Polonius is trying to use Hamlet and Ophelia’s brief fling for a personal benefit, i.e., to prove to the King that Hamlet is upset due to Ophelia’s rejection, and as a result, to get in his good books. Perhaps for this reason, Hamlet calls him a ‘fish-monger’, which typically means a pimp. Act 3, scene 1, another very significant scene from a gender perspective to Hamlet, is also known as the ’nunnery scene’. In this scene, there is a dialogue between Hamlet and Ophelia, in which Hamlet tells Ophelia that she must go to a nunnery. He elaborates that she should not remain in mainstream society and give birth to more ‘sinners’, like his mother, who has given birth to him. Here, again, he seems to be comparing all women to his mother. ‘Nunnery’ here may have two implications: firstly, a convent, and secondly, a brothel. He also suggests that if she is good (honest) and beautiful (fair), it is easier for a girl to be turned into a whore due to her beauty, than it is for her to turn a virgin due to her goodness. Thus, he hints to her that it may be easier for her to make use of her beauty and become a whore, than to use her goodness to convert into a virgin (a nun). This aspect of her ‘conversion to a virgin’ may imply that she has probably lost her virginity. Further, the fact that Hamlet seems aware of it may imply that they have been sexually involved. This possibility is further put forth in Act 4, scene 5, in which Ophelia, who has lost her sanity, states in her hymn: “Quoth she, before you tumbled me, You promised me to wed. So would I ha’ done, by yonder sun, An thou hadst not come to my bed.” Here, the maid Ophelia refers to may possibly be an allegory to herself, and the man the maid courts in the same might be a reference to Hamlet, who has probably deceived her after a sexual relationship and promise of marriage. He also uses a number of other double-entendre and sexual connotations while conversing with Ophelia, particularly in Act 3, Scene 2, the scene consisting of the performance of ‘The Murder of Gonzago’. For instance, he says things like: “Lady, shall I lie in your lap?”, which, at that time, also had a double-meaning referring to the sexual act. Thus, Ophelia is ultimately reduced to a puppet at the hands of the men in her life. The story with Queen Gertrude is not very different. The Queen, although an imperial part of the monarch, and outwardly respected immensely, is also quite completely controlled by the men - she is unable to go against her husband’s orders of sending Hamlet away to England, or able to defend her stand when Hamlet accuses her, in Act 3, Scene 4 (the closet scene) of having married Claudius in a huff, and being happily married thereafter. She is also unable to stand up for herself when Hamlet orders her not to go to bed with Claudius that night; and addresses her as his ‘mother’s brother’s wife’. 5. OEDIPAL COMPLEX IN HAMLET Another very important theme in this play, which has also been very widely discussed and debated over the centuries, is the element of Oedipal complex in the play. Hamlet's attitude towards his mother's unexpected marriage to his uncle seems to often precariously place itself between mere disdain and disgust, and a strange sense of possessiveness towards his mother. From a Freudian or psychoanalytic perspective, Hamlet's excessive interest, almost bordering obsession, towards the married life of his mother and stepfather seems to portray his sense of envy towards their relationship. 'Hamlet and Oedipus', a study by Sigmund Freud's colleague and biographer Ernest Jones, discusses this phenomenon in detail, with relation to Hamlet. In this study, Jones opines that Hamlet's procrastination towards killing Claudius could well be the result of the fact that he identifies with him at an unconscious level. This implies that King Claudius, by murdering Old King Hamlet, has probably committed an act which might actually be an unconscious, latent motive within Hamlet, which he, of course, would never have been able to give way to. Thus, Jones suggests that it is probable that due to this unconscious identification with his uncle, Hamlet delays in killing his uncle. This also possibly justifies the irony that is established in the play when Hamlet does not think twice before killing Lord Polonius, the chief advisor to King Claudius. Also, he doesn't waste time in destroying the letter written by Claudius to the King of England (which asked him to murder Hamlet as a mark of peace between the two lands), and, instead, writes a letter to the King of England, in his uncle's handwriting, asking the King to literally 'shoot the messengers', i.e., his unfaithful childhood friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who would be carrying this letter to England. It is only after Hamlet is stabbed and about to die that he kills his uncle, probably because he now cannot get his mother's attention to him anyway. However, this topic has been constantly debated since Freud's psychoanalytic perspective came into being. 