I'm teaching Hamlet for the first time in a while, and yet again it strikes me how difficult I find it to teach Hamlet. It's a huge play. There's so much going on, so much to it. But the bigger problem is that a lot of students have read it in high school, and thus seem to think that they have the final answer, and so, to every question, they want to answer whatever thing they learned in high school: it's passion! it's Oedipal! it's all soliloquys all the time!
This time around, I've been trying to start by defamiliarizing the play (I'm teaching it in two classes right now, by odd luck and careful planning, but I have a couple students in both classes, so things have to focus differently for each class). In one class, I'm trying to defamiliarize by having them talk about Q1 and Q2 parallel speeches (the opening works!), as do some more famously different bits (there's the point!). In the other class, I've started with more historical and generic contexts.
In both classes, only about a third of students raised their hands when I asked if they'd bothered to reread the play. And then I encouraged the others to reread because what they'd learned in high school wasn't going to cut it.
How do you find teaching Hamlet (or other super familiar texts)?
What do you to do get students to take these texts more seriously at the higher level?