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Hamlet And II The King tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to investigate Hamlet’s madness . . Polonius’s theory of Hamlet’s madness . . . Polonius examines Hamlet . .

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern examine Hamlet . . . The players arrive . .

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Hamlet’s second soliloquy. Enter King and Queen, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: The King welcomes “dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” (2.2.1), and immediately gets down to business. They, friends of Hamlet, are supposed to hang out with him, so that they can find out what’s wrong with him. The King says that he “cannot dream of” what might be wrong with Hamlet, other than his father’s death. Of course, we’ve already learned that the King killed Hamlet’s father, so we may suspect that what the King really wants to know is what Hamlet knows or suspects, and what Hamlet might do. The Queen seconds the King’s request by telling them how much Hamlet likes them, and by suggesting that there might be some money in it for them, or–as she puts it–“such thanks / As fits a king’s remembrance” (2.2.25-26). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern not only agree to do what they’re asked, they suck up.

They know, and say, that the King could simply command, rather than ask, and so they’re glad he asked. Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Enter Polonius: As soon as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave to seek out Hamlet, Polonius comes bustling in with two pieces of news: The ambassadors to Norway have had success, and he has discovered “the very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy” (2.2.49). The King wants to hear what Polonius has to say about Hamlet, but Polonius insists on bringing in the ambassadors, and saving the news about Hamlet as “the fruit [i.e., the dessert] to that great feast.” Polonius steps out to fetch the ambassadors, and the King and Queen are alone for a moment. The King wonders aloud if Polonius really has found the “source and head” of Hamlet’s “distemper.” The Queen replies with a bit of common sense: “I doubt [suspect] it is no other but the main; / His father’s death, and our o’erhasty marriage” (2.2.56-57).

Enter Ambassadors [Voltemand and Cornelius]: The King and Queen’s moment alone is soon over. In comes Polonius, with Voltemand and Cornelius in tow. Voltemand tells the King that the King of Norway, who was sick, thought that Fortinbras was raising his army to fight the Poles, but when he received the letter from the King, he called Fortinbras in, learned the truth, and gave him a “rebuke.” Now Fortinbras has promised never to direct any hostilities toward Denmark, and to use the army only to attack Poland. The King of Norway is happy with this, and wants the King’s permission for Fortinbras to pass through Denmark on his way to Poland. All this may sound fishy, but the King seems satisfied and says he’ll think about it. Later in the play, he has given the requested permission, because Fortinbras briefly appears, leading his army across the stage toward Poland. The King thanks Voltemand and Cornelius, and they exit, never to be seen again. Exeunt Ambassadors [Voltemand and Cornelius]: As soon as the ambassadors are gone, Polonius, saying he will not expostulate on the obvious, expostulates.

And after he says that “brevity is the soul of wit / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes” 2.2.90-91), he proceeds to be very tedious as he explains his theory of Hamlet’s madness. He makes his case by reading a love-letter written by Hamlet to Ophelia, and then explaining how he, “faithful and honorable,” got Ophelia to “lock herself” away from Hamlet. He concludes in his windy way: And he, repulsed–a short tale to make– Fell into a sadness, then into a fast, Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness, Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension, Into the madness wherein now he raves, And all we mourn for. (2.2.146-151) The King and Queen are almost persuaded, but still doubtful, and so Polonius boasts that “I will find / Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed / Within the centre.” The King asks how his theory may be tested, and Polonius offers to “loose” Ophelia to Hamlet while he and the King hide behind a curtain to overhear their conversation. Enter Hamlet.

Exeunt King and Queen: The King agrees to Polonius’ plan for spying on Hamlet, but just then Hamlet himself comes wandering into the room, reading a book. Polonius is eager to examine Hamlet for himself, and he shoos away the King and Queen, so that he can “board” Hamlet. He starts right in, saying “Do you know me, my lord?” as though Hamlet is so far gone that he can’t recognize Polonius. Hamlet replies, “Excellent well; you are a fishmonger” (2.2.174). And so goes the rest of the encounter, with Polonius asking more dumb questions and Hamlet replying with insults which Polonius doesn’t understand because he thinks they only show just how crazy the prince is. In the course of the conversation Hamlet mocks Polonius’ attitude towards Ophelia, telling him that “conception is a blessing: but not as your daughter may conceive” (2.2.184-185).