6. “TO BE, OR NOT TO BE…” : HAMLET AND THE SOLILOQUYS It is very important to note that Hamlet's complex state of mind and psychological dilemmas are brought forth in the form of a number of soliloquys, where Hamlet reveals (not to any other character, but only to himself and the audiences) the various internal conflicts faced by him. One of the most important soliloquys by Hamlet, which has been oft repeated ever since, is as follows: "To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them?" Through these soliloquys, Hamlet comes across as a character who, even amidst persons who seem more concerned with actions than deeper thoughts and intellect, seems to possess an exceptionally high level of thinking, analyzing and weighing consequences from a different light. 7. THEME OF SUICIDE The theme of suicide comes in here, with regard to Ophelia's suicide in the play. As reported in the play by Queen Gertrude, Ophelia dies while climbing on to a tree by a brook in order to hang a wreath of leaves on its branch. However, her death has been interpreted, both by characters within the play, and by audiences, as an act of suicide. From a more direct perspective, her insanity and suicide seems a direct offshoot of her father's murder by Hamlet. But a closer look at Ophelia's state may reveal that it is due to Hamlet's rejection of her and the consequent disgrace are also chiefly responsible for the same. Act 5, Scene 1, also known as the Gravedigger's Scene, forms a very important part of this play. In this scene, two clowns discuss the burial of Ophelia, wherein one of them argues that she should not be given a Christian burial, since suicide is considered a sin in Christianity. This brings us to the theme of death, another major theme in the play. The Gravedigger's scene forms a very crucial part of the play, not only because of its discussion about Ophelia's probable suicide, but also because of its treatment of death as the most inevitable force driving every individual's life. The clown here states that it is the gallow-maker who builds a structure (gallow) stronger than those built by masons, shipwrights and carpenters. This could certainly be an allegory to the fact that every other phenomenon is avoidable, but death is not. Also, it could imply that every creation in the world, no matter how physically strong, has to perish in the end. This scene also foreshadows the multiple deaths that occur in the final scene, where the Queen, unaware of the existene of poison in a drink prepared for Hamlet, devours it, and meets her end; Hamlet, already stabbed with a poisoned sword by Laertes, stabbed Claudius; Laertes meets his end when the swords are accidentally exchanged between Hamlet and himself during the sword-fight; and a messenger from Norway (Denmark's initial opponent in the play) announces the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The Gravediggers seem to also be foretelling these upcoming deaths. In this scene, Hamlet, having just returned from England where he had been sent with an agenda by the King, does not know of Ophelia's death, and mistakes the dead-body to be Yorick the jester's. His reaction to Ophelia's death seems extremely melodramatic, considering the pathetic ways in which he treats her when she is alive. Through Hamlet's soliloquys as well as certain dialogues, the theme of suicide also becomes quite evident in the play. Hamlet's inability to fulfill the responsibility bestowed on him by his father, coupled with his sense of despair at not being able to obey his father's orders often gives rise to immense guilt within him. Further in his "To be or not to be..." soliloquy, Hamlet talks about death as the ultimate panacea for his problems. He suggests that death is a consummation to be devoutly wished. He claims death to be a sleep, where one may have dreams, but which may not come true because the mortal body may have perished. He describes long life to be a 'calamity', characterized by hardships posed by time, pain inflicted by oppressors, insults of arrogant men, delays of law and deceits in love. He, thus, deems it better to end his life by killing himself with a knife. However, he is also unable to do so, since suicide is considered a sin in Christianity. One of the dialogues by Hamlet, directed at Polonius in response to his statement on 'taking his leave', contains a a subtle suicidal undertone: "You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal: except my life, except my life, except my life." This also brings us to the unique language and structure of this play. 8. LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE The above quote, one of the many puns in the play, is one between 'taking leave' and 'taking life'. Hamlet probably knows he may die while seeking revenge from Claudius. He feels suicidal, but is unable to end his life. He probably implies that Polonius has already taken away from him all that he had desired, including Ophelia. Thus, he says that the only thing that Polonius may now take away from him would be his life. This quote perfectly portrays Hamlet's unwillingness to take responsibility, and his want to simply disappear. The quote also possibly puns, in a subtle way, between the two words 'except' and 'accept'. It is possible that Hamlet is giving out a plea