• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A detailed analysis of Act 3, Scene 1 of Hamlet.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A detailed analysis of Act 3, Scene 1 So far in the play, Hamlets madness has been causing people worry. He is acting mad so he can have revenge on Claudius. Polonius suspects he has gone mad because Ophelia has rejected his love. Claudius isn't sure that's the reason. The scene is focused on Polonius and Claudius carrying out their plan to spy on Hamlet. Polonius and Claudius hide behind a curtain to listen to Ophelia talking to Hamlet. They do this to see if Ophelia is really why Hamlet has gone mad. Polonius says " at such a time I'll lose my daughter to him. Be you and I behind an arras then" Gertrude and Ophelia don't know anything about the plan. The play doesn't say if Ophelia overhears Claudius. Claudius and polonius tell Gertrude " we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, that he, as 'twere by accident, may here affront Ophelia." If Ophelia did overhear she might be part of the plan because she wants to find out what's wrong with Hamlet or she wants to obey her father. ...read more.

Middle

Polonius tells Ophelia that she must appear innocent and he says how easily we may hide under a false coating " tis too much proved, that with devotion's visage, and pious action, we do sugar o'er the devil himself." Polonius comments are important for two reasons, Ophelia has to look innocent because Hamlet criticises women, he says " I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath given you one face and you make yourself another." Claudius guilt is made clear to the audience by his comments " oh tis too true. How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art, is not more ugly to the thing that helps it than is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden! " The idea of people hiding parts of their character or acting a part is very common in the whole play. Hamlet has "put on an antic disposition" to hide his plot for revenge. ...read more.

Conclusion

" For the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd." Hamlet orders Ophelia to a nunnery and denies that he ever loved her " I loved you not" he might be telling her this to show that he's gone mad. Ophelia is distressed by Hamlets words; she is probably thinking Hamlet is mad. Hamlet criticises all women. Hamlet says women make monsters of men. In the latter part of the scene Ophelia's words are emphasised by exclamation marks. This shows how desperate she feels. She says that Hamlet was once the very mirror and model of behaviour and taste. Ophelia uses metaphors to explain Hamlets change. Ophelia feels that there is nothing good left and everything's wrong now. Ophelia tries to ignore what Hamlet said to her because he's gone mad. At the end of the scene Claudius is feeling worried because he knows that Ophelia isn't the reason Hamlet is mad " love, his affections do not that way tend." Claudius plans to send Hamlet to England, Polonius agrees with him. Claudius is right to be fearful of Hamlet because he is planning to kill Claudius. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


** 2 Stars

Shows a knowledge of the play and some of its main themes. Some language analsyis and includes important quotes. More analysis and discussion are needed in places and at times the comments are too simplistic as this is a very complex play.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 16/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Why does Hamlet still matter?

    5 star(s)

    It is with Hamlet?s contemplations of suicide that he ponders the transience of life, exemplified through the discovery of Yorick, the court jester?s skull. Yorick serves as a reminder to Hamlet of the finality of death, after his brooding contemplations of suicide, Hamlet now literally looks death and the consequences of it, face to face.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the presentation of revenge in 'Hamlet'.

    4 star(s)

    The other revengers in the play do not have this wariness, they act immediately without considering the spiritual consequences and it is unclear whether Hamlet would have had a similar attitude had he not been inadvertently alerted to this danger by old Hamlet's ghost.

  1. Critical review of 'Hamlet'

    Therefore, his thoughts upon suicide are not valid proof that he's going or is, insane. I would regard Hamlet as sane because although he has two significant reasons to be distracted Hamlet remains focused on the task in hand. Firstly, he has not taken his rightful place on the throne

  2. The Dramatic Function of Ophelia in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.

    Disgusted by Gertrude marrying Claudius so soon after his father's death, Hamlet becomes distrustful of women, obsessed with the connection he believes exists between female sexuality and corruption. This is shown through Hamlet's damaged relationship with Ophelia, whom, as a consequence of his mother's actions, he is incapable of trusting.

  1. Compare and Contrast theCharacters Hamlet and Laertes.

    Despite the insidious actions of Laertes in proposing the challenge of a duel with Hamlet, Laertes is without the ability to think rationally (and vindictively) on the same level as Hamlet. Hamlet not only wants to avenge his father's death; he wants Claudius to be eternally punished.

  2. Discuss Hamlet's attitude to death and the afterlife, giving indications to how both contemporary ...

    Laertes does not care about morals very much: To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!' He is prepared to go to Hell to get revenge for his father's death. He then continues to say. 'I dare damnation. To this point I stand.

  1. In what ways does Shakespeare create sympathy for Hamlet in the first two acts?

    Another major issue is Hamlet's religion. Hamlet is Protestant, having studied at Wittenberg (the same university which Martin Luther the religious reformist and founder of Protestantism also attended), and should thus be anti-revenge, more so anti-murder. However, he is asked by his father's ghost to carry out an action which contradicts his religious beliefs.

  2. To be or not to be Hamlet soliloquy analysis

    This warlike imagery shows how in life we may encounter times when we feel that we are being attacked or fought against. This demonstrates the problems and dilemmas that Hamlet feels he has in his life. This warlike imagery used here and throughout the play shows the underlying theme of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work