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Hamlet Act 2 Questions

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Hamlet Act 2 Questions

Scene 1

1) It has been about 2 months since the end of Act 1 when the ghost told Hamlet how he was killed by his Claudius. You know that it has at least been quite awhile because at the end of Act 2 Scene 2 Hamlet refers to himself as a coward because he has known for such a period of time and still hasn't done anything about the murder of his father. Also, towards the end of Act 1 Polonius tells his daughter Ophelia that she must ignore Hamlet and his affections. In Act 2 we see the effects of this when Ophelia tells her father about Hamlet's actions and it is assumed that he is going mad because he is so in love with Ophelia that he is going crazy without her.

2) Polonius is sending Reynaldo on a mission to spy on his son, Laertes. He tells Reynaldo to talk to Laertes's friends and pretend to barely know him. Polonius wants Reynaldo to suggest that Laertes is immoral that way he will trick them into telling Reynaldo what Laertes is really doing. This tells us that Polonius is smart and he knows how to manipulate people. He knows ways of getting the truth without people knowing what is going on. He is very tricky and crafty and he is determined to find out what his son is up to.

3) Ophelia is excited and troubled because Hamlet visited her and he was acting very strange. He showed up barely dressed and he never said a word to Ophelia. He studied her face for a long time, then sighed, and left her. It is kind of shocking that Hamlet is so obsessed over Ophelia because in Act 1 he was talking about how he wanted to get revenge for the murder of his father and he swore to the ghost of King Hamlet that he would protect Denmark. You would think that would be his main concern, but apparently his main concern right now is his love, Ophelia. Ophelia obeyed every word of what her father, Polonius, told her. She is definitely a loyal daughter. It is very possible that Hamlet is passionately in love with Ophelia. In fact, I think he is. It must be especially hard on him because he has already lost his father and feels as if he has lost his mother to. It would drive me crazy too if I lost everyone who I loved.

4) When Ophelia tells Polonius of the way that Hamlet acted he decides that he wrongly judged Hamlet and that he came to the wrong conclusions about Hamlet's affections for Ophelia. He decides that King Claudius must be told at once what has happened and why Hamlet is acting the way he is. They are leaving to go tell the King how everything is between Hamlet and Ophelia and that it is partially his fault for the way that Hamlet is acting because of the advice that he gave his daughter.

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