Hamlet Act 2

What is ironic about Polonius’ attempt to learn about Laertes life in Paris? if reynaldo follows his instruction he will ruin Laertes reputation by talking badly about him
Why would Polonius immediately jump to the conclusion that Hamlet is mad for Ophelia’s love? her description of him isn’t abnormal for the time where most men would act in this way when in love
Consider how the episode of Hamlet in Ophelia’s closet promises to contribute to the overall calamity of the tragic plot. ophelia has now allied herself with people Hamlet hates, her breaking up with him is another betrayal if he cares, if he doesn’t it furthers his madness thingy
What are some of the slang expressions and puns Hamlet uses in his first exchange with Polonius? Why are they significant? fishmonger = lower class, “words, words, words” = shows annoyance, “Between who?” = hamlet knows he was asking about book but made it seem like he was talking about conflict between people, tells Polonius to leave
Are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern willing spies for Claudius and Gertrude? no, gertrude flatters them and claudius talks to them as friends to get them to do it
What is Hamlet’s initial reaction to the appearance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? “tedious old fools” they are not as close to him as king and queen described
How does Hamlet’s famous “What a piece of work is a man!” passage depart from typical Renaissance humanism? humans are believed to be the hierarchy of animals, Hamlet does not celebrate human’s godlike complex with “quintessence of dust”
Why does Shakespeare introduce a troupe of traveling players into action of the play? players will be used by Hamlet to see Claudius/Gertrude’s reaction later on
What does Hamlet’s expression of concern about the child actors used in the city contribute to the plot or to the development of his character? Shakespeare uses this to criticize acting profession
What is unusual about the player’s monologue about the Fall of Troy? written from trojan point of view, son of Achilles is portrayed as heartless villain