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Hamlet - Act 3 Scene 2

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Hamlet - Act 3 Scene 2 In this scene, staged in the Great Hall of Elsinore, Hamlet's cunning plan to determine his uncle's guilt comes together. Hiring players to act out a play based on his father's death (as his father's ghost described it), he awaits Claudius' reaction. The whole point of this is Hamlet putting to rest his insecurity over the matter, once he discovers for certain Claudius did murder his father and was the snake in the orchard, only then can Hamlet feel at rest and kill him. This scene is one of the many examples throughout the play which demonstrates one of many weaknesses in Hamlet's personality, in which he comes across as immensely pensive and unsure about nearly everything. The significance of the scene is evident in that both Hamlet and Claudius plotting each others death begins here. For Hamlet as he is now finally at ease with what his father's ghost told him earlier in the play, thus he can now kill his uncle without any remorse and for Claudius as he is now alarmed to the fact Hamlet is aware of his crime. ...read more.


Gertrude's invitation to Hamlet for him to sit with her is also answered with an insult (possibly a misleading hint to Hamlet's Oedipus complex), this time remarking that his mother's appearance is appalling or as he put it; "Here's metal more attractive." Polonius is next and branded "Brutus" and a fool, cleverly Hamlet achieves this using puns of "brute" and "calf". Ophelia, however comes off worst for wear in my opinion. Hamlet's verbal treatment of his love interest is cruel and filled with crude jokes with the main theme of sex. The references to Ophelia's 'nothing' (her genitalia) and 'country matters' (sexual intercourse) is without a shadow of a doubt, arguably the funniest part of the play, although Shakespeare's obsession with these jokes are evident throughout the whole play. Horatio on the other hand, is trusted by Hamlet, not only has he confided in Horatio about the ghost's words and his plan to see if Claudius reveals his guilt, but the usually 'insecure' Prince has actually included his best friend in the scheme. ...read more.


This would be relevant as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are not as directly involved in the scene as the others. A problem encountered here could be Rosencrantz's part in the scene, the line; "Ay my lord, they stay upon your patience." This could be approached by having Rosencrantz stepping forward in order to say his line. Although my suggestions have been made, I find Zeffirelli's handling of the scene to be admirable and possibly flawless in the sense of interpreting the text into drama. In conclusion, this scene is extremely significant to the play as a whole. As mentioned, it begins the plotting of both Claudius and Hamlet to kill one another, but it also gives yet more depth and structure to Hamlet's character. Emphasizing his antic disposition, feelings towards other characters in the play and exposes both Hamlet's qualities and flaws in his personality. This scene is a favourite of mine, falling short only to Hamlet's soliloquy ("To be or not to be...") and his somewhat upsetting reunion with his childhood friend and royal jester, Yorick. Peter Muscolino ...read more.

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