And Hamlet also mocks Polonius’ appearance and lack of self-knowledge by pretending to read a passage from his book that describes old men as having wrinkled faces and a “plentiful lack of wit”; of course, he is really describing Polonius. Polonius sort of gets the idea that something is going on, but all he can figure out is that “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (2.2.205-206). Exit Polonius. Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: Baffled, Polonius takes his leave of Hamlet, and just as he does, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern show up, so that they, too, can take a shot at finding out what’s wrong with Hamlet. Hamlet greets his old friends heartily, and asks how they’re doing, which leads to a good-old-boy off-color joke about “the secret parts of Fortune.” Then Hamlet asks, “What news?” He means what we mean when we say “What’s up?” osencrantz and Guildenstern don’t have a good answer to that question. They didn’t come just to hang out with Hamlet, and they didn’t just happen to run into him while they were doing something else.

They came to find out what his problem is, but they’re not supposed to tell him that. So Rosencrantz answers Hamlet’s “What news?” with “None, my lord,” which is a little white lie. Hamlet then invites Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to be on his side. He asks, “What have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?” (2.2.239-241). But Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are employed by the King of Denmark, so they can’t jump in and agree that Denmark is a prison. When Hamlet insists that “To me it is a prison,” Rosencrantz takes that as an opportunity to divert the conversation to an interesting topic: Hamlet’s ambition.

If Rosencrantz and Guildenstern could report back to the King that Hamlet’s problem is that he wants to be king, that would be news indeed. Hamlet denies that he is ambitious, saying, “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space–were it not that I have bad dreams” (2.2.254-256). However, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern don’t give up easily, and spar a little over the meaning of ambition, until Hamlet gets tired of the whole thing and suggests that they go “to th’ court.” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern say “We’ll wait upon you,” as though they have nothing better to do than just tag around with him. This apparently reminds Hamlet that they never really answered his question, so he asks it again: “But, in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?” Rosencrantz replies with a half-truth: “To visit you, my lord, no other occasion.” Hamlet suddenly inuits the truth and asks “Were you not sent for?” (2.2.274). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are surprised, and a little sarcastic brow-beating from Hamlet gets them to confess that they were indeed sent for. The discovery that his supposed friends are really the king’s spies sends Hamlet into a kind of philosophical orbit.

He tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he knows that they were sent for because he has lost all of his “mirth.” Not only that, but to him the earth is nothing but a “sterile promontory” within “a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.” He goes on, in a passage that is often quoted as an example of the Renaissance belief in the dignity of man: What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! …


Hamlet In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare Two of the character’s fathers are brutishly murdered. The first murdered character is King Hamlet who is supposed to be revenge by his son prince Hamlet. The second murder is Polonius who is supposed to be revenged by his son Laertes. Both Prince Hamlet and Laertes go to seek revenge for the death of fathers, however they will each use different methods to accomplish their deeds. Prince Hamlet has a meeting with the dead ghost of his father King Hamlet. King Hamlet’s ghost reveals to his son, his murder by his brother Claudius. Hamlet is informed by his father that he needs to be avenged by the death of his brother Claudius.

By this time Claudius has already ascended the throne, and married Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude. Hamlet decides to take a passive approach to avenge his father. Hamlet first decides to act abnormal which does not accomplish much besides warning his uncle that he might know he killed his father. Later in the play a troop of actors come to act out a play, and Hamlet has them reenact the murder of is father in front of his uncle Claudius. The actors murder scene also make Hamlet question himself about the fact that he has done nothing yet to avenge his father.

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Hamlet says ” But am I Pigeon-livered and lack gall / To make oppression bitter, or ere this / I should ha’ fatted all the region kites / With this slave’s offal. Bloody, bawdy villain! ( Act II scene 2 page 84 line 577- 580 ). During the play Hamlet watches is uncle Claudius to see his reaction when the actors perform the murder scene. Hamlet plan works his uncle throws a fit and runs out the room, where Hamlet goes after him. When Hamlet catches up to his uncle his uncle is kneeling down praying, and Hamlet pulls out his sword and gets ready to kill him.

But all the sudden Hamlet changes his mind because if he kills his uncle while he’s praying he will go to heaven, and Hamlet wants him to go to hell. So hamlet postpones the execution of his uncle. The next confrontation does not happen till the end of the book when Hamlet escapes from his uncle’s ill murder attempt on his life. Hamlet later sword fences with Laertes. All the sudden Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude drinks a poison glass intended for Hamlet.

When Hamlet is not looking Laertes stabs him with a poison sword then Hamlet takes hold of the poisoned sword, and stabs Laertes with it. As this happens Queen Gertrude dies from the poison drink. As Laertes lays down dying he reveals to Hamlet that his uncle King Claudius was behind it all, the poisoned sword and drink that has just killed his mother. Hamlet then in a fit of rage runs his uncle through with the poison sword. Hamlet has now finally revenged his father through much time then after his task is completed he finally collapses from the poison on the sword.

