To Be, or Not to Be…Really Confused by Hamlet

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Shmoop University quotes analysis is now spread into themes to help students makes sense of Shakespeare.

Having a tough time decoding the ancient verbiage of Hamlet quotes from the famous Shakespearian tragedy? Shmoop is here to save students' day.

Shmoop has taken it's first step in revitalizing their quotes section. It’s true – Billy Shakes’ esoteric language can be daunting at times. Sometimes students must wonder if even Shakespeare knew what he was talking about. (Amazingly, he did.) Shmoop’s extensive online guide to understanding and analyzing quotes will help make it all clear. Once students have gotten a handle on the vernacular and jargon contained in plays such as Hamlet, they’ll feel much better about things. Alas, poor Yorick will be in worse shape than they will be...

Shmoop is now equipped with an excellent set of tools to help students expand their comprehension of literary quotes. The company offers resources that focus specifically on the different aspects of a literary work. In Hamlet, Shmoop focuses on the various themes and topics explored therein. Students will first be given an intro so they can become roughly familiar with the history and significance of the play. Students can then explore the summary of the plot and an overview of the characters to get a sense of the overall story. Something about… a prince and… tapestries. Or something.

Students can then dive into the massive assortment of important quotes from Hamlet. The collection is vast, and each quote is accompanied by a very well thought out, yet easy-to-read explanation of what is being discussed. What’s more, the quotes are separated based on different themes that are distinguishable and easy to navigate.

In terms of the categories of quotes, Shmoop has now pulled out all of the stops, painstakingly separating the quotes into every pertinent category imaginable. From quotes related to Hamlet’s “madness” brought on by the scandalous nature of his father’s demise, to (not unrelated) quotes of revenge, to talk of religion, gender, and morality, Shmoop’ll cover it all.

Some of these quotes should definitely ring a bell. “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark” – hear any ding-a-ling-ing? Shmoop will analyze this quintessential quotation, explaining that it refers to Hamlet following the irate ghost of his father into the darkness, and alluding to the fact that something is amiss. Hey, we’d be irate, too. Tough to fault the guy.

The tragedy of Hamlet is over 400 years old and contains one of the most famous speeches in the history of the English language that starts: “To be or not to be…” Stick with Shmoop and the company will answer Hamlet’s conundrum.

Or at least concedes the futility of even asking it.

About Shmoop
Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching materials. Shmoop content is written by master teachers and Ph.D. students from Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and other top universities. Shmoop Learning Guides, Test Prep, and Teacher’s Editions balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous materials to help students understand how subjects relate to their daily lives. Shmoop offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company has been honored twice by the Webby Awards and was named “Best in Tech” for 2010 and 2011 by Scholastic Administrator. Launched in 2008, Shmoop is headquartered in a labradoodle-patrolled office in Mountain View, California.

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Ted Kietzman
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