Hamlet on Scoilnet


The Concept

Students could write to Hamlet who would reply to them in person from Elsinore, a virtual place lost in the mists of time, history, drama and the Internet



The Rationale

Students study Shakespeare's Hamlet for the senior cycle, especially at higher level. They are expected to know the play through and through and also to be able to write in a critical and reflective manner about it. The personal response of the student is especially important. A distinguishing characteristic of higher grade answers at this Leaving certificate Higher Level is the ability of the student to get inside the characters and their stories which form the plot of the play.

This web forum offered students the opportunity of talking to Hamlet directly. Hamlet would reply in character and in the context of his world as defined solely by the play alone. It was important that Hamlet knew only the world of the play as this focused the activity exclusively on this context.



The Method


questions were submitted to the site which was hosted on the Scoilnet discussion forum. All incoming messages were held in quarantine until seen by the site moderator.

A team of two teachers worked as 'Hamlet', reading incoming messages and generating replies.The site proved to be very busy which created a substantial workload. This had been anticiapted and the site was planned to run for three months only at which point Hamlet retired, to England on holiday again, perhaps.



The Statistics

The Hamlet site was among the most successful on Scoilnet. It generated a total of 181 submissions and was read by 1969 visitors.


The quality of the submissions was excellent and proved the point that the demand for such a site was there. Click here to read samples of Hamlet talking to his audience.