to Polonius to simply take away his life and end all the dilemmas. At a micro level, Hamlet consists of a number of dialogues and quotes that imply a very sharp and blatant play of words. This is specifically evident in Hamlet's witty and intelligent retorts throughout the play. In Act 3, Scene 4, Hamlet, who is confronting his mother regarding the evils of Claudius, presents another pun on the word 'father': "Queen: Hamlet, thou hast your father much offended. Hamlet: Mother, thou hast my father much offended. Queen: Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. Hamlet: Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue." In this extremely intriguing play of words, while the Queen obviously refers to King Claudius as the 'father', Hamlet apparently drives a point home by aiming at Old King Hamlet as father, thus implying that she has offended her first husband by getting married to Claudius, her brother-in-law and also the Old King's murderer. Hamlet the play is divided into five acts, each consisting of a certain number of scenes. The structure of the play is also notable for not following the typical conventions of an Aristotlian tragic drama. Like in most of his other plays, Shakespeare seeks to break the three Aristotlian unities of action, time and place in this play as well. Contrary to Aristotle's principles, the action in the play has a number of subplots. Further, the action takes place in a span of a number of days within the play, and the play consists of varied settings (although most of them occur in the four walls of the castle itself). Also, contrary to Aristotle's rule that certain phenomena like death and war not be portrayed on stage, the last scene of Hamlet portrays not only the death of all its characters, but also a sword-fight between Hamlet and Laertes. J.M. Robertson and Professor Stoll are two critics who have criticized Hamlet, by suggesting that authors praising Hamlet have typically focused more on the ultimate result of Hamlet the play as a whole, rather than the character of Hamlet in particular, which, they claim, is flawed. T.S. Eliot addresses this issue in his book, Hamlet and His Problems (1919), in which he famously claims Hamlet to be "most certainly an artistic failure." Eliot suggests that critics appreciating the play mostly ignore the structural flaws in the play, since they personally identify with the character of Hamlet, and are fixated with it. Eliot goes on to compare Hamlet with the three sources on which Shakespeare has supposedly based this play: Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, The Ur-Hamlet (either by Kyd or Shakespeare), and a version of the play which was performed in Germany. He suggests that in these plays, the delays in killing the King are only the result of trying to avoid the guards, and not due to a personal inability on part of the character. He also notes that while in these earlier plays the lead character's loss of sanity aids in avoiding suspicion, Hamlet's character losing his sanity seems, on the contrary, to arouse suspicion. Eliot opines that in some parts, the play simply seems to be a revised version of Kyd's work. Very importantly, Eliot, in his book, also discusses the phenomenon of objective correlative in relation to Hamlet. According to him, objective correlative, which refers to evoking an emotion by use of symbols that are related to, and indicative of that particular emotion, are missing in Hamlet, due to which the audience have been unable to 'localise' the emotion. He suggests that Hamlet seems to experience emotions that neither the audience, nor Shakespeare himself, have been able to understand. While Hamlet is considered to be one of the longest Shakespearean plays, Hamlet the character is, undoubtedly, one of Shakespeare's most complex characters. At a macro level, the play stretches to a great extent at various places, not reaching its final conclusion before a lot of procrastination. Thus, the structure of the play itself comes across as very similar to the character of Hamlet - delaying and procrastinating. In Kermode's words: "It is not only Hamlet but his play that delays." 9. THEME OF REVENGE It may be seen that at a time (we're talking about the Elizabethan Age!) when it seemed but natural to believe in supernatural epiphanies and superstitious beliefs, Hamlet goes on to question and speculate the existence of the ghost of his own father, King Hamlet. This is evident from the fact that instead of blindly following the 'ghost' that instructs him to murder King Claudius for having killed King Hamlet, Hamlet actually conducts a play named "The Murder of Gonzago", where he replicates (well, almost!) the supposed murder of his father. This play is performed before Claudius, as well as Queen Gertrude. This 'play within a play' is also very significant, not only in its portrayal of the supposed past events wherein Claudius murders his brother, but also because it also foreshadows the future events at the same time, thus unifying the past, present and future in a strikingly unique way. In this play, the player King, whose happily married life with the player Queen is initially