Act3 Summary

Act3 Summary - Summary and Analysis of Act 3 Scene 1 An...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Summary and Analysis of Act 3 Scene 1 An entourage consisting of the king and queen, Polonius and Ophelia , and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern enters to begin the Act. Claudius asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern what they have learned about Hamlet ’s malady. The two reply that they have not been able to find its cause. They do mention, however, that Hamlet was very enthusiastic about the players’ performance that night, which prompts Claudius to agree to attend the play. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave. Polonius and Claudius then begin their plan to loose Ophelia on Hamlet and mark their encounter, hoping to find the root of his madness. They instruct Ophelia to pretend that she is simply reading a book and withdraw behind a tapestry. Hamlet enters and delivers the most famous speech in literature, beginning, “To be or not to be.” After this long meditation on the nature of being and death, Hamlet catches sight of Ophelia. After a short conversation she attempts to return some of the remembrances that Hamlet gave when courting her. Hamlet replies caustically, questioning Ophelia’s honesty. He then berates Ophelia, telling her off sarcastically and venomously, with the refrain, “Get thee to a nunnery,” or in other words, “Go become a nun to control your lust.” After this tirade, Hamlet exists, leaving Ophelia in shambles. Claudius and Polonius step out of their hiding place. The king states that he does not believe that Hamlet is mad because of his foiled love for Ophelia, or really mad at all, but tormented for some hidden reason. He determines to send Hamlet on a diplomatic mission to England before he can cause any serious trouble. Polonius endorses this plan, but persists in his belief that Hamlet’s grief is the result of his love for Ophelia. He consoles his daughter. Polonius suggests in parting that Claudius arrange a private interview between Hamlet and his mother after the play that evening and Claudius agrees. Scene 2 Just as the play is about to begin, Hamlet instructs the players on the art of acting, telling them to act naturally and to avoid bombast. He sets the players to their preparations and then conferences with Horatio . After complimenting Horatio in the most sterling terms, Hamlet asks his friend to assist him in watching the king’s response to the play they are about to see (apparently Hamlet has by this time told Horatio what the ghost revealed). Horatio seats himself so as to view the king properly. The royal entourage enters. Hamlet manically chatters with Claudius, Polonius, Gertrude and Ophelia, reserving special attention for the latter, whom he sits next to and teases. The play begins with a “Dumb Show,” which is a pantomime of the drama to come. On stage, the basic form of the alleged murder is repeated: a king and queen are shown happily married; the king takes a nap; a poisoner enters and pours something in the king’s ear, killing him; the poisoner than takes possession of the queen. Ophelia seems confused by this plot but
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 5

Act3 Summary - Summary and Analysis of Act 3 Scene 1 An...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online