Scene One Summary:
Claudius, Gertrude, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern talk about Hamlet and his lunacy. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tell the King and Queen that they have tried to find out the reason for Hamlet’s madness, but he avoids their questions. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tell the King and Queen about the actors that have arrived at the court and will be giving a performance. After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave, Claudius tells Gertrude that he has arranged for Hamlet to run into Ophelia, and Polonius and the King will hide and spy on their conversation to see if Hamlet is truly going crazy because he is in love. Gertrude tells Ophelia that she hopes that Hamlet’s madness is ...view middle of the document...
He plans to send Hamlet to England, so he can stay away from the kingdom. Polonius agrees, but he has another suggestion. He says that Hamlet should be sent to talk to Gertrude. Hamlet may reveal his true feelings to his mother, and Polonius will listen in on the conversation and try to understand the reason for Hamlet’s madness. If Gertrude cannot figure out Hamlet’s secret, then he can be sent to England. Claudius agrees to this plan.
Scene Two Summary:
Hamlet and the players enter, and Hamlet is telling the players to perform the play just as he taught them. The players leave and Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Polonius arrive. Polonius tells the two friends that the king and queen will be attending the play. They leave and Hamlet and Horatio enter. Hamlet tells Horatio that he is a very good friend, and he gives him a job. He tells Horatio to watch Claudius during the murder scene in the play and see if he flinches proving his guilt. Horatio agrees to watch Claudius. The audience enters as the play is about the start. Gertrude offers Hamlet a seat next to her, but Hamlet refuses and sits next to Ophelia. Hamlet and Ophelia share a witty banter, in which Hamlet says that one must do a lot of charity to be remembered after his death. The play begins with a loving king and queen. The king dies, and the killer woos the queen. The play continues with the king and queen talking. The queen is professing her eternal love for her husband, and she says that if she ever married again it would only be for financial reasons. The king says that he knows that she is saying that now, but intentions can change after some time passes. During the play, Hamlet is thinking to himself about the actions unfolding in his real life, such as Gertrude’s deception. Claudius asks if the play is offensive, but Hamlet says it is just a joke. Hamlet and Ophelia continue their banter, while in the play, the king is murdered. As this occurs in the play, Claudius gets agitated, stops the play, and asks for lights. Everyone except Hamlet and Horatio leaves. The two friends discuss the king’s reaction and realize that the ghost was telling them the truth. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern enter and tell Hamlet that the king and queen are very upset. Hamlet, in turn, tells them that he knows that they have been sent to spy on him and they should not try to fool him. They should not try to play him as they would play a musical instrument. Polonius tells Hamlet that Gertrude wants to speak to him, and he agrees to go meet her. Before leaving, he thinks to himself that he won’t kill her, but will speak harsh words to her.
Scene Three Summary:
Claudius is telling Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he is worried about Hamlet’s mental state. The king tells them that he is sending them and Hamlet to England on diplomatic business. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern agree. Polonius tells Claudius that Hamlet is going to talk to Gertrude. He says that he will hide behind a tapestry and...