Hamlet learns from the ghost of his dead father that Claudius murdered him as he slept in the orchard. The ghost command Hamlet to revenge this wicked deed and Hamlet seems prepared to do so immediately. When joined by his friends, Hamlet swears them to secrecy, especially in regard to the false show of madness that he will be exhibiting.
Polonius, intent on knowing more about his son's activities in paris, instructs Reynaldo on the fine art of spying. Ophelia reports to her father Hamlet has been acting rather oddly, and Polonius is convinced that this madness has been caused by Ophelia's unwillingness to return Hamlet's love. Polonius thinks its best inform the King of this development.
Rosentcrantz and Guildenstren admit they cannot determine the cause of hamlet's madness and report that Hamlet would like the King and Queen to attend a play arranged for their entertainment. The king and Polonius, still intent on eavesdropping on Hamelt, ask Ophelia to place herself where Hamlet is accustomed to walking. Hamlet appears abd contemplates life in his "To be, or not to be" speech.Ophelia attempts to return Hamlet's gifts. Hamlet beratesnher and leaves. The King reveals his intention to send Hamlet to England. Polnius receives permission to eaves drop as the Queen speaks to Hamlet in her private chamber.