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Date: May 03 2001


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Miguel recently rented the movie Hamlet. He liked the movie, and was excited to describe it to Tanis. Tanis studied English in college and is familiar with the story.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Miguel:  So check this out, I watched this movie last night – it’s Hamlet, but its the 2000 version. That movie is really cool though cause I know you’re like an English major, kinda like nerdy and into that Shakespeare thing.

Tanis:  Yeah, I admit. I am.

Miguel:  Well, anyway, you gotta see this cause it’s like, its all based in New York City and it stars Ethan Hawke and like Julia Styles and stuff so it’s like a total hip scene but yet ya know, they speak in the Shakespearean, whatever that’s called.

Tanis:  Really?

Miguel:  Yeah.

Tanis:  Well, I remember hearing about that when they were making it and I thought oh, ya know, Ethan Hawke, slacker, poster child, plays Hamlet...

Miguel:  Right.

Tanis:  How fitting.

Miguel:  Right. No, it is kinda like that. The sets are so neat.

Tanis:  Uh huh.

Miguel:  It’s like the way they set it up is Denmark is this huge corporation.

Tanis:  Ohh.

Miguel:  So the king of Denmark is really the…

Tanis:  CEO.

Miguel:  ...CEO, right and like he’s the son of ya know. It’s kinda neat how they wrap it up though.

Tanis:  Who plays the mother?

Miguel:  She’s an Italian woman I think, she’s good in the role, she’s definitely good…

Tanis:  Really?

Miguel:  She expresses a lot of emotion really well, but also it has like Bill Murray in it, but he’s not very good.

Tanis:  Well, which character does he play?

Miguel:  I can’t remember what… well, he’s like the protector guy, I can’t remember…

Tanis:  Polonius?

Miguel:  ...yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, right. Exactly and he gets killed pretty early, which is good.

Tanis:  Right.

Miguel:  So which is good, so, um.

Tanis:  How do they do the ghost?

Miguel:  Well, that’s the one thing they, the ghost, he’s like the real character ya know.

Tanis:  Oh ok.

Miguel:  They sorta have him kinda transparent some of the time.

Tanis:  Ohh.

Miguel:  So he’s like, so that part is like a little bit cheesy.

Tanis:   OK.

Miguel:  But other than, it’s still all right. It just could be better.

Tanis:   Huh, that sounds really cool, so you liked it?

Miguel:  Yeah, I totally liked it. I mean, the thing about the Shakespeare movies is that it always takes takes a while for me to warm up to it and so I can understand what they…

Tanis:   Right, sure.

Miguel:  ...are talking about. Once you get it, it is so awesome,

Tanis:   Uh huh.

Miguel:  Cause it’s like the way that they…

Tanis:   Right.

Miguel:  ...talk is like like in two lines, there can be so much meaning and you’re just like whoa!

Tanis:   And it’s just inundated with, you know, double entendre.

Miguel:  Right. Exactly.

Tanis:  I love that about Shakespearean English.

Miguel:  So, and that’s what’s so cool is ‘cause usually you picture it in a play and they’re all dressed funny and…

Tanis:  Mm hmm.

Miguel:  ...all that, so for it to be like in a really…

Tanis:  Mm hmm.

Miguel:  ...cool setting made me totally dig it.

Tanis:   Yeah, it’s so true how, how, timeless Shakespeare really is.

Miguel:   Right. Exactly. To see that, and see a movie like that totally you can’t imagine that he wrote it.



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The modern day version of Hamlet sounds pretty interesting from Miguel description. It’s hard for native English speakers to understand Old English, because its structure and word usage. If you know the story of “Hamlet” like Tanis, it might help you enjoy the movie even more.
Have you seen Hamlet? Did you like it? Do you like Shakespearean movies? Let us know! Come to the “Movie Madness” message board.
Until next week,


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