Hamlet Act II

“I doubt it is no other than the main,/ His father’s death and our o’er-hasty marriage.” GertrudeHamletShe is saying that the reason he is most likely acting different is because of the death of his father and her quick remarriage. This shows that she knows what is upsetting Hamlet but she doesn’t care she is only worried about her own happiness. Act II Scene I Lines 56-57
“More matter with less art.” Gertrude PoloniusGet to the point. This implies that the thought of her son being crazy bothers her and she either does care about him or she cares about her own image. Act. II Scene II Line 98
“Words, words, words.” HamletPoloniusPolonius asks Hamlet what he was reading and Hamlet replies with a lot of words. The reply that Hamlet gave made Polonius believe that Hamlet was crazy. Act II Scene II Line 194
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” Polonius HimselfHe is saying that there is a method to Hamlet’s madness. Polonius does believe that Hamlet is crazy but he also believes that he is a smart man. Act II Scene II Line 195
“Denmark’s a prison.” HamletGuidenstern and RosencrantzHamlet feels like he is stuck in Denmark. This shows that Hamlet is ambitious and wants more with his life. it also shows how he feels that Claudius makes everything worse for Hamlet because now he feels like he is in a prison. Act II Scene II Line 247
“…for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” HamletRosencrantz and GuildensternNothing is really good or bad it is just what a person thinks of it. This shows that Hamlet is opened minded and he realizes that not everyone is going to agree with him. Act II Scene II Lines 253-254
“A dream itself is but a shadow.” Hamlet Guildenstern and RosencrantzA dream isn’t reality. This shows that Hamlet isn’t completely mad. He still knows reality from appearance. Act II Scene II Line 245
“Now I am alone./ O, what a rogue and peasant slave I am!” HamletHimselfHe is saying how he is alone and a low-life.This goes back to the theme of madness. Hamlet thinks very low of himself which can drive him to do crazy things. Act II Scene II Lines 559-560
“The play’s the thing wherein I’l catch the conscience of the king.” Hamlet HimselfHe is plotting to have the players do a play imitating the murder of his father to see if Cluadius acts guilty. This shows how Hamlet wants evidence before he actually gets revenge. He wants to make sure he is doing the right thing. Act II Scene II Lines 616-617
Polonius dispatches Reynaldo to spy on Laertes in Paris by indirect means, using a ‘bait or lies/ gold/ falsehood’ to discover the truth. Ophelia enters in a panic and reports that Hamlet, in a distracted state, has visited her while she was reading/ sleeping/ sewing in her closet. Both she and Polonius are convinced the Hamlet is ‘mad for [Ophelia’s] love’, and decide to tell the king. Claudius enlists the help of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s friends from Wittenburg/ Norway/ Denmark, to discover the cause of Hamlet’s madness. Polonius introduces the ambassadors returned from Norway who have succeeded in alerting the King of Norway to his nephew’s/ cousin’s/ son’s behavior. Fortinbras is now to prove himself against the Swedes/ Germans/ Poles. Polonius then explains his discovery of the relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet, his suspicious/ dishonourable/ honourable motives for stopping it and Hamlet’s subsequent decline into madness. He reads a letter he has stolen/been given/intercepted from Hamlet to Ophelia to prove his case. Hamlet enters reading a book about honor/ old men/ maggots, and the court disappears to allow Polonius to try to draw out the prince. Hamlet acts as though he is insane ad his remarks encourage Polonius in his beliefs about Hamlet’s madness. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have a go at finding out the reasons for Hamlet’s madness, suggesting he is mourning/ ambitious/ possessed. Hamlet denies this, tells them he is melancholy/ mad/ acting but does not know why, and quickly detects his erstwhile friends’ duplicity. The conversation is diverted onto the topic of the Players who are about to arrive in Elsinore. Polonius re-enters to introduce them and Hamlet calls for a sad/ cheerful/ passionate speech. The sad tale of Hector’s/ Achilles’/ Priam’s death at the hands of Pyrrhus and Hecuba’s woe/murder/abduction reduces the actor who recites the speech to tears. In his third soliloquy Hamlet bemoans his lack of passion in comparison to Polonius, his father, the player, tries to stimulate his feelings through passionate speech, and berates himself for having done so. He then decides to put on a play: all that has stopped him, he suggests, has been the possibility that the ghost may be a devil. A play depicting his father’s death may move Claudius to confession, or at least to look quilts. With this evidence, Hamlet will ‘know [his] course/mind/deeds’. FalsehoodSewingWittenburgNephew’sPolesHonorableBeen givenOld menAmbitiousMelancholyPassionatePriam’sWoeThe playerCourse
Who does Polonius send to spy on Laertes? What is this person supposed to deliver? Reynaldo. Written notes
How does the Polonius and Reynaldo scene(Act II Scene I) contribute to the effect of this act? It shows that Polonius isn’t trusting and he is nosey.
