Hamlet Act 3, Act i

Hamlet Act 3, Act i

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  • Why is Hamlet so upset?
  • He hasn't really told me or Guildenstern anything, but at least he seems excited to put on this play of his.
  • If you can, encourage Hamlet to continue working on this play and to forget his worries!
  • We will certainly try our best!
  • Ophelia, you must return any gifts Hamlet has given to you! Your father and I will be hiding behind the curtain.
  • King Claudius and Queen Gertrude discuss Hamlet's mental state with Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Ophelia, and Polonius. Both the King and the Queen are distraught over Hamlet's depression, but Rosencrantz tells them that Hamlet is at least excited to put on a play. 
  • To be, or not to be, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them.
  • King Claudius instructs Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to keep an eye on Hamlet and to encourage him to continue working on the play since it seems to be bringing Hamlet some joy.
  • To test Polonius' theory that Hamlet's madness is caused by unrequited love, King Claudius tells Ophelia to give back any gifts Hamlet ever gave her while the two of them observe from behind the curtain.
  • Hamlet is too dangerous.
  • I will send him away to England soon.
  • Hamlet agonizes over whether or not to commit suicide. He also questions what there is, if anything, beyond the grave and what the afterlife might entail for someone who ends their life  prematurely.  
  • Opehlia approaches Hamlet and attempts to return his gifts. Hamlet is initially extremely hurt and is very confused. But he figures out that Polonius not only sent Ophelia, but is also spying on their interation. Hamlet then goes on to go on a rather unhinged rant about the wretched nature of women and mankind as a whole.
  • King Claudius becomes less convinced of Hamlet's insanity and worries that his depression comes from something deep within his soul. Polonius, however, is still convinced that Hamlet's madness is from his desperate love for Ophelia. They both agree that Hamlet is too dangerous on his own and Polonius decides to moniter him, while the King makes plans to send him away to England.
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