Polonius is murdered by Hamlet when Polonius his discovered listening to Hamlet, and his mother’s Queen Gertrude conversation . Hamlet unknowing of who the person behind the tapestry is, kills Polonius from where he was spying. When news of his fathers death reaches Polonius’s son Laertes, he comes back with an entourage to seek revenge for his fathers death. In this conversation Laertes believes Hamlets uncle King Claudius is responsible for his fathers death. ” How came he dead? I’ll not be juggled with.

/ To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! / Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! / I dare damnation. To this point I stand, / That both the worlds I give to negligence, / Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged / Most thoroughly for my father. ( Act IV scene 5 page 134 line 133-139 ) Laertes takes a more aggressive stand point than Hamlet Laertes is ready to kill the king right away thinking that he murdered his father. But king Claudius tells Laertes that Hamlet is the one who killed his father. King Claudius also finds out that Hamlet has escape the trap that he setup to get him murdered.

So King Claudius sets up another plan with Laertes. This plan calls for Hamlet and Laertes to have a mock sword fight, but Laertes will be using a real poisoned sword. Laertes agrees with this, ready to claim Hamlets life for his father’s vile murder. When the sword fight begins Hamlet is winning, but Laertes gets frustrated and stabs Hamlet when he is not looking with the poisoned sword. After Laertes stabs Hamlet, Hamlet then turns around and manages to take the sword from Laertes and stabs Laertes with it. Although Laertes dies first he accomplishes his purpose because Hamlet will die shortly from the poison on the sword.

In this play Hamlet by William Shakespeare these two characters Hamlet and Laertes both seek to revenged their slayed fathers. Hamlet with is passive and scheming approach manages to kill his father’s murder his uncle Claudius. Laertes with his direct, and forceful dedication slays his fathers killer Prince Hamlet. Altough Laertes took a much more direct approach than Hamlet wasting no time, they both however accomplished their goal but at the ultimate price of both their lives!.


Hamlet Shakespeare decided to set corruption in Elsinor, a royal castle in medieval Denmark. Prior to the first act Hamlets’ mother, Queen Gertrude is widowed to King Hamlet. When this tragedy starts, we are introduced to Marcellus, Bernardo, and Francisco who guard the castle at night. While on watch an apparition of King Hamlet appeared to them and they then knew something was wrong, the question is what should they do. Soon after Hamlets’ best friend, Horatio, learns of the apparition and decides to inform Hamlet.

Once Hamlet learns of his fathers return, he at once insist that he go on watch to witness his fathers’ appearance. The next night Hamlets’ father does appear and commands Hamlet to avenge his death. Is this where corruption could take affect? Perhaps Mr. Bates was thinking about this scene when he made his statement. Hamlets’ father tells him what corruption has taken place behind the walls of Elsinor.

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He tells Hamlet of his uncles’ rage and what it has lead him to do. He tells Hamlet of the serpent that stung him. He tells Hamlet that the serpent goes by the name of Claudius. Hamlets’ composure, wit, and strength would now be tested to their limits. With one wrong slip of the tongue, one wrong hateful glance, Hamlet would go straight to his death.

What could Hamlet do, what will he do? A clever wit and common sense are his only hope to avenge his fathers’ death. Hamlet then lives in madness and by that madness hopes to force Claudius to confess his sin. Through the second act the plot thickens as Hamlets’ mind begins to ponder the possibilities of confession by the king. His love for Ophelia is also strongly noticed by all. The nobilities of Elsinor also notice the love he shows and they begin to realize the possibility that Ophelias’ love for Hamlet would benefit them both.

Queen Gertrude wishes to use Ophelias’ love to bring her only son out of madness. Claudius wishes to do the same. His reason, however, is to end the threat of his life. Once the king and queen realize this remedy they quickly act to use it by persuading Ophelia to court Hamlet. In this Scene true madness comes into play. Once Ophelia meets Hamlet and speaks with him her love abandons her.

Hamlet realizes that his mother and step father are aware of this love and might use this to end his threat. Hamlet must end their thoughts of using Ophelia to rid him of his condition. To do this he must destroy all the current feelings Ophelia has for him and he does so very well, perhaps too well. Now that Ophelia feelings for him have lessened, he must work quickly to obtain his uncles’ confession that he might again have Ophelia’ love. Hamlets’ plan develops when actors arrive in Elsinor.

