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Half of my students have never read Hamlet. (I told them not to get too attached to any of the characters.)

We focused just on Act I today — the opening scene on the battlement, the initial court scene that introduces Claudius and Gertrude, the domestic scene where Ophelia gets mansplaining first from her brother then from her father, and Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost. After the slow opening acts in A Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the students were surprised at how much…