established, is murdered by his nephew, Lucianus, who pours poison in the King's ear while the latter is asleep. Although this may be viewed as an estimated portrayal of Old King Hamlet's happily married life with Gertrude followed by his murder by King Claudius, it may alternately be looked at as a commentary on King Claudius's current happily married life with the Queen, as well as an eery foretelling of his eventual murder at the hands of his nephew, Prince Hamlet. It perfectly seems to portray how life comes full circle , transcending the clutches of time. A poignant quote by Mindy Kaling states: “Another old saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold. But it feels best served piping hot, straight out of the oven of outrage.” The defiance of the old proverb in the above quote is exactly what our Hamlet seems to lack. His inability to avenge his father’s death acts as his biggest flaw, or, in Aristotlian terms, his tragic flaw or hamartia. Often, Hamlet is ridden with guilt at his own inability throughout, even to the extent, as discussed above, of contemplating suicide. His overt guilt is apparent in his soliloquy at the end of Act 2, Scene 2, just after one of the players finishes narrating ‘Aeneas’ Tale to Dido’. On seeing the player shed tears at the thought of Hecuba’s (Priam’s wife) grief due to Aeneas’ death, Hamlet is guilt-ridden. Hamlet justifies his guilt by lamenting on his own inability to act even at the possibly real murder of his own father, when this player has the ability to shed tears even at the grief of a fictional character. He suggests that had this player been in Hamlet’s place, he would have perhaps moved the world with his emotions. He calls himself a coward who deserves worst fate, and gives detailed descriptions about the atrocities that should be committed on him, such as plucking off his beard, tweaking his nose etc. Hamlet also expresses guilt further on in the play, in Act 4, when he is told that the troops from Norway are fighting with Poland for a small piece of land that is actually not worth anything. Hamlet feels if these troops can give so much importance to and fight for even a worthless piece of land, they would certainly not be wasting their time doing nothing had they been in Hamlet’s place. In this way, Hamlet always ensures that he feels guilty for his inaction. In Act 3, scene 3, when Claudius repents his evil act after watching ‘The Murder of Gonzago’, Hamlet has an opportunity to murder him. However, he refuses to do so, since he feels that a soul in repentance would be purged, and would thus attain salvation. Thus, he decides to kill the King when he would be pleasuring himself in an act that is not worthy of salvation. Hamlet, thus, lets go of all the golden opportunities at killing his uncle, overthinking, weighing and analysing excessively. In one of his soliloquy, he even accepts that his habit of thinking too precisely on an event is only “…one part wisdom/ And ever three parts coward.” Yet, his inability to overcome his flaw creates cathartic feelings of pity and fear within the audiences. His behaviour comes across as a complete contrast to that of King Claudius and Laertes, when they decide to murder Hamlet in order to avenge the death of Laertes’ father, Polonius. While plotting the murder of Hamlet, Claudius warns Laertes, in these words, of the fact that one must be quick in doing what needs to be done: “…that we would do We should do when we would; for this would changes And hath abatements and delays…” It is ironic that this advice is more relevant for Hamlet, than it is for Laertes, who seems, anyway, quite quick to take the necessary action. 10. HAMLET: IS IT RELIGIOUSLY RELIGIOUS? Hamlet has often been analysed and interpreted as a religious drama. Hamlet has been written at the outset of the English Reformation, and thus, has been shown to have both Catholic and Protestant elements in it. The Gravedigger’s scene, which speaks of the debate about whether or not Ophelia should be given a Christian burial due to speculations of her suicide; and the ghost of King Hamlet being in purgatory state (the state in which souls of sinners suffer for their sins before departing to heaven) are important elements that make Hamlet Catholic in nature. However, the fact that Hamlet speculates and constantly questions the appearance of the ghost gives it elements of Protestantism. Also, some studies indicate that Hamlet might be a protestant himself, since he has attended school at Wittenburg, which is predominantly Protestant, as was Denmark as a nation itself. Thus, the play balances at the threshold of Catholicism and Protestantism. 