He uses their skill by relieving the mystery of his fathers death in a production with hopes of getting his uncles confession. The play is the thing where in I’ll catch the conscience of the king, Act II scene 2. Act III deals with the confession of the king and what he must do in order to remedy the situation. While watching the play, the confession comes out. Now the corruption is real and proven.

The king, now concerned about the awareness of Hamlet, must protect himself against Hamlet Claudius knows that Hamlet has learned of the sins he has done. Hamlet quickly takes action now enraged at the confession confronts his mother in chambers where he is ready to condone his mothers’ actions and kill Claudius. What Hamlet does not know is that Polonius has seen his mother and now hiding. Inside that room Hamlet confronts his mother and she screams for him to stop, These words are sharper that daggers to my soul, Polonius in fear of the queens’ life shouts for help. Hamlet still engaged dashes to where the shout came from, draws his sword, and without glancing kills who he thinks is the king. Actually he killed the body of Polonious and the soul of Ophelia. There may be no return for Hamlets life as the king dom learns of Polonius death.

The king sends Hamlet to England for his unknowing execution. Once again with Hamlets quick thinking and wit escapes death and returns to Elsinor enraged at the king. Claudius, knowing the disturbance he has caused must act quickly and harshly to save his own life. While gone to England Ophelia has gone mad and killed herself by drowning. Claudius uses this to gain the help of Ophelia brother to kill Hamlet with a poisoned sword and a deadly drink.

In the final scene the duel becomes deadly. Laertes poisons the sword and Claudius poisons the wine. Queen Gertrude, without knowing, drinks the wine and is almost instantly killed. At that same time Laertes cuts Hamlet and he is infected with the deadly poison. When Hamlet finds out what has happened he stabs the king with the poisoned sword and forces him to drink the poisoned wine.

The king dies, Hamlet dies, Gertrude dies, and Laertes dies from the same sword as Hamlet. All of the fatalities are victims of the absolute corruption that the king brought into Elsinor. English Essays.


Bryce Nations
Crumbling Castle
Hamlet is a complex play with many characters that each has an important role in the development of the story line. In the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are inserted for nothing more than comic relief. But on the contrary, in the movie they are hopeless wanderers looking for meaning in the world. The pair is so lost in their mental endeavors that they do not even notice the crumbling of a royal family and ultimately their own deaths.

Through Rosencrantz and Guildenstern we learn many lessons of the laws of nature and mathematics. They find answers to some of the worlds most difficult problems that have not even begun to be discovered according to the history books. Such discoveries as Newton’s law of gravity, the steam engine, and the theory of probability can all be solved in their own somewhat idiotic ways. They also argue and prove to each other the obvious puzzles in life. When trying to demonstrate the difference in which objects fall, Rosencrantz says, You would think that the iron ball would fall at a faster
Nations 2
rate than this feather. Upon dropping the objects the iron ball plummets to the floor while the feather floats to the ground proving a common fact.

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There are significant differences between the movie and the book. In the book the real world is that of Elsinore to which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are brought into. The movie puts Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in a make-believe world on a journey through the play of hamlet. In the movie the real world is represented by featureless rock and desolate forests, through which the pair journeys to find meaning. The only thing they can seem to remember is a royal summons given to them from the king of Denmark. Chance is a central image that is associated with the two throughout the film and was shown through the coin toss. The fact that the coin always landed upon the heads side could also serve as foreshadowing the pair’s death. For there seems to be an almost one hundred percent probability that the coin will land on heads and an almost one hundred percent probability that they will be beheaded.

The players have a key role in both the film and text. They provide an important role in catching King Claudius in the text and serve as comic relief in the film. They are first introduced in the film when they bump in to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on the way to the castle. They beg for audiences saying that without one actor’s are useless and then begin to sound off a list of possible performances. The last scene in the movie shows the players riding off down the same road that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern first traveled. This is hinting that perhaps all the action has taken place within the players wagon and stage.

Nations 3
The characters within Elsinore remain constant with their actions between the text and film. The story of Hamlet shows the downfall and desecration of the role Denmark family. All the characters within the walls of Elsinore rot and begin to fall apart by the end of the story. Many of them succumb to plain madness like Prince Hamlet and Ophelia. It is almost as if a wave of evil has attacked the once peaceful castle bringing murder and betrayal upon all within it. At the end of the text the characters all seem to be composed of hatred and vengeance. But this could also be considered their decomposition into wild animal like people who murder at will. In both the film and text no problem seems to have a clear solution.

Shakespeare Essays


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