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Act 2 Consists of two quick scenes. This act has the least amount of scenes in the play.

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Presentation on theme: "Act 2 Consists of two quick scenes. This act has the least amount of scenes in the play."— Presentation transcript:

1 Act 2 Consists of two quick scenes. This act has the least amount of scenes in the play.

2 Act 2: scene 1 Hamlet appeared disheveled and was dressed loosely as was the custom for men in love; he appears truly in love with Ophelia, but very strange. Is is possible that Hamlet is acting like a fool in love so that no one will suspect him of wrong doing? Ophelia is confused, naïve, weak and dependent on her father and his guidance and advice. Polonius will go to Claudius to take care of the matter of Hamlet pursuing his daughter. He doesn’t deal with it himself which shows that he too isn’t much of a leader, but a follower of sorts.

3 Act 2: scene 1 See you now/ Your bait of falsehood take this carp of truth;/ And thus do we of wisdom and of reach, With windlasses and with assays of bias,/ By indirections find directions out. (I,i,69-75) This description of Polonius’ method for discovering truth defines very nicely the way the court in which he is chief councilor operates. Find other examples of this movement by “indirection.” Why is it necessary in this world?

4 Act 2: scene 1 Polonius: This business is well ended./ My liege, and madam, to expostulate/ What majesty should be, what duty is,/ Why day is day, night night, and time is time/ Were nothing but to waste night, day and time./ Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit/ And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,/ I will be brief. Your noble son is mad./ “Mad” call I it, for, to define true madness,/ What is ‘t but to be nothing else but mad? But let that go. Queen: More matter with less art. Polonius: Madam, I swear I use no art at all./ That he’s mad, ‘tis true; ‘tis true ‘tis pity,/ And pity ‘tis ‘tis true-a foolish figure,/ But farewell it, for I will use no art… (II, ii, ) Why might this be an example?

5 Act 2: scene 1 Ophelia: My lord. As I was sewing in my closet,/ Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,/ No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,/ Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle,/ Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,/ And with a look so piteous in purport/ As if he had been loosed out of hell/ To speak of horrors- he comes before me. Polonius: Mad for thy love?… Ophelia: He took me by the wrist and held me hard/ Then goes he to the length of all his arm,/ And with his other hand thus o’er his brow,/ He falls to such perusal of my face/ As he would draw it…/ My good lord, but as you did command/ I did repel his letters and denied/ His access to me.

6 Act 2: scene 2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive on Gertrude’s and Claudius’ orders to spy on Hamlet At first, Hamlet is glad to see h is old friends “My excellent good friends! How dost thou/ Guildenstern? Ah Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do/ you both?” ( ). However, he believes Denmark to be a “prison” so he doesn’t understand why they would come. He suspects that they were sent for and they admit it: Guildenstern: “My lord, we were sent for” (315)

7 Act 2: scene 2 Fortinbras will not seek revenge on Denmark and the Kin gof Norway has given him extra money for his army to attack Poland. Fortinbras seeks permission from Claudius to pass through Denmark on his way to Poland; Claudius grants him permission. Polonius decides to meet Hamlet himself and chat with him so that he may understand whether or not he is truly mad. Later, he plans on spying on him as he meets secretly with his daughter Ophelia.

8 Act 2: scene 2 Hamlet had walked into the room reading a book. What do you think of this? Polonius: [aside] How say you by that? Still harping on/ my daughter. Yet he knew m not at first; he said I/ was a fishmonger. He is far gone. And truly, in my/ youth, I suffered much extremity for love, very near/ this. I’ll speak to him again.- What do you read, my/ lord? Hamlet: Words, words, words. Polonius: What is the matter, my lord? Hamlet: Between who? Polonius: I mean the matter that you read, my lord. Hamlet: Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here/ that old men have gray beards, that their faces are/ wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and/ plum- tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of/ wit, together with most weak hams; all which, sir,/ though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I/ hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for/ yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am, if, like a crab,/ you could go backward. Polonius: [aside] Though this be madness, yet there is/method in ‘it, - Will you walk out of the air, my lord? Hamlet: Into my grave?

9 Act 2: scene 2 Critics have been painfully anxious to settle the question of Hamlet’s madness. Looking at the way he manages Polonius and Rosencratnz and Guildenstern in these scenes, can you see any evidence for arguing that Hamlet is truly mad? Can you see, perhaps, why in a world so practical and “sane” he might be considered mad?

10 Act 2: scene 2 Hamlet: [aside] These tedious old fools (237) Hamlet: [aside] Nay, then, I have an eye of you. - If/ you love me, hold not off. ( ) Hamlet: Why did you laugh, then, when I said “man delights not in me” ( ) Hamlet: I am but mad north-north-west. When the/ wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw. ( )

11 Act 2: scene 2 In what ways does Hamlet’s famous speech “What a piece of work is a man” explain his melancholy? Compare the beliefs he once held about man and the world with the realities that are unfolding in Elsinore Castle.

12 Act 2: scene 2 Hamlet: I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation / prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the/ King and Queen molt no feather. I have of late, but/ wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all/ custom of exercises, and, indeed, it goes so heavily/ with my disposition that this goodly frame, the/ earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most/ excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’er/hanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted/ with golden fire- why, it appeareth nothing to me/ but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. / What a piece of work is a man, how noble in/ reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving/ how express and admirable; in action how like/ an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals- and/ yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man/ delight not me, no nor women neither, though by/ your smiling you seem to say so. ( )

13 Act 2: scene 2 One critic has suggested that the dominant tone of Hamlet is set by the frequent questions asked, ranging from such apparently trivial ones as “Who’s there” - the opening line of the play- to much gigantic questions as “What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven?” Select several of Hamlet’s most crucial questions, discuss them, and show how the issues they raise are central to the play.

14 Act 2: scene 2 The second soliloquy takes place in this act and scene. This will be discussed later on in the unit.


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