What important exposition is revealed at the beginning of this scene? The former King whose ghost appeared in the previous scene, has been dead only a very short time. The new king is the former king’s brother, and the widow of the former king has married her brother in law, the new king.
What evidence of wrongdoing or corruption is evident in Cladius’ opening speech? Cladius admits that it would be appropriate for the country to be in a period of official mourning for his brother’s death, but they have forgone that. He acknowledges that everything he has done- marrying gertrude and allowing himself to be crowned king- he has done with the advice and consent of the court’s chief advisors. He also admits that his marriage to gertrude came at a time when she should have been a grieving widow instead of a blushing bride.
Compare Claudius’ treatment of Laertes with his treatment of Hamlet. Cladius drops the formal “you” when talking to Laertes and begins to address him with the familiar “thou.” He consistently addresses hamlet with the formal. He also grants Laertes permission to return to France, while he denies Hamlet permission to return to school at Wittenberg.
Why did Hamlet not become King after his father’s death? Cladius identifies Gertrude as the imperial jointress, which indicates that she actually inherited the throne. Cladius said he acted with the advice and consent of the court and somehow convinced the advisors that it was Denmark’s best interests for him to marry Gertrude and assume the throne.
How is Hamlet physically and emotionally conspicuous in the public portion of this scene? Cladius and gertrudes speech indicate that Hamlet is dressed in mourning black. Most stagings of his scene depict everyone dressed gaily as if for a festival to contrast with Hamlet’s black. Also, Hamlet is the only one expressing any give grief over his father’s recent death. Cladius and Gertrude remonstrate him for this.
what is the significance of Cladius denying Hamlet’s permission to return to Wittenberg It contrasts with the permission Cladius gave to Laertes to return to Paris. It puts hamlet under house arrest.
What aspect of Halmlet’s concept of death is revealed in Hamlet’s first soliloquy? Hamlet desired death. He wishes he could pass into not being or that he could kill himself without sinning.
What aspect of Hamlet’s problem seems to bother him the most? He is most upset about the marriage of his mother, the speed with which she married (less than two months) and the physical lustful nature of her relationship with his uncle.
What important metaphor is introduced in Hamlet’s soliloquy that will be developed later in the play? the idea of Denmark as a garden- an unweeded garden- will be echoed by the ghost’s explanation that he was allegedly bitten by a serpent (reminiscent of the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Adam and Eve) while sleeping in his garden.
Contrast Horatio and Laertes reasons for being in Denmark Laertes is there for the King’s coronation. Horatio is there for the king’s funeral. That is when we realize that Laertes (the son of the advisor Polonious) should have attended the funeral. This highlights the corruption in denmark and identifies Horatio as a loyal friend of Hamlet’s.