Hamlet Act II

Act II opens… In Polonius’s house
Polonius asks Reynaldo to spy on… Laertes
When Hamlet enters Ophelia’s room, he appears to be… distraught
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are… Hamlet’s childhood friends
Voltemand reports from Norway that… Fortinbras will not attack Denmark
How does Polonius react to Ophelia’s story regarding Hamlet’s visit to her room? He thinks that Ophelia’s rejection of Hamlet is the cause of Hamlet’s madness.
What role do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern play in the king’s plan? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are spies in the king’s plan.
What trap does Polonius set for Hamet? Polonius uses Ophelia as a the “bait” so that when Hamlet comes and talks to her Polonius will be able to hear what they are saying.
How, if any, has your opinion of Polonius changed since the beginnin of the play? At the beginning, I thought that Polonius was an ok guy, but now I see him as overbearing, overprotective, and too involved in his children’s lives.
What forms does Hamlet’s “antic disposition” take? Hamlet acts wild and crazed in Ophelia’s room. He acts contemptuous and mocking toward Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. He speaks in cryptic and nonsensical ways.
After Hamlet has met the players, what does he want them to perform? The Murder of Gonzago
What does Hamlet hope to accomplish by using the players in this way? Hamlet hopes to get a reaction out of Claudius, hoping that he will see some sort of guilt, and Claudius will see that what he did was wrong. Maybe, if Hamlet shows the play then Claudius will know that Hamlet knows what has happened.
What does Gertrude suggest is the cause of Hamlet’s odd behavior? Gertrude thinks Hamlet’s father’s death and her quick marriage are the causes of his odd behavior.
What does Claudius probably fear is the root of Hamlet’s problem? Claudius probably fears that Hamlet knows what really happened
What theme is strongly emphasized in the second half of this act? The theme of life as theater, or appearance versus reality, is emphasized with the entry of the players, the discussion about the play, and Hamlet’s continued act of madness.
a. Describe how Claudius’s intent in spying on Hamlet is different from Polonius’s intent in learning about Laertes’ activities.b. Explain how Hamlet plans to “catch the conscience of the King.” What reason does Hamet give for being so cautious in taking revenge and so thorough in his search for evidence? Is his reason convicing?c. An annoyed Gertrude tells Polonius, “More matter, with less art.” What bothers her about the way Polonius presents his findings about Hamlet?d. Which did you find more suspenseful, Act I or Act II? Why? (be able to write one or two paragraphs about it)

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