After having worked with the excerpts of the play Hamlet in Access to English: Literature and perhaps seen a filmed version of the play, form groups, study the text by Margaret Atwood, and discuss the following questions.
Do you find this a humorous text? Why or why not?
Why do you think Margaret Atwood has chosen to “contemporize” this conversation? Give examples of how she achieves this effect.
What does Gertrude imply about the dead king, her former husband? Does this add to the comic tone of the conversation?
Is this a “feminist” text in your opinion? Why or why not?
Do you think this scene could be made into a modern soap opera? Why or why not?
A parody is defined as a comic imitation of a serious work or literary form. Does this text fit this definition? Discuss whether you have learned anything about the original play from working with this short text. Did you enjoy working with this text? Why or why not?
This scene requires two actors although only one of them speaks. In your groups, prepare a presentation of this scene for your fellow classmates and act it out.