• 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

    Explore the presentation of revenge in 'Hamlet'.

    4 star(s)

    The difference in their characters is obvious; Fortinbras' character matches his name, 'strong in arm'. He is a man of action, not of words, he has a strong presence and a commanding attitude which demands obedience, 'Go captain, from me greet the Danish king' 'I will do't my lord'.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the "loving mother-son" relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet, with focus on language.

    4 star(s)

    In this scene he almost preaches, condemning Gertrude for her immoral acts. He goes into such detail of the sexual crimes his mother had committed, admonishing her for living 'in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stewed in corruption, honeying, and making love, over the nasty sty', it is possible to interpret Hamlet as having a repressed Oedipus complex.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Downward Spiral of Hamlet.

    3 star(s)

    When his father who does not trust his son, sends spies. Polonius shows use he wears a mask by doing this. He appears to be a loving, trusting father when he really isn't. He proves it to us again when he talks with his daughter Ophelia.

  2. 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

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

    his resulting distrust of women, and can better understand his tragic flaw. Her weakness and insanity provide contrast which illuminates his strength, nobility and sanity. Hamlet's harsh treatment of Ophelia shows the extent to which his mother's betrayal has affected his attitude to women as well as the depth of his grief and confusion.

  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

  1. Write a Critical Analysis on Hamlet Act 3 Scene 4

    The scene then takes a most shocking turn with Hamlet actually putting meaning behind his words and taking his thoughts past their boundaries into action. Gertrude, realising that she is no match for Hamlet in this argument, attempts to "set those" who has the power and authority to make him listen.

  2. Is Hamlet's madness feigned or real?

    Polonius sees a reason behind the insanity, proving that Hamlet is in fact acting as a madman. King Claudius is also suspicious of the reason for Hamlet's madness. After witnessing the meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia, he makes the decision to keep an eye on Hamlet, saying "Madness in great

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