Hamlet returns home to find his father has died. Zimbabwean actor Tonderai Munyevu explains how Hamlet is about a man who has to figure out what happened while he was away.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

We use 'would' + infinitive to talk about habits and repeated actions in the past. Talking about his childhood in Zimbabwe, Tonderai remembers:

We always heard Shakespearean lines or words spoken without realising that they were Shakespearean. 'All that glitters is not gold' is something that we would say. 'Constant as the northern star' is something that we would say. 'To be or not to be' is something that we would say.

This meaning of 'would' is similar to 'used to'.

Exercise

Task 4

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

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Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

nothing but his face looks scary==

'The Searchers' by John Ford is a great example of, in this case, an old soldier returning to his home. It is a western, so the story sets in the Old West in 19th century. As the title implies, it´s a search of a woman who was kidnapped by Comanches. She is a relative of the protagonist, so he and another man just travel around the arid landscape of the desert for years to find out the presence of the girl. For me, the western narratives are not interesting; actually, I prefer to focus on the narrative of the landscape, that Ford in this, and in many other films, express with a poetic sensitivity that describe perfectly the vast nature of United States. In a sense, The Searchers propose a reflection on redemption, self control, psychological troubles, of the main character, as in Hamlet, that is the perfect expression of the Self.

Hi!
I was remembering about the sound of music movie that the girl is returning to your country to see if she was really prepared to be a nun, or to see the world and she could experiment and take some relationship. It is different story that, at the end they finally, fell in love, and get married.

Hi, British council teamwork
I have a question has perplexed my humble mind, the quotation which is the advice that ploniuos have it to his son "To thine own self be true" yes I knew it means be true with your self but I need analysis for the sentence syntactically

*gave it to his son
Sorry for technical mistake because I have turned on predictive text feature

Hello Abdo Hassan f,

This is a sentence which is taken, as you say, from a literary context and it uses inversion for rhetorical effect. The verb is an imperative and the speaker is giving strong advice - almost a command:

Be true to yourself (without inversion, with the modern word for 'yourself')

Be true to your own self (without inversion, using a more poetic flourish)

Be true to thine own self (without inversion, using a more poetic flourish and an older word for 'your')

To thine own self be true (with inverstion)

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for clarification

I can find similar story on the book of Odyssey, when Ulises return to Ithaka where her wife Penelope was courted by many suitors. Then Ulises won the proof what Penelope had set marry with the winner. After that Ulises killed all suitors, and return with Penelope.
The difference with Hamlet is that Ulises isn't the son of Penelope if not her husband.

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