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lesson 2
1 hour

Hamlet and Claudius


In this lesson, students encounter the character of Hamlet for the first time through the eyes of his uncle and now stepfather Claudius. Following a masterful reading of the first part of the soliloquy, students continue to work with standards RL.11-12.3 and RL.11-12.4 by engaging in a discussion about how Claudius introduces and develops Hamlet. Specifically, they address the impact of Claudius’s word choices and the manner in which he introduces the audience to Hamlet as a character through Claudius’s accusations of an excessive and unmanly grief. In this reading, students acquire a preliminary understanding of the characters of Claudius and Hamlet through their communication with each other. At the same time, they begin to determine the emergence of concepts such as gender roles, the concept of duty, and mortality in this scene.


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Bilingual Language Progressions

These resources, developed by the New York State Education Department, provide standard-level scaffolding suggestions for English Language Learners (ELLs) to help them meet grade-level demands. Each resource contains scaffolds at multiple levels of language acquisition and describes the linguistic demands of the standards to help ELA teachers as well as ESL/bilingual teachers scaffold content for their English learning students.



From of the New York State Education Department. Grade 11 ELA Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 2. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29.
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