11. POSTMODERNISM IN HAMLET: A CONCLUSION Hamlet may be interpreted as a postmodern play in many a sense. For one, the fact that Hamlet questions the very idea of revenge at a time when the act was considered quite normal is postmodern in itself, since Hamlet does not accept the metanarratives established at the time, and goes beyond the prescribed conventions. Similarly, instead of accepting blindly the grand narrative of ‘The Murder of Gonzago’, Hamlet chooses to modify it and add his own interpretation of the same. This is congruent to one of the factors of postmodernism, which emphasises on adding in one’s own inputs to a narrative instead of accepting the same exactly as it is. Amidst the so-called ‘normal’ society that emphasizes action to words, Hamlet, inadvertently to a large extent, creates his own unique world at a different intellectual level. This can be associated with the postmodern idea of multiple realities, or many worlds within one. Ironically, postmodernism as a concept came about only in the mid 20th Century. Yet, that a play written nearly five centuries prior may be classified under that concept testifies the brilliance of the play and its playwright - none other than Shakespeare. 12. REFERENCES AND SOURCES 1. https://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/more-than-kin-less-than-kind 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet_and_Oedipus 3. https://medium.com/@jacobhoerger/what-s-aeneas-tale-to-dido-doing-in-hamlet-b30e3cf5cd6c IMAGE SOURCES: 1. Cover image source: http://thehundredbooks.com/Hamlet.htmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet 2. Source for other images: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet
Student faculty Relations
TERMS OF REFERENCE To investigate problems in LBSIM related to faculty student relations and to make recommendations, as requested by Ms. Parul Singh, on August 24, 2017. PROCEDURE 1. Interview were held with Dr. Anil K Kanungo and Dr. Anshu Agrawal. 2. Interviews were held with the students of different institutes facing the same problem FINDINGS 1. INTERVIEW WITH FACULTY 1.1. The focus of students in the college is on examinations rather than training for future and really getting their skills tested. Because of this, students show only their retention powers, not their actual capacity or knowledge. 1.1.1. At IIFT, the students emphasize more on learning than on scoring high grades. The grading system is itself well-defined that promotes holistic development among students. They tend to focus more on practical learning or more appropriately applying their theoretical knowledge in the real world which would help them in a holistic development. 1.1.2.The students are nowadays too much involved in “Now” thinking rather than “Future “thinking. When the students come to class they concentrate mainly on attendance and acquiring the minimum required percentage. They don’t come to college to acquire knowledge. 1.1.3.Students of IIFT have a professional attitude imbibed in them. They focus on their career in order to be successful. They have their priorities sorted in life over these distractions. 2. INTERVIEW WITH STUDENTS 2.1. There are times when a student wants to approach the faculty but due to no proper channel established, he/she is unable to. 2.1.1. In IIFT, there is a proper break given to students where they can approach the faculty, if they are free, and consult regarding any issues they have. 2.2. Teachers also have many things to do such as research papers or sometimes personal work. This at times comes as a hurdle when a student wants to talk to the faculty relating to something different from the curriculum as they cannot make time for such talks. 2.2.1. This has happened at both the institutes, LBSIM and IIFT, as the faculty were busy with their personal problems and could not help students at the time. They did ask the students to come by later with their issues though. 2.3. There are some instances when the teachers do not entertain students regarding their personal problems. But limit their interaction to the academic related concerns only. 2.4. Students have a very hectic life in MBA. They are given daily assignment and weekly projects, which are to be completed within the deadline. This problem of time unavailability basically leads to the students only discussing their projects with the faculty. 2.4.1. In IIFT we found that the same problem was persisting. CONCLUSIONS 1. Improper channels of communication 1.1. The medium of communication between students and the faculty should much more than just classroom discussion. Discussions over skype is a feasible option which is practiced across the world in many leading universities. 2. Busy schedule of faculties 2.2. The schedule of the faculty and students may or may not be compatible with the free sessions, so faculty may share a common platform over the web for students to post their queries and the faculty can get back to them over the same. 3. Students are less serious about their careers. 3.3. The motivation and satisfaction are two of the key factors in the determining the seriousness in students regarding their career. The seriousness along with hard work can go a long way in not just one’s career but in his/her life. RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Proper time slots should be allotted so that student and faculty could interact with each other. 1.1. The schedule of both the faculty and the students shall be made complementing to each other to maximize the utilization of time from both ends. 2. The students should develop professional communication skills to approach the faculty to share their concerns. 1.2. Development of soft skills amongst students is a must keeping in mind the holistic development of them. Having knowledge and without being able to communicate the same with the faculty isn’t good. Students shall be encouraged to take part in competitions and events to enhance their soft skills.
NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR
1984 by George Orwell is a classic work of dystopian fiction that brings forth a terrifying vision of a totalitarian state.He shows a grim world bereft of truth where humans have no control over their lives and people live in constant fear,misery and repression.It is often said that the regime of fascist Nazi Germany and Communist Soviet union led to creation of this classic by Orwell as he had been thinking of the dystopian world of 1984 as early as 1944 when he wrote a letter about Stalin and Hitler,mentioning “the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer.”(Michiko Kakutani, Why ‘1984’ Is a 2017 Must-Read) 1The story is set in a place called Oceania where people live under a cruel dictatorship ruled by “The Party” and its leader, “Big Brother”. People in Oceania are constantly observed by Telescreens that are installed everywhere possible,so that people don’t get any privacy.Oceania is always at war,either with Eastasia or Eurasia.The protagonist of the story,Winston Smith is a citizen in Oceania who is a member of the Outer Party and works in the Records Department in The Ministry Of Truth.The Ministry Of Truth issues and controls all the documents,information ,entertainment,news,education and fine arts.Winston’s job in The Ministry Of Truth is to rewrite,change and destroy history.So,none of the citizens remember the past because the party controls facts and changes history. This quote by Tom Baker,“You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common?They don’t alter their views to fit the facts ,they alter the facts to fit their views” holds so much of relevance in this context.(James F.Macgrath, Quote of the Day The Doctor).2 Winston is unhappy with the whole system of “The Party” and unable to express his disappointment and anger to others because there is nobody to trust and no real friends to lean on.Therefore,he starts writing what he thinks in his diary even though he knows that the penalty of doing this can be death.So,one day during the regular “Two Minutes Of Hate” which focuses on the treachery of Goldstein, a previous “Brotherhood” member, Winston notices an inner party member ,named O’ Brien and assumes that he is an alley working for “The Brotherhood”,an underground organization that’s aimed to bring the party down.At the same time,he also notices a girl with dark hair,Julia and assumes her to be a foe from the “Thought Police” and is assured that she is there to observe him.After a few days,Julia hands him a paper and confesses her love to him.Later,they manage to meet alone and gradually fall in love with each other.Julia like Winston is unorthodox and doesn’t believe in the system. They both believe that their loyalty to one another can never be destroyed.Then, Winston manages to find a room on rent which belongs to Mr. Charrington who doesn’t mind to lend it for some money.They spend their romantic time in that room as often as they can.Later,Winston and Julia meet O’Brien assuming that he is a member of “The Brotherhood” and confess to him their hatred towards the Party.O’Brien welcomes them to “The Brotherhood” and promises to deliver “The Book”(written by the enemy of the party i.e. Goldstein) to them to read.As he starts reading “The Book” in their rented room while Julia is napping next to him,they suddenly hear some noise coming from the wall,and find out that there is a telescreen behind the painting on the wall.They get caught and separated.Winston realizes that Mr.Charrington belongs to the “Thought Police”.After this incident,Winston is locked for days in “The Ministry Of Love”,which is responsible for law and order,in a room without windows.Finally,O’Brien comes in and Winston thinks that he also got caught but he realizes that O’Brien is there to torture him,make him confess his crimes and break his spirit.O’Brien has been watching Winston for the last 7 years and the Party is made aware of all his crimes.He continues to torture Winston for months together and tries hard to change his way of thinking and force “Doublethink” into his brain,which is the ability of holding two opposing ideas in one’s mind and believing in both of them.O’Brien finds it hard to change him until he takes Winston to “Room 101”,the room where people are made to face their worst fears.O’Brien threatens Winston to open the cage of rats.Since Winston fears rats,he loses control over himself and screams “do it to Julia” which shows a complete loss of loyalty and principles. And at the end,Winston is a changed man who spends time at the “Chestnut Tree Café”,watching news on daily basis there through the Telescreen.One day,he meets Julia by accident and they talk for a while.She has also changed and is not as charming as before.She confesses to him that she betrayed him during the torture.Winston has changed so much