Hamlet by William Shakespeare | Act 2, Scene 2 Summary & Analysis | Summary and Q&A

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March 16, 2018
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Hamlet by William Shakespeare | Act 2, Scene 2 Summary & Analysis

TL;DR

Claudius and Gertrude hire Hamlet's childhood friends as spies, while Hamlet contemplates his lack of action and plans a play to reveal Claudius' guilt.

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Key Insights

  • ▶️ Spies, such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, play a significant role in uncovering the truth and driving the plot forward.
  • 😒 The theme of truth versus deception is explored through the use of spies and Hamlet's contemplation of the players' authenticity.
  • 💭 Hamlet's comparison of himself to the players highlights the theme of thought versus action.
  • 🛬 The arrival of the company of actors provides an opportunity for Hamlet to involve them in his plan to reveal Claudius' guilt.

Transcript

in act 2 scene 2 of Hamlet Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern two of Hamlet's childhood friends to snoop around in order to find out why Hamlet has been acting strangely ambassadors informed the king that Fortinbras has agreed not to agitate Denmark but has asked that he and his men are allowed passage through Denmark on their ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet and uncover the reason behind his strange behavior.

Q: What does Polonius think is causing Hamlet's madness?

Polonius believes that Hamlet's love for Ophelia is driving him mad, which leads to a plan to arrange a meeting between them.

Q: What information do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern provide to Hamlet?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern inform Hamlet that a company of players has arrived in Elsinore, which sparks Hamlet's plan to use them to reveal Claudius' guilt.

Q: Why does Hamlet berate himself in this scene?

Hamlet berates himself for his lack of action in avenging his father's murder, feeling frustrated with his own tendency to overthink instead of taking decisive action.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Claudius and Gertrude hire Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet and find out why he has been acting strangely.

  • Polonius suggests that Hamlet's love for Ophelia is causing his madness, leading to a plan to arrange a meeting between the two.

  • Hamlet learns from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that a company of players has arrived, leading him to plan a play to expose Claudius' guilt.

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