Listen&Learn: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • investigate: to try to find out the truth about something
  • avenge: to punish someone for hurting someone else
  • suspicious: believing that someone is doing something they shouldn’t
  • obsessed: constantly thinking about something
  • insanity: having an unstable state of mind
  • adaptation: a movie, show, or play that is based on an existing work

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a play by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare. The story is about a young named Hamlet whose father has recently . Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, has declared himself the new king of Denmark. One day, the of Hamlet’s father appears and tells Hamlet that Claudius has murdered him. He asks his son to investigate Claudius and avenge his death. While investigating, Hamlet to lose his mind so that Claudius doesn’t get suspicious. However, as the play goes on, Hamlet slowly becomes obsessed with revenge. Eventually, his fake insanity starts to seem . The play is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, and it has inspired many modern adaptations.

Comprehension questions

1. At the beginning of the play, Claudius has

Correct! Wrong!

At the beginning of the play, Claudius has declared himself king.

2. The ghost of Hamlet's father asks Hamlet to

Correct! Wrong!

The ghost of Hamlet's father asks Hamlet to investigate Claudius.

3. To stop Claudius from getting suspicious, Hamlet

Correct! Wrong!

To stop Claudius from getting suspicious, Hamlet pretends to lose his mind.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Some people think that Hamlet really loses his mind throughout the play. Others believe that Hamlet simply puts on such a good performance that he fools the audience as well. Which idea do you like better? Why do you think people can have such different interpretations of the same play?

Transcript

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a play by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare. The story is about a young prince named Hamlet whose father has recently died. Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, has declared himself the new king of Denmark. One day, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears and tells Hamlet that Claudius has murdered him. He asks his son to investigate Claudius and avenge his death. While investigating, Hamlet pretends to lose his mind so that Claudius doesn’t get suspicious. However, as the play goes on, Hamlet slowly becomes obsessed with revenge. Eventually, his fake insanity starts to seem real. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, and it has inspired many modern adaptations.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub
© EnglishClub.com

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