that he finally comes to love “Big Brother”. Orwell tries to draw a parallel between Big Brother who is The Party’s enigmatic leader and Stalin and Hitler because in the very first chapter he is described as “ a man of about forty-five with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features”.His face is described as “simply enormous”.The name “Big Brother” suggests a protective nature but at the same time he is very intimidating and threatening as his gaze cannot be avoided.This dichotomy of protection and intimidation created by The Party is used to instill a sense of fear and obedience in its citizens. One thing that is left unclear by Orwell for the readers is that whether Big Brother exists in reality or not.Winston says,“The story really began in the middle sixties, the period of the great purges in which the original leaders of the Revolution were wiped out once and for all. By 1970 none of them was left, except Big Brother himself. All the rest had by that time been exposed as traitors and counter- revolutionaries”.This sentence from the book supports the idea that Big Brother exists and is infact a literal figure and the dictator of Oceania.At the same time Winston’s monologue which goes as, "Nobody has ever seen Big Brother. He is a face on the hoardings, a voice on the telescreen. We may be reasonably sure that he will never die, and there is already considerable uncertainty as to when he was born" suggests that Big Brother may not exist and is merely a character created for the purpose of propaganda.He elaborates further as to what may be the motive for creating a fictitious figurehead because if the party is represented by an individual or an image of an individual,then it is much easier for the masses to connect with the party.Also,Big Brother is accredited with all of the nation’s successes,no matter how trivial the success is and is never criticised.He is worshipped like a deity.Orwell writes "Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration.During the "Two Minutes Hate" his image is prevalent and leaves such a lasting impression that even after his face has faded away,Winston says that his image “seemed to persist for several seconds on the screen”. Telescreens were the devices used for distributing propaganda to the masses and helped in creating a climate of constant fear through psychological manipulation.Orwell says that they are two-way devices as it not only makes the viewer see what is on the screen but at the same time viewers can also be viewed by the party officials.Therefore, by creating a climate of fear in which the individual is never sure as to whether or not his/her actions are being analysed,the citizens of Oceania learn to “morally”police their own selves. The telescreen is also a device that delivers the majority of the Party's propaganda to an individual. Orwell also presents the reader with a few examples of the type of shows that are being screened. The citizens are constantly made to hear patriotic songs and shown racist images of whoever happens to be the enemy at any given time. In addition to this Big Brother's achievements are constantly lauded. The reference given to "three year plans" and how they have all been massively over-fulfilled is clearly symbolic of the five year plans of Stalin's Soviet Union. This is one of a number of references to the actual political climate of that era in the novel. LANGUAGE-NEWSPEAK Newspeak is the official language of Oceania and Orwell explains the principles of Newspeak in great detail in the appendix.The aim of Newspeak is to perpetuate the doctrine of Ingsoc . As Orwell writes in his appendix, "It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought-that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc-should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words."So,through this element of Newspeak,Orwell tries to shed light on the power of language and the damage that can be caused when it is misused.One important feature of Newspeak is that there are no negative words. The Newspeak word for bad is "ungood" and if something is really atrocious then it would be said, "double plus ungood". This would instill a sense of optimism in the general populace as they would not have the means to express any negative feeling and at the same time would help in destroying creative art or expression.Therefore,he serves a warning to the world as what could happen if language is allowed to become corrupted and is not sufficiently cherished and protected. The law is a powerful tool in “1984” to limit the freedom of citizens. No parties, no dates, no love, no citizens walk on street after curfew, laws are everywhere in Oceania. But they cannot be called laws theoretically because there are no written laws in 1984.This is exactly how fear is created, as citizens are always living in uncertainty. "Hate Week" and "Two Minutes Hate" are two important tools in the Party's arsenal of psychological weaponry.On the one hand, "Hate Week" is a large scale, annual event where the population is incited into a condition of extreme loathing towards the enemies of Oceania while on the other hand the "Two Minutes