hamlet act 2

S1 What is Reynaldo supposed to do? How can you tell that quite a bit of time has gone by since the last scene? Reynaldo is supposed to bring money and letters to Laertes. I can tell that a bit of time has passed since the last scene because Polonius tells him to go to Paris to bring him the money, and in the previous scenes Laertes has not left for school yet.
S1 If Polonius wants to find out how Laertes is doing, why doesn’t he just ask his son? He doesn’t just go and ask him himself because he wants to have Reynaldo go and spy on him to see if he is out partying and drinking. Polonius does not want to do ask his son straight up because it would seem like he does not trust him.
S1 Why does Hamlet’s appearance frighten Ophelia? What is Polonius’ “diagnosis”? Hamlet’s appearance is very pale and his knees were knocking together. She said he looked like he just came back from hell. Polonius’ diagnosis is love sickness. He believes that love is destroying his body.
S1 When Ophelia tells Polonius that she is “denied (Hamlet’s) access to me,” as her father instructed, Polonius relies, “That hath made him mad. I am sorry that with better heed and judgment I had not quoted him”. What is Polonius sorry about? Polonius is sorry that he told Ophelia to keep Hamlet away because he can tell now that Hamlet truly is in love with Ophelia due to the way he has been acting lately.
S2When Polonius tells Gertrude that he has discovered the cause of her son’s madness, she says, “More matter with less art”. What does she mean? She means that he needs to focus more on talking to his children rather than having someone else find out what is happening in their lives.
S2″Doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar” are famous lines from a love poem. For whom are they intended? The lines are written for Ophelia by Hamlet because Hamlet is in love with her.
S2What do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern agree to do? Do you think they are betraying their school friend, Hamlet? Why do they agree to go sneaking around behind his back? They agree to watch Hamlet behind his back and report back to Claudius and Gertrude. I don’t think they are betraying their friend because they just want the best for him. They agree to go sneaking behind his back because it was an order from the King and Queen and they did not want to be punished.
S2 Why do you think Hamlet is suspicious of his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Why do you think they tell him what the King and Queen have requested they do? He is confused to why his friends from Wittenberg came all the way to see him, so he is suspicious to what is happening. They told Hamlet what was happening because Hamlet had already half guessed it and he got angry so they did not want to get into an altercation with him.
S2 How do the players fit into Hamlet’s plan for proving that Claudius is guilty of Murdering Hamlet? The players fit into Hamlet’s plan for proving Claudius is guilty of Murder because the players are going to recite Hamlet Sr’s death in the Murder of Gonzago and if Claudius reacts strangely then they know he is guilty.

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