Hamlet Act 2 Study Questions

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Friends of Hamlet; Called to Denmark to spy on him
The Players Actors; Called to Denmark to distract Hamlet
Where does Polonius send Reynaldo? Why? France; To spy on his son, Laertes
Why does Polonius think Hamlet is “mad”? He thinks Hamlet is just lovesick for Ophelia
Why have Rosencrantz and Guildenstern come to the castle? Gertrude and Claudius asked them to come watch Hamlet, distract him, and find out why he is insane.
What is Polonius’ plan for testing his theory that Hamlet is love crazy? Use Ophelia as bait; She will give Hamlet his stuff back, while Polonius and Claudius watch unseen.
When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern finally meet with Hamlet, how does Hamlet react? He is happy, then becomes suspicious that they were sent for.
How does Hamlet describe his personal problems to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? What does he tell them? He tells them he is depressed, and no longer enjoys life or likes people.
What arrangement does Hamlet make with Player 1? Why? He asks Player 1 to put on a play and learn a few extra lines written by Hamlet because he wants to make the play more like the murder of his father.
After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave Hamlet, what does he basically say in his soliloquy? He calls himself a coward for not killing his father, and plans to have the actors do a play like the murder of his father in order to trap Claudius into giving himself away.
Describe the relationship between Hamlet and Polonius in this act. Polonius is a foil for Hamlet. He is not stupid, boring, but not distracted from his task. Hamlet is smart and mocks him, but fails to focus on his task.

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