Hamlet Teaching Resources

Hamlet Art and Design Key Stage 3

How can you show the inner emotions and turmoil of characters like Hamlet and Ophelia?

Watch Hamlet, the animated story afterwards, ask students to make an educated guess on the questions below:
  • Who are these characters? What visual clues give away their identity?
  • Did they expect Hamlet to look like this? Why? Why not?

Students can create an illustrated character file for Hamlet or Ophelia including main character traits, appearance and key relationships.  Analyse the costume design for Hamlet compared to Claudius; what do their clothes reveal about each character.

Look at German Expressionism (particularly woodblock printed portraits by Conrad Felixmüller and Käthe Kollwitz) and discuss the key characteristics: semi-realistic, strong contrast of black and white, thick and strong lines, making the feelings/emotions more important than the realistic depiction of the person, etc.  Then, make a German expressionist style print using a polyprint block (or use recycled polystyrene pizza trays), taking inspiration from the photograph of Hamlet below.

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