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"To what extent is Act III Scene II pivotal to Hamlet?"

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Introduction

Scott Volker 10P Hamlet-Year 10 Coursework 22/03/03 "To what extent is Act III Scene ii pivotal to Hamlet?" I think that Act III scene ii is not pivotal to Hamlet, for three different reasons. Firstly why I think this is, the situation that Hamlet has with Claudius, after Claudius has killed his father. Secondly, the audience's and Claudius' reaction to the 'mousetrap' play, performed by the actors, in which Claudius kills Hamlet's father. Finally the third reason is the treatment Hamlet gives towards Ophelia. Hamlet until this point has been very uncertain about what to do about the situation with Claudius. Hamlet has seen the Ghost of his father who explains that Claudius killed him, but Hamlet is unsure if he should believe what the Ghost has said, Act II Scene ii "I know my course. The spirit that I have seen may be a Devil and the Devil hath power T'assume a pleasing shape". Once Hamlet has decided to believe the ghost he has two choices. ...read more.

Middle

This means that if Hamlet kills Claudius now, Claudius will be sent to heaven because he is forgiving his sins at the alter, Hamlet will then go to hell as the consequence if he does kill Claudius. As I explained before, the reaction of the audience towards the scene in the 'Mousetrap', play where Claudius kills Hamlet's father. This is an opportunity for the audience to get a clear indication of Claudius's guilt, as we only know what Hamlet knows. When we see Claudius's reaction this means that we, the audience, know things that other characters do not. If Claudius makes a big reaction to the play, the audience will feel confident that Claudius is guilty. No reaction from Claudius will mean that the audience will begin to doubt the reliability of Hamlet, and Hamlet will have to prove his own sanity to himself. A small reaction from Claudius, will mean that the audience will still be unsure about what to believe, should they believe Hamlet or not. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think this because, Yes she may have gone mad due to the fact that herself and Hamlet are together for the last time at the play this may have made her go mad due to that her true love has left her, or that Hamlet may have influenced her to go mad when Hamlet was faking his madness. but on the other hand, No she is not mad and she may have killed herself because of the grief of her father's death at the hands of her 'beloved'. As I said in the introduction I think that Act III Scene ii is non-pivotal to Hamlet, because although Hamlet has made first and only positive decision he has not done anything about it. Hamlet's mind and dilemma throughout the play is muddled because he finds out that Claudius has killed his father but has done nothing in revenge for this. Hamlet also has trouble with Ophelia that he needs to sort out but he doesn't and then it is to late and Ophelia ends up dead. ...read more.

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