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Questions on Hamlet 2.

2
1)
In the opening parts of the scene, Claudius asks Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern to keep an eye on Hamlet, and to find out why Hamlet is depressed.
Essentially, he is asking them to spy on their best friend. The king states in the
opening of Act 2 scene 2;
To draw him on to pleasures and to gather,
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus
That, opened, lies within our remedy.
2) The ambassadors; Voltimand and Cornelius, were sent by Claudius to talk with the
aged king of Norway in response to Prince Fortinbras threat to reclaim the lands his
namesake lost in battle with Hamlet Sr. The two ambassadors describe what took
place with the aged and ailing king of Norway: the king was angry at Fortinbras for
attempting to wage war with Denmark. As a result Fortinbras swore he would never
again fight the Danes. The old king is so pleased he bequeathed upon Fortinbras a
large annuity, and urged him to use the army he had assembled to attack the Poles. As
a result, he sent a request back to Claudius, asking that Prince Fortinbrass armies be
allowed safe passage through Denmark on their way to attack the Poles. Claudius is
happy he does not have to fight a war.
3) Polonius believes that Hamlets madness is due to the rejection Ophelia gave the
prince, under his direct orders. While discussing this matter with the monarchs,
Polonius states this;
I have a daughterhave while she is mine
Who in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this. Now gather and surmise.
(reads a letter) To the celestial and my souls idol, the most beautified Ophelia
Thats an ill phrase, a vile phrase. Beautified is a vile phrase. But you shall hear.
Thus: (reads the letter)In her excellent white bosom, these, etc.
He is reading out loud from the love letter that Hamlet had written to Ophelia.
4) Polonius devises a plan to confront Hamlet over his theory as to where the
madness derived from. It goes as such. Hamlet usually walks alone through the lobby
of the castle for 4 hours at a time. During this time, Polonius and the monarchs will
hide behind a curtain. Simultaneously, Ophelia will confront Hamlet. This will allow
the monarchs and Polonius to see for themselves whether Hamlets madness really
emanates from his love for Ophelia.
5) Polonius says that there is method in Hamlets madness, because although the
crown princes responses do not answer the questions he poses, they are filled with

meaning. Hamlet twists Polonius words, and finds alternate meanings behind them.
Instead of madness, he is showing wit.
6) I believe that Hamlet is faking it. He is very much in control of his psyche, and this
shows by the level of wit present in his answers to the questions Polonius poses. He
simply twists Polonius words around, and uses the alternate meanings behind possible
answers, to confuse Polonius. If anything, this scene proves, Polonius has not wit.
7) They seem to believe Hamlet is depressed over the fact that Denmark is too small
for his ambitions, which explains why they say that Hamlet resides in a prison.
8) Hamlet keeps asking his two friends as to why they have come so suddenly to
Denmark. He wants to know a) if his parents are spying on him, and b) if he can trust
his two friends. If the friends respond truthfully, then Hamlet knows he can trust
them.
9). Hamlet explains that he knows why his friends were sent for. He knows that they
were instructed to keep the monarchs secrets from him. Furthermore, he alludes to the
fact that he is in a state of depression. He explains that the worlds natural beauties,
such as the beautiful canopy we call the sky is now nothing more than diseased
filled air. Hamlet states Ill tell you whyso you wont have to tell me and give away any secrets you have
with the king and queen... This beautiful canopy we call the skythis majestic roof
decorated with golden sunlightwhy, its nothing more to me than disease-filled air.
What a perfect invention a human is, how noble in his capacity to reason, how
unlimited in thinking, how admirable in his shape and movement, how angelic in
action, how godlike in understanding! Theres nothing more beautiful. We surpass all
other animals. And yet to me, what are we but dust? Men dont interest me. No
women neither