We have selected five short extracts from Hamlet which are suitable for the Bard Blitz exercise. As mentioned, teachers may choose to use one or more of these extracts, or they may prefer to select their own passage from Hamlet (or another text altogether).
- Hamlet: ‘O that this too too solid flesh ... Must I remember?’ - (1.2.129-143; the wider text for context purposes includes 1.2.76-159).
- Hamlet: ‘I will tell you why ... by your smiling you seem to say so’ - (2.2.278-292; the wider text for context purposes includes 2.2.253-303).
- Polonius: ‘It shall do well ... Your wisdom best shall think.’ - (3.1.170-181; the wider text for context purposes includes 3.1.144-182)
- Claudius: ‘Oh my offence is rank ... To wash it white as snow’ and ‘Oh wretched state!...All may be well.’ - (3.3.36-46, 67-72; the wider text for context purposes includes 3.3.27-98).
- Gertrude: ‘There is a willow grows askant ... To muddy death.’ - (4.7.166-183; the wider text for context purposes includes 4.7.138-194).
Download a full copy of these extracts.
(Line references and quotations are from the revised New Cambridge edition.)
For suggestions on how to explore these extracts during the Bard Blitz, please download the Hamlet Discussion Table. The table is designed to help teachers think about characterisation, language, stagecraft and concepts in these parts of the play. Even if you don’t use these extracts, the table is a helpful guide for how to approach this exercise.