Hate" is a daily dose of emotionally charged propaganda and is held on a smaller scale. The "Two Minutes Hate" has a profound impact on the members of the Party as the reader is allowed a glimpse into one of these shows. Winston says, "Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room." Here Orwell is emphasising the power that propaganda can hold over people and the potentially damaging consequences of such widespread ignorance.He also says that Goldstein's hateful speech is set to a backdrop of marching soldiers with "expressionless Asiatic faces". Much like Big Brother, Orwell does not explain whether or not Goldstein or “the book” exists. It is highly plausible that he is merely a construct of the Party's propaganda machine and "the book" may have been published by the Party to identify the dissenters in Oceania. Another extremely effective manner by which the Party dominates its citizens is through the psychological manipulation of impressionable children.Orwell presents this point through Winston's neighbour, the Parsons family. The family comprises of Mr. and Mrs. Parsons and their two children, who remain unnamed throughout the novel. When Winston comes to their flat in order to mend a broken sink the boy calls him a "traitor" and a "thought-criminal" and makes violent threats to "shoot" or "vaporise" him. He compares these awful children to "tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters." Such is their commitment to the Party's cause that one doubts whether their loyalties lie more with their parents or with the Party. Orwell emphasises that these children have been so successfully manipulated that, in reality, they are the children of the Party much more than they are the children of their biological parents.This reiterates how deeply entrenched the brainwashing is and sends a strong warning about the susceptibility of children to brainwashing and propaganda. CONCLUSION As V.S. Pritchett clearly stated while reviewing the novel, "I do not think I have ever read a novel more frightening and depressing; and yet, such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down”. With 1984,Orwell created a truly classic piece of literature with a strong moral message that is still as relevant today as the time in which he wrote it. The most striking feature of 1984 is certainly the realization that regimes do not stand on violence and coercion but by the thousand tiny actions forced on a person each day and while it was written in a very different age,it is still relevant as one Michigan teacher, Mike Becker says, “A lot of students came up to me in the last few weeks and said stuff along the lines of We’re living in 1984.”(Rebecca Klein, High School Students Reading ‘1984’ See A Mirror, Not Science Fiction)3.His narrative carries stark warnings for the future about the horrors that can ensue if power is allowed to run unchecked. His portrayal of the dangers of propaganda and psychological manipulation is truly expert and his warning is clear about the need for a society to preserve its civil liberties and the harm that falsifying history and fabricated propaganda can cause.
COMMUNICATION - AN ESSENCE TO LIFE
Communication is as old as man itself. Without communication we cant live and work together in an organized way. It enables us to understand others and make ourselves understand. Communication is the process by which we exchange meanings, facts, ideas, opinions or emotions with other people. The word communication has been derived from a latin word “ Communis” which means commonness or to share or to participate. At every moment of time we share our views, ideas, opinions with others in the form of speeches or in writing or like other mean by exchange of common set of symbols. Meaning : Man is a communicating animal ; he alone has a power to ex conpress the words. The presence of minimum of two minds is essential for communication. Infact, communication to conver a message by one person to another so that the other person may understand, follow and implement the follow the message of another , it cant be called communication. For instance if Mr. X delivers a lecture in Hindi to a gathering of Americans (to whom Hindi language is greek or latin ) , it will fall flat on them and there is no communication in it. “Basically , communication is a twoway process and the two terminals should be concerned with mutual understanding if communication is to be purposefully effective’. It is important to note that communication does not mean merely written or oral messages. It includes everything that may be used to convey meaning from one to another person. For example movement of lips or the wink of an eye or wave of hands may convey more meaning than even spoken or written words. “ Communication is the sum total of all the things that a person does when he wants to creat an understanding in the mind of the another. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding. In the words of Theo Haiman “ Communication is a process is a process of passing information and understanding from one person to another . It is a process of imparting ideas and making oneself understood by others.