Who has upset Ophelia? How? Hamlet came into her room looking like he came back from hell.
What reason does Polonius give for Hamlet’s insanity? Hamlet is love crazed.
Who is sent for by the king and queen in order to get close to Hamlet? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
With what news and Cornelius and Voltimand return? That uncle Fortinbras has stopped young Fortinbras from attacking Denmark but now he wants to attack Poland but he has t goo through Denmark so he’s asking for permission.
Polonius reads letters from ______ to _______ to prove his theory about Hamlet’s insanity. Hamlet; Ophelia
How might we connect the content of Hamlet’s “crazy” remarks to Polonius to what the Prince is actually feelings? In his supposedly “crazy” remarks, he actually cleverly insulate Polonius and he hints that he might know that Claudius killed his father. He pretends to be crazy in order to avoid detection so we can deduce that the prince is being cautious and that he is trying a clever solution to the problem.
What does Hamlet realize about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern involving their loyalty? He realizes they were spying on him to determine his sanity.
In what ways is the Pyrrhys character similar to Hamlet? And to Claudius? How might this help to explain Hamlet’s desire to be reminded of this speech in particular? They are both looking to avenge their father’s death. Pyrrhys and Claudius are similar because they both murdered the rightful kings of their respective countries and empires. Hamlet may have wanted to hear this speech to inspire him to kill Claudius.
Which character adds in extra lines for the Players to perform? What is the purpose of adding these lines? Hamlet adds line to reenact the death of his father to see how Claudius reacts.
What reasons for not acting on his suspicions are suggested by Hamlet at the end of this act? Why might one suspect that this is not what has actually stopped him from taking action? He isn’t sure if the ghost is actually his father or if it is the devil. This makes him less of a coward for not just killing Claudius and more sensible. They devil may be attempting to make Hamlet commit a mortal sin.
What evidence is there that Claudius is a good king? He made peace with Norway. He also points out that mourning the previous king is perfectly acceptable.
What does each of the main characters believe to be the cause of Hamlet’s madness? The King is unsure of the cause but he suspected it has more to it than his father’s death. Gertrude suspects that his father’s death and her untimely marriage is the cause of his marriage. Polonius believe that he is love crazed. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern believe that he is acting crazy because his ambitions have been foiled.
What different types of madness to we see in Hamlet during this act? 1. When he visits Ophelia. He is pale, mournful and silent. Polonius believes he is love crazed. 2. Whet he meets Polonius in the lobby, Hamlet plays the lunatic clown. He is satirical and irreverent, incapable of ordered speech or understanding the most straight forward questions. Hamlet’s madness has completely changed. 3. When he sees Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet switches to melancholic. He tells them of his misery and jadedness but says that he is unable to understand it’s cause.
Name FIVE characteristics of Polonius that can be proven on the basis of this act. Suspicious- Polonius believes that it is likely that his son is up to no God in Paris, hence his plan to find out the truth though his agent, ReynaldoForgetful-Polonius forgets his plan to trap his son halfway through explaining it to Reynaldo. Servile-Polonius is terrified by the king, leading to his long-windedness at the start of scene II when he tries to explain away the fact that he had driven the King’s nephew mad. Gullible-Polonius is completely taken in by Hamlet’s act of madness when he attempts to ‘board’ him in the second part of scene IIArrogant-Polonius believes himself to be a genius. he is extremely proud of his plan to entrap his son in scene I and his plane to ensnare Hamlet in scene II by spying on a meeting between the prince and his daughter
Who is acting a part in this act? In what ways? Claudius is pretending to not be a murderer.Polonius acts like he stopped the relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet out of respect for the king and because Hamlet and Ophelia are in different social classes. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern pretend to be Hamlet’s loyal friendsHamlet pretends to be mad.
“The time is out of joint.” What does this mean, and in what ways does Hamlet discover this to be the case? It means the world is not sane. Hamlet has discovered his friends are the king’s spies. The tragedians of the city have been banned from the city. People who used to make fun of Claudius will now pay a fortune for a miniature of the king.
Find TWO references to disease or decay. “Maggots in a dead dog.”(Act II Scene II Line 179)”The air… appeareth… to me…a foul and pestilential congregation of vapors.”(Act II Scene II Line 285)
Find THREE references to remembering or forgetting feelings. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern quickly forget their friendship when offered a king’s bounty. In his letter, Hamlet swears his love for Ophelia will never waiver. Claudius has become popular with people who used to scorn him.